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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Danny Draven's Book of the Dead, about independent horror filmmaking,
is an excellent must-have reference. The DVD of his film CRYPTZ,
however, isn't worthy of being used as a coaster for drinks.
Like VAMP (1986), a comedy/horror favorite for many, the story takes place in a vampire "sponsored" nightclub, which is simply a web to catch flies. And that's about all one needs to know. VAMP, however, with the ever wild Grace Jones, is full of laughs and jolts within the confines of a solid narrative, but CRYPTZ, thanks to its characters, just stands there. In fact, if you watch the movie, see how often characters stand around and do absolutely nothing from scene to scene. Quite often, we go from talking head spot to another. This alone made the production look like a dispassionate high school play after the funding had been stripped away. And to slow things down a whole lot more, slow motion camera work plagues this feature on a grand scale and the mind-numbingly weak motion brings what little story there is to a screeching halt.
Choice Skinner, as protagonist Tymez Skwair, never came off as a young man. However, Rick Irvin (Fuzzy Down) and Denis Waller (Likrish) did have their moments, though their over- the-top comedy business at the club was way, way too much. I only wish Fylicia Renee King (Skwair's mom) had much more screen time.
One of the worst moments: Tymez Skwair gets his tattooed carved out of his chest, but the flaying takes place on his left breast, though the wound appears on his right breast throughout the picture. Yikes.
Something this bad might be a fun romp for laughs, but with the characters being extremely inactive, CRYPTZ sits like a pile of rotting meat.
The half-star goes to Ms. King.
I've been on somewhat of a horror kick lately. It all started last year when I rented Draven's "Hell Asylum." Easily the worst film I'd ever seen. But I saw a trailer for "Dead & Rotting" and I found myself interested, if only to have a good laugh. D&R was slightly better but not good at all. I gave Hell Asylum a 1/10 and D&R a 2/10. So flash forward now to this year where I rented "Draniac!" Horrible piece of garbage. 1/10. Then "Bleed," 2/10, perhaps only better for the sake of lots of nudity, although I don't see the appeal of Debbie Rochon? She's pale as all hell and is not attractive at all. I'm getting to "Cryptz", ok? Either for Hell Asylum or D&R I saw the trailer for "Cryptz", which also interested me but I didn't get around to renting it for an entire year. I'm glad I finally saw it. This is the best of the Schlock Horror movies I've ever seen. While the production value is still not there, the story and actors were thoroughly enjoyable. I didn't dig on the hooded druids all that much, but Draven himself ripped on them as well in the documentary. That's right! The DVD of Cryptz has a documentary on the making of this film. I urge you to check it out. The cast & crew seemed to really enjoy themselves here, and I found it interesting for the fact that I'm looking for a career in film as well. Not bad at all. 5/10
Usually I try and keep this semi-professional, but in this case I felt more
compelled than usual as a Full Moon fan to post a quick quip to defend this
film. One commenter on this board said this was the worst "vampire strip
club film" they'd ever seen. With all due respect, how can you expect
anything from a film with that description? Now then, the film delivers on
that level, that it has vampires and takes place in a strip club, but does
it work on other, "more sophisticated" levels? Like most Full Moon films,
the answer is "sort of", depending on what you look for in a
I honestly don't understand why people keep renting Full Moon movies expecting technical masterpieces. Although Danny Draven has shown again that he's very capable when working with the low budget and criminally short shooting schedule, he has yet to direct the "break-out" film that will gain him the accolades and attention among non-genre fans that he deserves. Besides Draven's work, special attention should also be called to Josephine Soegjanty's score, which is amazing, and the best thing from a strictly technical aspect that the film offers. In addition to the film's good direction and great score, unlike standard low-budget fare, with performances that can be best described as "passable", all of the major roles in "Cryptz" are played by actors and actresses that are totally in touch with their characters, whether that means being legitimately funny, a legitimate "bad-ass", or legitimately sexy and mysterious. That's a definite plus, because although the location used for shooting has the perfect sleazy/creepy look to it, the film doesn't feature a lot of special effects or extras because of its budget, and at times, were it not for the lead's charisma to draw your attention from this fact, the film would look as if it were severely lacking.
It's good that the film lacks little in the acting and camera/production department, because the plot, in comparison, is a little lacking. It's a fairly standard vampire plot with a nice little "ghetto twist", but several important plot revelations that are made spontaneously to advance the plot, and never fully explained. Another slight problem with the script is some of the film's dialogue. Even though the exaggerated stereotypical "ghetto talk" used by the leads throughout the film was intentional and is often funny, it's also just as often annoying, especially compared to Full Moon/Big City Pictures' other "urban horror" projects, which for the most part had confident, intelligent black characters that still retained a share of "street talk" in their lines.
Other than those minor quibbles with the plot, there's very little wrong with the film. While at first viewing it wasn't that impressive, the film's fun comes out more after repeated viewings and observing the chemistry the cast had with each other and director Danny Draven on the accompanying "behind the scenes" footage on the DVD release. To the detractors, yes, it's still just another low-budget film, made without the best film stock or any expansive shots or sets, but to those same detractors, I challenge them to find another film made in 8 days on this small of a budget that's so enjoyable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
**SPOILERS**It was my birthday and since I was bored I went to my local movie rental store who offered me a free rental. So thinking, "why not" I picked up "Cryptz." People, this is your standard fare vampire movie except the key players are African-American. The characters are the usual, the wanna be rappers, the temptress (who we know have to be the villains) and SPOILER!!!the spooky guy that no one likes, but is the hero of the movie. And what a spooky guy he is!!! Played by Chyna, not the wrestler, he is a gorgeous hunk of man who saves the day. So if you want some mindless horror fare to enjoy, and it is pretty good, pick this up. And remember, they just want to entertain, they are not looking towards the academy awards.
I think that Zuvembie #1 is awesome! She's scary as all hell! I just thought the movie was all right until those hooded creatures showed up and that's when I thought the movie got good. Props to the actress Julia Marchese for doing such a good job!
I've seen a lot of bad vampire movies and a lot of Full Moon movies and I
have to say that this is one of the worst in either category. I can't
believe there are people defending this movie. It has absolutely no
redeeming qualities. Even using the lower standards one applies to low
budget horror this is a substandard movie. The acting is horrible. The
script is almost non-existent. Even the cheap thrills of gore and nudity
Skip this movie.
This movie was really bad. The acting was horrible. The special effects were bad. The vampires did not seem threatening at all. Apparently in this movie vampires are simply abnormally strong people with sharp teeth who like to drink blood. If you have a karate fighting muscle man on your side than the average vampire is no contest. The vampire hunter doesn't even use weapons. So silly. This movie is on the same level as a bunch of teenagers trying to make a vampire movie with a hand recording camera.. and I'm not exaggerating. I thought this movie was a sequel to the very popular and entertaining TALES FROM THE CRYPT. Instead I ended up watching one of the worst stripper vampire movies since Bordello of Blood. Putting a bunch of attractive girls in a movie with some fight scenes aren't going to satisfy most people. Avoid this movie unless you and your friends want a good mystery science theatre film to make fun off. The only bonus is the DVD comes with another movie. I don't recall it being advertised so I was surprised to find it. The second movie is RAGDOLL, which is actually worse than Cryptz, so the surprise bonus was a real let down. At least with 2 movies I got half my rentals worth. Overall it's not worth your time.
I have noticed that a lot of people have given this film rather rude
remarks. I can't see why. This film is without doubt one of the better Full
Moon movies. I've always been a Full Moon Pictures Fan and have seen almost
every movie from them. This one is great.
What made the film most interesting is that it tended to drift way from the usual "Gore is Great" motto that Horror films these days are made by. Look, I'm not saying its rated P.G., I'm just saying there was more to it. Also, this film succeeded in trying good Effects.
How could someone criticize the Acting?
The acting was rather normal (not bad or anything)
This film has the thrills of old Full Moon Picture Movies as well as the acting and plot to the newer ones.
I would recommend this to any Horror Movie fan.
An easy 9 / 10
Tymez lives with his mother and hopes to perhaps become a rapper with
his buddies. His mother wants him to get a job, but when he goes out he
gets together with his friends and they spot a busty woman and flirt
with her. They then try to find the club she works at, "Cryptz," by
calling a spooky friend of theirs named Truck who they think know all
about underground clubs and things like that. He's a meditating
Truck warns them against trying to find the woman or the club, and when he learns Tymez was touched by her, he instructs them to duct tape him to his bed. Instead, they fall asleep in front of a TV, and Tymez wakes up with his face burning and he runs to the club with his friends in tow. At the club, they're pretty happy watching women dancing, but when the call Truck again they're warned again, and indeed most of the people at the club are vampires!
This was a fairly silly low-budget horror movie, so it's hard to be too harsh on it. However, some of the scenes really drag. The scene where the three guys are trying to decide how to find the woman goes on for a long time, for example, with little camera movement. I guess they felt obligated to shoot all the dialog that was scripted, and then were happy with it, but it could have been cut down.
The ending is fairly lame. The day ends, but there are some loose ends almost like a set-up for a sequel, and weirdest of all is something involving Tymez' tattoo.
Not recommended, but as I said, it's not terrible.
Kind of a black version of From Dusk Till Dawn only without all the excess of the latter. Anyway, this is a direct to video film from Full Moon. It is better then a lot of the films they have been putting out lately (much, much better then Dead and Rotting), but because these films budgets have been so extremely limited right now, there really isn't anything the makers of this film could really do. I will give them credit, they certainly tried. Budget limits pretty much kill an interesting idea.
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