NOTE: Perfect Creature
is set on an alternate world "not unlike our own," but the technology and settings make it look like something from the 1940s with some 18th century Dickens tossed in. The vampires are long-lived, fanged, drink only donated human blood, and call themselves "the Brotherhood." The Brotherhood has taken over the Catholic Church, live loveless, ascetic lives as monks, and exist to serve humans with spiritual guidance and scientific research. Although born of human mothers, Brothers are the result of a now banned genetic science, which caused a mutation that becomes activated when in the presence of a certain virus. Whenever a Brother is born, he is immediately whisked away to be brought up in the Church. There are no female vampires.
Prologue: Eight-year old Silas is introduced to his newborn baby brother who is crying his head off. "Because you share the same mother," says Brother Augustus (Stuart Wilson
) , "you will guide him as he grows." Still crying, the baby is named Edgar, and two tiny fangs can be seen protruding from his toothless gums.
One hundred years pass. An influenza epidemic is ravaging the suburb of Jamestown, a slum where everything comes at a price, including access to influenza vaccine. Captain Lilly (Saffron Burrows
) and Detective Jones (Scott Wills
) (both humans) have just busted a landlord who has been selling the vaccine instead of dispensing it freely to his roomers, as the law dictates. Having lost both her husband and young daughter to influenza, Lilly is especially adamant about tracking down and arresting those who would endanger the public's health. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood has also got a problem. After 100 years of working for the good of humans, including developing the influenza vaccine, Brother Edgar (Leo Gregory
) suddenly went crazy three weeks ago and began feeding from and killing humans, something the Brotherhood hasn't done in 300 years. So far, Edgar has claimed three victims, and Brother Silas (Dougray Scott
) has been asked by the Church to find him before any word of his rampage reaches the public. When a young street urchin sees Edgar feeling from a woman in an alley, it is decided that Silas and Lilly will head up a team to work together to locate Edgar.
Although Silas doesn't know where Edgar is hiding, he does know where Edgar intends to strike next because Edgar, who is treating his killing spree as though it were a game of hide-and-seek, has sent his Brother a recording in which he says that he will take his next victim from an area called Bridge Square. Although the area is highly patrolled, Edgar does just what he threatened...he breaks into an apartment, kills a detective, takes a fourth victim, and then grabs Lilly and begins drinking from her. Fortunately for Lilly, Edgar is interrupted, and Silas is able to save her by letting her drink some of his blood. After a mad dash through the ventilation shafts, Edgar is eventually tranquilized and taken to the Church.
Edgar is placed in restraints. Dr Liepsky (Peter McCauley
) explains to Silas that Edgar has become infected with a Church-sanctioned virus he was developing in hopes of being able to genetically control the birth of more Brothers and produce females as well. Unfortunately, when human females are injected with the virus, it destroys their brains, drives them insane, and kills them. Edgar is eventually moved to a containment room where he can be freed from the restraints but watched from an observation booth. Edgar has taken to head-butting the glass of the booth, causing a hairline crack to form that only he seems to notice.
On the very day that Silas is about to be made a cardinal in the Brotherhood, Edgar finally smashes through the glass and escapes, killing Dr Liepsky and the guards on his way out. He hooks up with a scumbag named Freddy Sykes (Stephen Ure
) and goes searching for Lilly, having liked the strength of her blood and sensing that Silas has feelings for her. He mistakes another detective, Stephanie Kelly (Lauren A Jackson
), for Lilly, captures her and feeds her his blood via the indwelling catheter that was used to feed him. When Silas and Lilly learn of Stephanie's capture, they realize that Edgar is really looking for Lilly. Rather than be secreted away to a safe spot, Lilly offers herself as bait. She remains in her apartment, guarded by Silas and Detective Jones, while Edgar waits outside. Sensing that Edgar is near, Silas goes looking for him while Lilly and Jones search through the building. When Lilly pulls back a curtain to look out the window, she comes face-to-face with Edgar who breaks the window and pulls her out. Silas tries to save her, but Edgar knocks him to the ground, several stories below. By the time Silas comes to, Edgar and Lilly are gone.
Handcuffed to a pipe in the building that supplies water to Jamestown, Lilly waits for Edgar to kill her, but Edgar has no intention of doing that. He explains that he intends to use her to force Silas into drinking his blood and joining him in the madness. Meanwhile, Stephanie has become very sick. When Freddy complains about feeling sick, too, Edgar rips out his heart and places Stephanie out on the street with a note that reads: "Everything flows from me; my blood will change the world." Stephanie is found and taken to the hospital where she is pronounced insane. Worse yet, more and more people like Stephanie are beginning to show up. Silas concludes that Edgar is somehow feeding them his blood and, if left unchecked, Edgar will continue to spread the contamination through the entire city and beyond. The problem can no longer be held secret from the public. Jamestown is quarantined, the Queen is evacuated from the city, and martial law is instituted. When Silas hears of the Church's ultimate solution -- to evacuate the people from the area surrounding the quarantine zone and then burn the zone and everyone in it to the ground -- he breaks the quarantine and goes looking for Edgar and Lilly.
Silas has figured out the meaning of Edgar's note. "Everything flows from me..." means that he is contaminating the water supply with his blood. Silas instructs Detective Jones to inform the press about the water and about the Brotherhood's plan to burn Jamestown to the ground. He then goes after Lilly. On the way, he meets another dedicated Brother who is tending to the dying. When Edgar and Lilly sense Silas approaching, Edgar goes looking for him while Lilly tries to free herself from the handcuffs. In doing so, she attracts the attention of an infected woman who attacks her. In their tussle, the pipe breaks and Lilly is freed. She kills the woman then goes looking for Silas. Meanwhile, Silas has heard her screams, but before he can reach her, he is attacked from behind by Edgar. The force of the attack causes them both to plummet to the ground. With Silas knocked out again, Edgar tries to force some of his blood into Silas' mouth, but Silas regains consciousness in time to prevent himself from drinking any of it.
Silas and Edgar viciously fight each other until Edgar manages to impale Silas on a steam pipe. Edgar picks up a steam gun and threatens to burn off Silas' face. A hissing is heard, but it quickly becomes apparent that it is Edgar being injected. Lilly has managed to catch up with them, grab a steam gun, and Edgar falls to the ground, dead. As the camera zooms in, you can see steam arising from the back of Edgar's skull, indicating how Lilly was able to deliver the final death blow, whereas Silas has survived his own impalement from his regenerative abilities. As Silas leads Lilly away, he stops in front of a building and tells her there is something precious inside that she must take and keep secret. He then kisses her and runs off. Lilly goes inside to find a dead woman and the dedicated Brother protecting a newborn baby girl. When the baby cries, Lilly can see the tiny fangs protruding from her gums. The Brother explains that the baby is a miracle, a "perfect creature," the first female vampire created accidentally from the virus that Edgar created. Lilly takes the baby into her arms and kisses her. In the final scene, Silas stands on the ledge of a building watching Lilly and the baby through a window. In a voiceover, he reveals that he's been branded a heretic by the Brotherhood and that they are now hunting him. [Full synopsis by BJ Kuehl]