The evil vampire villain Radu returns to his hometown Prejnar, after spending years in exile. He steals the precious blood stone which is said to be bleeding from all saints, from his ...
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The evil vampire villain Radu returns to his hometown Prejnar, after spending years in exile. He steals the precious blood stone which is said to be bleeding from all saints, from his father and kills him. Meanwhile two American schoolgirls team up with a local girl for work on Romanian culture. Radu becomes attracted to them but runs into trouble when his brother Stephan helps the girls.Written by
Staffan Linder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
solid for the genre, and that's good enough for me!
"Subspecies," like many other horror films, gets a raw deal on IMDb. The majority of movie-watchers have a hearty contempt for horror, and when they occasionally rent horror films, they either want to laugh at them or cringe at excessively gory scenes. Unfortunately, "Subspecies" is not particularly laughable, and not that bloody, so it gets a low rating. That's too bad.
Of course, there's plenty to criticize here. The non-actors are flat, the subspecies are a poor special effect, and the nighttime scenes are too brightly lit. But what do you expect? For a straight-to-video horror film, "Subspecies" boasts decent production values and more integrity than you might anticipate. The film's Romanian setting is virtually unique (I believe it was the first American movie made in that country, post-Communism), and the locations, both interior and exterior, are beautiful. The script has moments of intelligence, especially when it delves into local folklore (all bogus, I'm sure). Somehow, the location filming and smartish script work well together - "Subspecies" has its own very distinctive world. To risk damning with faint praise...it could be a lot dumber.
Fans of the more gruesome aspects of horror will no doubt get a kick out of the blood-drooling vampire villain, Radu. He's pretty effective in this movie - powerful, with a memorable raspy voice - but I like him better in the sequels, when actor Anders Hove gives a more self-parodying, campy performance. A totally sincere Radu is somewhat silly. Other silly aspects include gratuitous nudity and the subspecies themselves, who are clearly only in the movie because producer Charles Band has a fetish for evil little creatures (see also Puppetmaster and Demonic Toys).
But I linger too much on the movie's flaws. For what it is - straight-to-video vampire horror - "Subspecies" is perfectly fine. The sequels boast better production values, more violence, and somewhat more thoughtful story lines, so I recommend them even more highly. Still, this isn't a bad start for the series.
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