The first testament says "an eye for an eye." The second testament says "love thy neighbour." The third testament KICKS ASS! The filmmaking team that brought you Harry Knuckles and won the "Spirit of Slamdance" prize with Harry Knuckles and the Treasure of the Aztec Mummy ups the ante with this tale of the ultimate action hero: Jesus Christ. The second coming is upon us, and Jesus has returned to earth. But before he can get down to the serious business of judging the living and the dead, he has to contend with an army of vampires that can walk in the daylight. Combining kung-fu action with biblical prophecy and a liberal dose of humour, the film teams the Savior with Mexican wrestling hero El Santos against mythological horrors and science gone mad, and also manages to address contemporary sexual politics. And did we mention that it's a musical? This sure ain't Sunday School.Written by
Lee Demarbre <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One cannot expect a serious film with a title like "Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter", but even when this low-budget b-movie delivers nothing but laughs, it still has an interesting point and an important message behind its blasphemous wackiness. It is definitely a comedy that replaces budget with brains and successfully transcends its own limitations delivering great entertainment.
The plot is certainly as bizarre as its title: the lesbians of Ottawa are the victims of the increasing population of vampires that seems to be focusing only in them. A group of young Catholic priests become aware of this and have asked the Catholic church for help, but the church doesn't want to help them because it doesn't want to get involved with homosexuals. The priests call their last resource, Jesus Christ (Phil Caracas) himself, who decides to come back to the world to help the lesbians and to prove that homosexuals should not be ignored by the Church.
The movie is a weird mix of good slapstick and well-written irreverent comedy, as it is probably the only movie where Jesus sings, smashes atheists with Kung-Fu moves and receives the aid of Mexican wrestler "Santo" (named "Santos" and played by Jeff Moffet). Independent filmmaker Lee Demarbre and writer Ian Driscoll create a wacky ride of action, horror and comedy in a charming way that one can't help but love their take on Jesus.
Phil Caracas is superb in the role of the messiah and carries the film over his shoulders with grace. His performance is very good, and even when his character has to use modern clothes, he still makes a believable Jesus. Caracas definitely has a bright future as a comedian. Maria Moulton plays Mary Magnum, an agent who is decided to help Jesus in his fight against the vampires. She probably is the best of the cast and her character is not only pretty, but also probably a very meaningful one. Jeff Moffet as Santo is very funny and while his portrayal of the legendary wrestler is a humorous one, it serves to prove the influence of Santo in horror films.
Probably many will be offended by this movie, however, the movie stays true to real Jesus' message of peace, love and understanding. It is an intelligent critic to the homophobic attitude of the Christian religion (specially the Catholic branch) with clever references to the biblical stories and a healthy dose of good humor.
The budget constrains really hurt the film but it is admirable how far the crew went despite their limitations. With a clever use of edition barely manages to "cover" the low-budget problems but still, those problems just add charm to the whole image of "Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter". While the film is by no means perfect, it is a very good effort by these filmmakers.
"Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter" may not be attractive for those expecting well-done acting and effects, but it will please the crowd eager for independent films with more heart than budget. Hopefully in the future the crew behind this small indie masterpiece will receive enough support to create bigger and better films than this. 7/10. Very Recommended.
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