A Vampire's Tale (2009) Poster

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3/10
Ambitious
kosmasp22 November 2009
If anything than the movie is pretty ambitious. With it's relatively small budget (around 100,000 pounds, according to IMDb) it does try to achieve too much. Unfortunately it's not the scope that makes this movie fail, but the small details.

Watching "Pinhead" (Doug Bradley) from the Hellraiser movies playing a real role is really a treat. Unfortunately though his lines aren't really good. Not that anyone else in the cast gets good lines, but it is even more apparent when you have such a recognizable face. Quite a few story ideas get watered down by that.

Another big disappointment is the fact, that the movie has too many flashbacks and or moments were it seems to stop entirely. There are quite a few ridiculous moments to, where audience members were laughing, although the scene wasn't intended to be funny. Still much effort has gone into this movie and it's the first feature length movie the director has brought out, so maybe we will see something better the next time around. Plus if you have a heart for low budget movies who try hard, but can't quite achieve their goals, then you might quite enjoy this one.

The version I saw, wasn't completely color corrected, but I didn't rate the quality of the colors, I did rate the film. The director and some cast members were at the Frightfest All Nighter in London and did answer quite a few questions. Like how they got Doug Bradley for the movie. Fairly simple, they did send him the script, simple as that.
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2/10
embarrassing
explodingnoema25 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
What is this even supposed to be?

The story makes no sense..we start with a cowboy sequence then go to the present day for some nonsense about a mirror. The mirror is apparently priceless and unique but some not very successful looking antiques dealer has it sent by parcel force to a barn.

There are two drunken idiots in the woods who meet some weird woman, a cowboy with fangs and something called shadows which, for reasons of cheapness are never seen.

We get flashbacks to some fat bloke in the Old West and a caveman raping the female baddie. The rape scene is somehow pathetically inept and offensive. These flashbacks might be explained but I couldn't understand a word that the cowboy is saying.

The female baddie acts like a lobotomy patient. She does take her clothes off a couple of times but this being a cheap uk horror effort she is not even titillating. I guess there aren't many proper actresses prepared to strip for this level of crap and Eileen Daly, Marysia Kay and Eleanor James must have been busy.

On the plus side Grace Vallorani is very talented and gives a far better performance than this garbage deserves. Ramnani and Bradley do their best with what they have to work with. The opening scenes in the cowboy town are nicely shot.

All the violence happens off camera except for a fight between the two vampires which was staged by Tommy Gunn. The fight was the worst I've ever seen but given that Gunn was in Ten Dead Men which had excellent fights I'll blame the director.

Everything else is pathetic. Avoid.
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1/10
complete rubbish
dicky6922 October 2011
This film had no point, no real story & rubbish characters. I was unable to watch the whole film due to the fact i fell asleep through lack of anything to keep me awake. How anybody can rate this film any good is beyond me, i rated it 1 because that is the lowest. I am a fan of Vampire films (Blade films, 30 Days of Night) because of the suspense & Vampires but Umbrage was a big disappointment on both counts. I don't understand what genre this fits into Horror, NO, thriller, NO, comedy, NO, a bad joke, YES. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME ON A VERY BAD FILM. I really can not think of anything good to say about this film. Don't go down in the woods today because you could bump into some wooden actors disguised as trees & you would not even notice the difference. I hope there is a Umbrage 2, it will be perfect for insomniacs. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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what the f..
hampus_granberg23 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I wouldn't rate a film awful, except for "The Room" I guess, but in this case, it's very close.

It's got a good camera, it's got a setting, it's got all that is essential for putting up a good perspective on aesthetic film-making, the rest is just so.. choppy, so restless.. just so childish, as in so incredibly poorly written, with plenty good ideas, but with such a stereotypical clichéd approach it's almost embarrassing to watch.

Now, okay, to be fair, for such a low-budget project, it has most that cinemas nowadays are filled with, but this film just doesn't build any suspense at all, it's practically a dream project without goal, without purpose, just a cliché story with no impression left on me at all.

If I'd sum up the story, I'd say: "Dramatic intro, cowboy, horse, bla bla bla, pregnant woman, older man, Gothic depressed stereotypical chick bla bla bla, new house, bla bla bla, cool cowboy shot bla bla bla, irrelevant drunk people out in the woods giving you the impression they might have big rolls in the movie but they don't, bla bla bla, a woman comes out, probably vampire, bla bla bla, cool cowboy shot, bla bla bla, argument during dinner, bla bla bla, cowboy shot, Gothic chick being Gothic, bla bla bla, some black mirror, bla bla bla, more cowboy shots, stupid murder scene with penis being chewed off, bla bla bla, get to the house, save the pregnant woman ,unexplained pain all over the place, get to the car, save the pregnant woman, get back from the car, save the pregnant woman, some wounds, get back to the car, pregnant woman dead, bla bla bla, cowboy back story, Lilith, bla bla bla, vampires, padding padding padding, bla bla bla, Lilith cowboy fight, lousy, bla bla bla, and the rest bla bla bla, end with Gothic chick and cowboy walking away like vampires, bla bla bla bla bla."

There are so many things that's just.. it doesn't deliver anything, it just stands there looking cool, sometimes not really, but all in all JUST standing there. And when it starts explaining things the reaction is pretty much: "Oh.. really? You took that all so unoriginal approach? woppidoo..."

The best thing I can say, it's a movie, but apart from all other vampire stories, this one is way beneath expectations. And now, comparing it to twilight, I'd say the twilight saga has it's own unique Ideas, many of them pretty stupid, but it has a script with music, reflecting, and at least some emotional attachment although it's very teenage all the time. This film gives me absolutely nothing, except for ideas on how it could be better, but only so few parts of it.

It's silly, cliché, goofy, and all so made before, and with all new ideas nothing that makes it stick out or updates, it's just a random picking of old clips in how to make horror and vampire.

If you're in for a really silly splatter kind of 80:s film, even this one would stand below stupid abhorrent comedy action. Comparing it to cheesy films like Conan, Mad Max, Water world, e.t.c this one is very new despite it's withered appearance, yet it still doesn't give you that cheesy atmosphere, torn between trying to be serious, and just flat out obnoxious.

I was just sitting there wishing Doug Bradley would come out as Pinhead and rip them to pieces with chains like a true hellraiser gore fest, but no, I had to sit through a 1 hour long film, just wasting my time on cowboy posing, and poor acting, with a Gothic chick supposed to be 18 but actually with later research found out to be like 30, this is just dumb, beyond compare, and yes, I have seen worse, but this one, no, it adds no spirit whatsoever, so if you ever search for "Vampire" looking for either a cheesy or good movie, just pick Interview with the vampire, Underworld or Dusk til Dawn.
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1/10
dull as ditchwater
madelinehind9 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I can think of very little good to say about this movie.

It is hard to follow,poorly acted and lacking in suspense,horror or gore. The story doesn't make sense to begin with and characters who keep turning up add nothing.

The actors do their best- which isn't much. In fairness to them Alan Rickman, Tim Dalton, Vanessa Redgrave couldn't make this interesting.

There are no special fx to speak of and the special voices in one scene are impossible to understand.

The most offensive thing is that there is a graphic rape scene played for laughs. There is no excuse for this type of insensitivity. Not even worth a download.
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4/10
a bit of everything and nothing at all
trashgang26 October 2011
This was Drew Cullingham's first attempt for a feature. And I must say that he surely knows how to film everything. He did a great job as a director. But he also wrote this flick and that part was a big letdown for me.

It starts as a western were some cowboy is being bitten by a vampire. Then we move on to a family moving in for their first night in their new home. But they have some problems with the child, she's a youngster and things don't go as they should be. And the mother is pregnant again, go figure out the problems that occur. But from then on the movie get's going very slowly and all kind of weird things are happening, sadly not on screen but in the storyline. Suddenly there's a visit from Lilith and a vampire cowboy. Then we go back to the book genesis but in their own way with Lilith. There's just too much blah blah and nonsense filled with some blood here and there and Lilith showing her full blossom tits twice.

Of course I came across this flick due the name Doug Bradley. The name behind pinhead from Hellraiser. I must say that he acted excellent and was believable as did the others. They all performed well but what this flick was trying to be was a Lars Von Trier horror or a Lynch look-a-like. But it just didn't work out that way. And to be honest, in a flick were we don't have any special effects you guess the end credits would be over in a swiffy. It's normal that flicks like Transformers have credits running over 10 minutes but here the credits do run exactly 9 minutes.

I just don't know who i should recommend this blah blah flick. I guess pinhead would turn over in his grave must he be seeing this.

Gore 1/5 Nudity 2/5 Story 2/5 Effects 2/5 Comedy 0/5
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2/10
'If having your cock cut off is an accident then yes... there's been an accident.' A total bore.
poolandrews11 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Umbrage: The First Vampire is set in England & starts as antiques dealer Jacob (Doug Bradley) & his pregnant wife Lauren (Grace Vallorani) along with their stepdaughter Rachel (Rita Rammani) arrive at their new home, an old farmhouse located deep in the countryside. Meanwhile nearby in the woods two friends Stanley (James Fisher) & Travis (Scott North) drink together round their camp fire, then out of the darkness of the night steps an attractive young woman named Lilith (Natalia Celino) & flirts with the two men & manages to convince Travis to follow into the woods, Stanley hears a scream & finds his friend Travis with his penis cut off & Lilith claiming something from the shadows was responsible. Trying to find help the two see Jacob's farmhouse & ask for help but Lilith is not as she seems & a tall man in a hat named Phelan (Jonnie Hurn) turns up & is suspected of killing Travis but he has in fact come to fight evil but will he be able to convince anyone?

This British production was edited, written, co-produced & directed by Drew Cullingham & was originally called Umbrage but was probably changed by the distributors because that's a crap title that means nothing & they thought the chance to include the word Vampire in the title might be beneficial as Vampires are quite hot at the moment with the likes of the Twilight films. Anyway I can't say that I thought this was particularly good, I suppose it tries to do something different with the Vampire tale but still ends up being generic & the real fatal blow is that it's just too dull & boring. Umbrage: The Last vampire just seems to take ages to get going & then goes nowhere in particular, sure I can see that the script tries to create some sort of back-story to both it's main Vampire villain & the main Vampire hunter but I couldn't say I cared for either & there's also something about an ancient mirror that went completely over my head. Even though Umbrage: The Last vampire lasts for 90 odd minutes the closing credits last for 9 of those minutes but even at 80 minutes actual film time was too much for me, the flashbacks & mythical nonsense about the Devil, God & Adam and Eve is just forgettable & doesn't really fit in with the rest of the film which feels like some cheap teen Vampire film as various human character's are menaced by a Vampire & some hunter or other comes along to save them. This is uninspiring stuff although you do get the impression that makers tried & in fact probably tried too hard to do too much & cram various things in without ever knowing how to combine them together in a watchable & entertaining narrative. Not much of any note happens & I expect to have completely forgotten about it by tomorrow.

There isn't even any decent gore on show, there's a bit of blood & a shot of a severed penis (coincidently this is the second film in a row which has included close-up shots of a severed penis after I watched the entertainingly stupendous Piranha 3DD (2012) not that I actively seek out films featuring severed cock's though) but not much else. There's a bit of nudity at the end as the leading actress proves that she has ample sized breast's. The film takes itself extremely seriously apart from one or two out of place one-liners & joking reference's to other films & there's also clear homages to the likes of An American Werewolf in London (1981). There's noting overly scary or suspenseful here, it's all rather forgettable.

The IMDb says this had a budget of about $3,000,000 which I can't believe for a second, this looks a lot lower budgeted than that. Filmed here in London in England this at least looks competent. The Western style music is terrible & the songs are embarrassingly bad, I dare anyone to try & sit through the last five minutes as Phelan & Rachel take what seems like forever to walk along a road & not want to scream because of the horrible song on the soundtrack which is quite frankly scarier than anything else in the film. The acting is alright but nothing else, yeah Doug Bradley played Pinhead in the Hellraiser films but so what?

Umbrage: The First Vampire is a bit of a boring mess that has ambition but no way of realising it, it's just a bland, predictable & forgettable low budget horror of no note whatsoever. I will (hopefully) have forgotten all about this within a couple of days.
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2/10
Convoluted until about halfway through
JoeB1319 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The plot, after an intro with a cowboy being attached by a vampire, is that a dysfunctional family moves onto a farm in what I am guessing in Rural England. A man, his stepdaughter and his new wife, where the family makes the one in the first Hellraiser movie look like the Brady Bunch.

Speaking of Hellraiser, we have Doug Bradley here, the original Pinhead, this time playing an antiquities dealer who likes young girls, including his stepdaughter (YUCK!) The bickering is really ugly and not pleasant to watch. Doug deserved better material, really. His "Phoning it in Hellraiser" sequels have developed a new dignity.

There are a couple of hikers who meet a bird-watcher who turns out to be the demoness Lilith, and an Irish cowboy who wants to kill her for turning him into a vampire, although I'm not sure what his complaint is, exactly. He's neither fully evil nor is he he the kind of weepy, emo vampire that Rice and Meyer have inflicted upon us. In fact, for an undead bloodsucker, he seems kind of well-adjusted. Probably better than the mortals in this movie.

A lot of the scenes are wonderfully shot, especially those involving snow, but the plot is so awful and the characters so unlikable that it doesn't really make up for it.
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10/10
something to watch more than once?
huskieblues8 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I got a chance to see an early screening of this.

This really isn't a horror film. Its dark but funny (almost silly - a quotation spouting irish cowboy vampire? That shouldn't work! But somehow it does! Brilliant).

There's humour aplenty here, but its not all fun and games. There's serious ideas and an ambitious scope of story covering the wild west, the garden of eden and contemporary times. The scope sometimes feels a little too big for the low budget, but it's easily forgotten when the cowboy starts spouting again!

And Doug Bradley without pins! Woohoo. Nice to see pinhead taking on a role out of type and getting a decent amount of screen time.

A surprisingly rewarding and unique indie.
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10/10
A fantastic debut movie!
bennozoid18 April 2010
First things first: this is not a 100 Million Dollar Movie, but that doesn't stop the viewer enjoying the hell out of it. For anyone who wants to see how to make a horror movie on a low budget, but with lashings of atmosphere, tension and style, UMBRAGE is a great place to start. Doug Bradley reveals a side to him we've never seen before (that he is in fact a human being and not a cenobite in real life as i had previously suspected) And for the haters: well, i'd LOVE to see them try and make a movie this effective in the current dire state of UK Film financing. It's much easier to criticise from the comfort of your basement internet den, surrounded by your pristine DVD collection and Forbidden Planet collectibles, than to get off your asses and produce a movie, isn't it? I lay down that challenge to you: GO AND MAKE A MOVIE!!! This film-making team have got all the right moves, and I can't wait to see what they make next...
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5/10
Pretty bland but overall decent vampire effort
kannibalcorpsegrinder22 July 2014
Moving into a new house in the countryside, a man and his family attempt to start over his career as an antiquities dealer when his charge of selling an antique mirror causes a demonic vampiress to be loosened upon the family.

This was a rather decent if not all that great effort that really has some problems. One of the main issues with this one is the fact that the storyline is so off here that it never has much of a chance to do anything with it. This is especially true in the finale where it tends to offer about ten different endings to what's going on yet none of them are really engaging to begin with or do anything other than simply announce to the world that the filmmakers couldn't decide on a way to end this and just included everything as it leads into one another, forsaking storyline coherence, logic and a multitude of other areas here by the incessant manner of forging ahead with the ending here. As well, the fact that the film doesn't have a lot of attacks here really causes this to get drawn out quite early on with a seemingly endless amount of time between the family trying to get settled into the house, the adulterous relationship hidden in the wings and the way it finally gets the vampires out and into the story which is quite a difficult task when this goes on before any sort of horror-related efforts. Though when they do come, this turns into quite an enjoyable outing with some pretty decent moments on display, from the attack in the woods that sets up the ambush on the house and how they get into the confrontations with the creatures, and the final assault in the barn that's a huge fist-fighting brawl before finally being settled in the underground cavern is quite fun and impressive. Still, there's just way too much wrong here to overcome this fun stuff.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Full Male and Female Nudity, a Rape scene and drug use.
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9/10
Shadows and Mirrors
dante-kz7 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I was lucky enough to watch an advance screening of this at the Abertoir Horror Festival and what a treat it was.

Doug Bradley acting out of his usual typecasting was an amazing sight and he gives a terrific performance in this film that should not be missed.

Drew has created a winning story here, one that I'm sure will go on to more success. The camera work and lighting, were superior to many films with a much higher budget these days and it shows that the team worked hard with their budget (low 6 figures I believe).

The story mixes humor and horror elegantly neither detracting from the other in this supernatural tale. There is a wonderful atmosphere with intricately diverse characters, each having his or her own story leading in a different direction, a character for everyone in this movie, from an Irish bible quoting cowboy vampire (I kid you not) and a Hewbrew sex demon and Satan, to two friends having a laugh on a camping trip akin to American Werewolf in London, to the usual dysfunctional family, sitting down to eat in a new house.

The dialogue makes the story, whether it is the witty banter between the characters, or the laying-it-all-on-the-line passionate heartfelt emotions from Natalie Celino as an undead temptress, you can't help but be intrigued by this film which with some edge of you seat suspense as you wonder whether or not the "shadows" are even real leaves you second guessing who killed who, thrilling mystery as the body count rises, good vs. evil or the wildwest vs. mythology, and passion-filled romance as an Irish Vampire seduces the audience with his charm.

This is a film that should not be missed, especially if you are a fan of the Preacher comic books.

My hat goes off to Drew and the rest of the cast and crew for this superb addition to cinema.
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6/10
Great ideas let down by the execution ...
parry_na18 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The most common word I have seen in reviews of this film is 'ambitious', and I think that is pretty fair. There's nothing wrong with aiming high when directing a film, and there are moments where 'Umbrage' really appears to be hitting its stride – only to be knocked back by incomprehensible dialogue, occasional bad acting or the meandering storyline.

The first half concentrates on Doug Bradley's Jacob (who has recently acquired a black mirror, which appears to be letting in 'shadows'), who is either fending off barbs from his heavily pregnant wife (never a good omen in a horror film), or his constantly moody ward, Rachel. When two visitors arrive, things get a great deal worse.

The second half delves into the back story of the character Phelan and his age-old battle with the unspecified demon Lilith. Phelan (Johnny Hurn) is an Irish cowboy vampire, and Lilith looks wonderfully evil and sultry, only stumbling when Natalia Celino's limitations as an actress are exposed whenever she has dialogue. A wholly unnecessary flashback rape scene reveals some of the reasons for their rivalry, and it appears Jacob and his vastly diminishing group have simply been caught in the crossfire.

It occurs to me that during filming, a sudden flurry of snowfall must have hampered proceedings. Rachel is hiding behind a car. When she emerges, snow has covered the ground. Rather than try to hide this, writer/director Drew Cullingham bridges the moments with hugely atmospheric panoramas of the falling snow (which adds further visual interest in a very picturesque backdrop). I assume this to be the case – there is no other reason for this to happen. Then, there is no reason for Lauren to be pregnant, other than to provide a gory death scene (reason enough perhaps) – or indeed for the most of the cast to die.

SPOILERS – after a series of apparent endings, we finally reach the finale: Jacob is blinded and then bitten by Rachel, who has been turned into a vampire by Phelan, reminding us that Lilith may be evil incarnate, but her rival is just as depraved.

The idea of a vampire cowboy is not as unusual as it sounds. Before horror films existed, silent Western films were occasionally spiced up with ghostly happenings. The idea of a vengeful cowboy vampire and a demonic seductress battling each other across (presumably) the centuries is very appealing, it's just a shame that the results should be this uneven.
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10/10
Surprisingly good and original for low budget horror!
spicy_demon4 July 2014
Just seen it on the Horror Channel and quite liked it!

It obviously had a low budget but considering it was filmed in SURREY I thought the western scenes were well done and added to the mystique and legend of it all.

Acting was also pretty good and I don't know why people have a go at the gorgeous Natalia Celino as she wasn't bad (she didn't have much acting to do other than snarling or saying cryptic things!) and let's be honest is best when naked!

The plot and mirror could have been better explained but the locations were great (loved the cave scene), it was well shot in the snow (the final scene is rather 'Badlands' in its lyricism) and well acted by all especially Doug Bradly, Jonnie Hurn and young Rita Ramnani.

And the western soundtrack is fantastic. This in no way deserves an average rating of 3! It's more a solid 7/10 from me!
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4/10
Surprisingly enjoyable
fairlesssam3 June 2017
I did not expect too much from this film but as Doug Bradley is in it I felt it was worth a watch.

The movie is quite disjointed, there are flashbacks and scenes that flit from one area of the story to another without much to link them initially which can lead to a little confusion.

The strongest part of the film is when it jumps to Jacob and his dysfunctional family moving to the country. The scenes with Jacob, Lauren and Rachel as pretty good. Jacob has a mysterious mirror in his barn which he shows to Rachel. Rachel comes across a stranger (Phelan) who is a vampire hunting Lilith another vampire, the one who turned him.

The film is a little overly dark as night time comes, it's a little difficult to make out at times.

There is a lot that is unexplained which is a shame, this could have been a cracking movie but is just okay.
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