Hey folks, Harry here with another wondrous piece from the mangod we collectively worship named Vern. This time, he’s tracked down a sequel to John Carpenter’s VAMPIRES. Now I love that film. That came out back in Europe back when I had crazy PLANET HOLLYWOOD writing money – and I flew to Paris just to see it cuz it looked as if it was going to end up butchered in the U.S. Great trip, and had a wonderful time with the film. “That’s it padre, FUCK WITH EM!” Heh. Let’s see what Vern thinks of the sequel…
ATT.: HARRY DEPT.
RE: VAMPIRES: THE TURNING
Warning: this is a long and overly detailed review of a straight to video sequel to VAMPIRES. Do not read.
It all started in 1998, in the Mexican desert. A Vatican sanctioned SWAT team of ultra-macho, leather jacket wearing vampire slayers faced down a Euro-trash “master vampire,” wiped out his nest and shut down a prophecy. Much shit was talked, at least one innocent naked woman was degraded, many many heads were cut off, and quite a few vampires were dragged screaming by tow cables into the desert sun. JOHN CARPENTER’S VAMPIRES is a sleazy, amoral good time, maybe his most underrated, and definitely his most successful mix of western and horror. And gorey. I remember one scene, the master vampire crashed a hotel party full of drunken vampire slayers and jiggling whores, walked right up to Mark Boone Junior and tore him in half using one hand. Much fun was had by all.
One forgettable straight to video sequel starring Jon Bon Jovi later, we find ourselves in Thailand, where vampires ride around on motorcycles at night wearing funny clothes and goggles, and when they confront our hero (a whiny, uncharismatic American tourist) there isn’t head cutting, there is kickboxing. You know, in case BLADE 1-3 and however many seasons of BUFFY THE VAMPIRES SLAYER tv show didn’t cover that area enough. At some point in the last decade vampires stopped being pouty self-loathing poets and became ninja henchmen. Hard to say which is better, I guess.
The only thing I remember about PART 2 is 1) it exists and 2) it stars Jon Bon Jovi. So I re-read my review (Here) and it turns out my main complaint was that it was just a rehash of the original. This time it’s the opposite problem. This one really has little to no connection to John Carpenter’s movie. A half-assed team of vampire slayers comes in at the end, but otherwise it takes place among the very different world of Asian vampires where the annoying American tourist (Colin Egglesfield) has to snoop around because his girlfriend got kidnapped.
One thing worth mentioning the vampire problem starts. Egglesfield and his girlfriend (Meredith Monroe, from Dawson Creek apparently) are vacationing in Thailand, and they go to a muay thai match. She gets upset because he’s really into it, and also because she gets splattered by blood from the fight (one of very, very few arguably inspired touches in the movie – I thought this would be what attracted the vampires to her, but no such luck). She storms away and starts bitching about how could he enjoy this sport, etc.
GUY: I studied and trained muay thai since I was a kid. I just wanted to see the real thing while I was here.
GIRL: How can this appeal to you? All it is is brutal fighting.
GUY: There’s more to it than that. There’s a philosophy.
GIRL: I love you Connor. I always will, but this isn’t working. And it hasn’t been for a long time.
He tries to woo her with promises of elephant rides and ancient ruins, but she runs away pouting, which is when she gets seduced and kidnapped by a vampire in an alley. See, that’s what happens when you wander around alone and lost in a foreign country. You either end up in prison for smuggling drugs or you get kidnapped by motorcycle vampires. Everybody knows this, except this gal.
But that’s not even what I care about, what I care about is, what the fuck kind of relationship is this, man? I don’t care if you have a LEGITIMATE issue, you don’t fucking break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend in the middle of your vacation to Thailand. Especially if you don’t even know the way back to your hotel. You say this “hasn’t been working for a long time…” well maybe you could’ve brought this up BEFORE GETTING ON THE FUCKING PLANE TO THAILAND. That would’ve been, in my opinion, a better time to discuss the different directions your lives are going in.
And another thing lady. If what this guy says is true, muay thai has been a passion of his since he was a kid. Not just since he saw ONG-BAK, like everybody else. So unless you’ve been screwing the dude since infancy, you do not have a leg to stand on here. Don’t go with your muay thai kickboxer boyfriend to Thailand, then get mad at him for his lifetime of enjoying muay thai kickboxing. I mean for crying out loud lady, are we supposed to sympathize with you? You’re a fucking loon!
I’m not saying she DESERVES to be kidnapped by goofy motorcycle riding vampires. I’m just saying, MAN what a shitty girlfriend. This guy is nuts trying to visit a foreign country with her. I think alot of people have been through that kind of crazy shit before, you wonder why the fuck she has to freak out NOW. Why can’t she ride the damn elephant, go home and THEN freak out? Why? And to make matters worse this poor dude – and really this is the only reason to sympathize with the guy because he has no screen presence at all – he finds himself in this situation where he has to save his crazy girlfriend from a whole bunch of vampires. I mean what’s he supposed to do, just figure they’re broken up and go home? No, he’s got some sense of morality, plus he’s convinced he “loves” her, so after the pigs and the vampire slayers make it clear they’re not gonna help him, he hassles his way into a clan of good guy vampires who only drink human blood with the express permission of the blood owner.
See, this ancient sexy vampire gal named Sang (Stephanie Chao) was part of a clan of vampires who swore not to drink human blood. (No mention of what they drink instead, but I bet it’s soy based.) But Sang had low self esteem or whatever so she gave in and bit some dude, creating a whole line of vampires who drink blood without shame. So for 800 years she’s been fighting the evil vampires she created and waiting for a certain eclipse so she can do this ritual that will turn the whole bloodline into mortals, including the dudes who stole whatsisdick’s emotionally troubled whacko girlfriend.
So of course he realizes that he should let Sang “turn” him, because why not? Use vampire powers for the night, then when the eclipse comes, he turns back with no repercussions. I mean he really really truly loves his girlfriend, so much that he would do ANYTHING to save her… in fact he would even screw a sexy Asian vampire goddess. If that’s what it takes.
(She bites him and it has the usual sexual undertones, but then they actually do start screwing, instead of all that symbolic screwing crap.)
I mean that’s one really true part of the movie. People always thinkin with their dick. Sang helps rationalize it, saying “She– *we* – are very lucky.” Yeah, I’m sure the crazy girlfriend really appreciates your heroic sex romp. Possibly the most valiant “pussy on the side” of all time. Congratulations.
Anyway, this movie raises a couple important questions. One, can it really be called “eternal youth” when half the vampres are old men? And two, what the fuck ever happened to GOOD bad movies?
I mean seriously, whatever happened to the ROAD HOUSEs and the STONE COLDs and the ON DEADLY GROUNDs, the truly memorable and rewatchable bad movies? Has America lost its will to be interesting at the same time it sucks? You watch these straight to video movies, you’d think you’d be able to get a good laugh now and then, but trust me, it’s rare. Steve Seagal is the only one consistently making funny bad movies in the straight to video market. Everybody else is just dull.
We need more balls, more Craig Baxley style action, more ridiculous dialogue. Not just a randomly re-assembled jigsaw puzzle of generic lines and martial arts scenes. Everybody has funny-bad lines they can quote from action movies of the ’80s and maybe early ’90s. “What kind of a name is ‘Chance’?” “Mah momma took wan.” etc.
But what about the last ten years? The only one I can think of is that classic from CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, when he said, “I haven’t smelled beautiful in a long time.” But maybe that was a fluke. I’m sure there’s others I’m forgetting, but for the most part, this is a big wasted opportunity here, all these bad movies, and no way to enjoy them.
I mean VAMPIRES 3 has a couple laughs here and there. One part, they trick a vampire into jumping his motorcycle out a window just as the sun comes up. So the sun comes up in time lapse while the motorcycle is mid-air. That was pretty funny. You expect vampires to keep better track of when the sun comes up, but if it’s gonna time-lapse while they’re in mid-air I guess there’s nothing they can do.
Also, one legitimately good touch, at the end after he saves his girlfriend they aren’t madly in love again. They don’t talk, she just stares gloomily out the window. That was pretty good. Not worth the wait, though.
On the cover of the movie it says, “FROM THE ONE… CAME THE MANY.” They always gotta have a tagline like that, like it’s translated from ancient vampire hieroglyphics. Like the marketing department is quoting from prophecy. Look man, I’ll give you a prophecy. This one is about all the horrible straight to video movies, and the poor asshole who was cursed to watch them. In order to enter this dimension they must travel through the vessel of his poor, abused eyes. He hates his curse but he keeps watching because he knows he is destined to some day discover THE ONE. The straight to video movie that is actually a keeper. GINGER SNAPS was a false alarm, it had a theatrical release in Canada so it doesn’t count. And the Seagal movies go without saying so those don’t count either.
But somewhere out there, some day, someone is gonna make a really fantastic movie, and they’re gonna make it straight to video, and this poor bastard is gonna watch it first and finally fulfill his destiny.
Until then, have mercy on the poor motherfucker, PLEASE. I know they’re working on a ROAD HOUSE 2, but they better do it right. Not just a boring remake without the spark, like WILD THINGS 2. Please, no more mediocre straight to video sequels. I want GOOD or I want SPECTACULARLY BAD.
FOR GOD’S SAKE HELP ME
Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/19495
View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback
Feb. 24, 2005, 2:44 a.m. CST
How many Vampires movies have there been?
Like 15? First.
Feb. 24, 2005, 2:45 a.m. CST
By the way
This is my first time posting here.
Feb. 24, 2005, 2:46 a.m. CST
I was thinking of the “From Dusk Till Dawn” movies. My apologies.
Feb. 24, 2005, 2:59 a.m. CST
“First” posters suck cocks in hell!!!!!!!
Welcome to AICN, bitch. Feel the love.
Feb. 24, 2005, 3:28 a.m. CST
“but if it’s gonna time-lapse while they’re in mid-air I guess t
I gottsta see this flick. Nowt like a bad movie, even the bad ones. I have Vern to thank for Out for a Kill. Thank you Vern, thank you….
Feb. 24, 2005, 4:27 a.m. CST
Vern Needs a TV Show
The hell with MinnieMe and Boston Rob. I want cameras following Vern 24-7.
Feb. 24, 2005, 5:06 a.m. CST
Thailand??? Then why are the store signs on the cover in CHINESE
Maybe the marketing department didn’t know the difference or was too lazy to give a damn…
Feb. 24, 2005, 5:33 a.m. CST
I fucking LOVE vampires!
by Lone Fox
They are my absolute all time favourite things in the whole wide world ever by far ever.
Man, I’m bored.
Feb. 24, 2005, 6:32 a.m. CST
NOSFERATU IS THE BEST VAMPIRE MOVIE!!
…a true classic!
Feb. 24, 2005, 6:51 a.m. CST
Blade, Angel, and Buffy…
… should be the only franchises to include kicks AND vampires in the same frame. Anytime its done elsewhere, it just comes off awkward, and completely out of place. For example, how would you have felt if Brad Pitt did a kung fu pose the moment Tom Cruise popped up playing the piano, fresh out of the swamp, in Interview With The Vampire? I feel like watching a vampire movie now, with all this talking. Time to grab my copy of Near Dark, the best vampire movie to not use the word “vampire” once in the entire movie!
Feb. 24, 2005, 7:28 a.m. CST
This film needs werewolves
John Carpenter must return!!!
Feb. 24, 2005, 8:10 a.m. CST
What about the Los Muertos Bon Jovi movie.
by Papa CaveDweller
I thought that was the sequel? The movie blew chunks and there were parts that were missing finishing effects (like Jon staking the vampire and not holding a stake. Oops post!)
Feb. 24, 2005, 8:46 a.m. CST
Yeah, this movie’s kinda stupid
I actually caught Vampires: The Turning on cable last year, and yeah, I was confused as to whether it was meant to be a sequel to the John Carpenter Film. At least Los Muertos had “John Carpenter’s Vampires” in the title. And yeah, this third film, the only connection I saw was the way they harpooned the vamps and pulled them out with the jeep. Other than that, the vampire hunter team is barely in the film. “Alleged” sequel is right. The first film is classic! James woods is fantastic, and yeah, when Valek showed up and killed all the hunters, cops and whores, one of the best scenes in a vampire film or horror film for that matter, that I’ve ever scene. Mind you, I’ve actually read the novel the movie’s best on, and it’s surprising just how much of the book is essentially removed for the movie. The movie’s great for what it is, but read the book by John Steakley. There’s a whole other character who actually becomes a more prominent figure than Jack Crowe.
Feb. 24, 2005, 9:59 a.m. CST
Are you people on crack or something?!?!
John Carpenter’s Vampires was one of the most uninspiring vampire films I’ve ever seen. I was truly embarrased for the man when watching it. The only thing the movie had going for it was James Woods. But hey, that James Woods, Michael J Fox buddy cop movie had James Woods in it too…and…well…enough said. Look, I’m a huge fan. BTILC is one of my favorite movies. I can never see Halloween enough. ‘Love The Fog, The Thing, Assault On Precinct 13, Escape From New York. They Live is a riot. And I even get Dark Star and Prince of Darkness, if nothing but for the fact that Alice Cooper is in it. But, dudes (and dudettes), Carpenter hasn’t made a good film in like 15 years. Vampires is not the exception. In no way is it the exception. The thing is full of plot holes, inconsistancies, cliche’s and not to mention idiocy. The From Dusk Till Dawn straight to video sequels are more original than Vampires. Give me a break. I love Sheryl Lee, but I’d rather re-watch the first season of Twin Peaks or Backbeat (that kind of, sort of Beatles bio). And PS… That tow-cable, drag the vampire out the sun routine is just downright stupid. That jackass sequel starring Jon Bon Jovi made more sense.
Feb. 24, 2005, 10:07 a.m. CST
John Carpenter’s Vampires is an underrated classic, let Carpente
Seriously, and straight to video sequels suck cocks in hell!
Feb. 24, 2005, 10:25 a.m. CST
We all bitch when someone writes a crap review , it’s only right we should praise this guys review skills . LOL
Feb. 24, 2005, 12:08 p.m. CST
Loved it. Love everything JC does, warts and all. Haven’t sullied my enjoyment by viewing the $equels. Learned my lesson with From Dusk Till Dawn $equels. Gonna go watch Ghosts of Mars.
Feb. 24, 2005, 12:14 p.m. CST
brilliant review, first of all… second of all, Vampires was ab
by TV CASUALTY
… seriously, someone quote me one good line from it. No, don’t bother, because I know you just went to IMDB, fucker. Anyway, we need some sort of moratorium on kung-fu vampire movies, or else just stop them permanently. Seriously. It’s getting fucking retarded.
Feb. 24, 2005, 12:30 p.m. CST
Meredith Monroe needs better vehicles…she’s damn hot!!!
She was in another obscure film starring Mia Kirschner called ‘New Best Friend’ that you can hardly find anymore.
Feb. 24, 2005, 1:27 p.m. CST
“… seriously, someone quote me one good line from it.”
Jack Crowe: “Hey, Padre. When I was kickin’ your ass back there. . . you get a lil’ wood? Lil’ mahogoney under the ebony?!”
Feb. 24, 2005, 1:32 p.m. CST
Wasn’t there a sequel already?
I know I saw something called “Vampire$: los muertos” a few months ago on TV… even tried to watch it, but it was far too idiotic, inept and incoherent to warrant a full sit-down.
Feb. 24, 2005, 1:36 p.m. CST
Oh, yeah, I guess that thing “starring” John Bon Jovi (whoever t
Anyway, it all sounds like another “Hitcher II” (or the upcoming Bay remake)…
Feb. 24, 2005, 3:33 p.m. CST
Possibly the most valiant “pussy on the side” of all time.
by Childe Roland
That was pretty freakin’ funny, Verne. As for this movie… why? Why even bother. The first one was good because it was so bad it was funny (can’t quite decide if that was intentional or not), and because it had that classic Carpenter soundtrack going for it. The second one sucked. And I have to agree that this whole Vampire Kung Fu thing is just fucking baffling. I remember watching my first episode of Buffy and asking the girl who made me watch it whether the vampire who originally bit all the vampires on screen was Bruce Lee. I can understand vampires being faster and stronger than normal, and I could even buy a thousand year old bloodsucker having picked up a move or two. But if Joe Schmuckface couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag before being bitten out in back of the Krispy Kreme and suddenly he knows the ancient and deadly art of Fuk Yu, it’s just kind of stupid.
Feb. 24, 2005, 8:21 p.m. CST
John Carpenter has sucked for the last 10 years.
by George Newman
He only made 3 films, but Vampires, Ghosts of Mars, and Escape from L.A. were some of the worst trash to which I have ever been exposed. Complete garbage.
Feb. 24, 2005, 9:43 p.m. CST
What about IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS?
THAT was done within your ten year spam and IT’S FUCKING AMAZING. JC is one of the greatest filmmakers and he deserves to be in FILM FUCKING HEAVEN. If you don’t agree with me you’re a complete asshole and you should drop fucking dead. ASSHOLES just don’t get true auteurs’ evolving sensibilities. Ergo, I’m going to get food inside me.
Feb. 24, 2005, 11:38 p.m. CST
When I think JC Vampires , I think ass,
Besides Vampires are shit, useless fucks who are only good as cannon fodder.
Feb. 25, 2005, 11:27 a.m. CST
by Childe Roland
…In the Mouth of Madness. Even given Carpenter’s substantially lowered bar over the last 10 years, this one was abyssmal. I remember having to rewrite the headline for my review because the paper wouldn’t run: “Carpenter’s ‘Mouth’ Sucks.” But that was the way I felt about it. Stephen King probably would’ve sued him if it wouldn’t have meant admitting to being the “inspiration” for the author in that steamy pile of disjointed crap. Don’t get me wrong… I love me some Carpenter movies. Even the ones that are so crappy they border on self parody (Escape From L.A. is funny bad, you have to admit, what with the basketball and the surfing). But he’s been phoning them in lately, and that’s no fun for anyone.
Feb. 25, 2005, 7:38 p.m. CST
I saw a preview of the first JC Vampires at my old University
by Big Bad Clone
The first part of the movie is cool and fun. But after the Vampire Hunter/Hooker massacre, it goes wayyy downhill. So the crowd started jeering the movie. Asking if there was supposed to be homosexual undertoned between Woods and one of those Baldwins. And really, the master vamp and his prophocey shit was mind boggling boring and stupid. Had it just been a movie about ass kicking vampire hunters hunting vamps, it would have been B-movie gold.
Feb. 25, 2005, 9:47 p.m. CST
I saw this on Showtime last month
He’s right. It was bad, but not bad enough to be good.
Feb. 26, 2005, 12:01 a.m. CST
This review rocked!!
Vern, thanks for the laughs!! I so needed that after the completely crappy day I just had. Oh, on the completely hilariously bad movie that somehow entertains you to the bitter end, you can’t miss with Ghost of Mars or Biker Boyzzzz (gotta have the zz in there for instant b-boy street cred)I so wanted my two hours of life back on these, but at least they made me laugh.
Feb. 27, 2005, 5:22 p.m. CST
Make a sequel to They Live!!!
Have Piper come back with his new partner Hulk Hogan. And have them kick alien ass.
Feb. 27, 2005, 6:42 p.m. CST
JC Vampire was a good movie becouse of James wood. Vampires 2 was not the best becouse Bon jovie Fucked it up. Hes not a acter hes a fucking singer. so i hope this new one will be better o and I like Escape From L.A and New york. but ghost of mars sucked ass
Feb. 27, 2005, 7:07 p.m. CST
Introduce the Felix character already!
Steakley’s Vampire$ book had this kick ass character named Felix that was left out of the first movie and all the sequels. I remember being really excited for John Carpenter’s Vampires because the book kicked so much ass. Oh well…..
Feb. 28, 2005, 4:47 p.m. CST
Greatest vampire movie ever..? That has to be the BBC adaptatio
…with Hammer’s ‘Brides Of Dracula’ and Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla Trilogy’ hot on their heels.
N.B. A special mention also goes out to ‘Vampire Circus’, ‘Near Dark’, ‘Count Yorga’, ‘Dance Of The Vampires’, ‘Lifeforce’, ‘Kolchak:The Night Stalker’, ‘Black Sunday’, and, of course, the one that started it all, ‘Nosferatu’. Watch these movies and you’ll be well clued up as far as what to do should you ever meet one of the undead. Louis Jordan – the coolest Count EVER with the hottest Brides too. The shots of Jordan flapping as he decends the walls of the castle (with Harker looking down from the highest window, imprisoned) scared me stupid when I was a young nipper. An absolute classic and one of the genre you can probably vouch that Harry hasn’t seen yet lol sucker etc.
March 1, 2005, 7:07 p.m. CST
fuck you guys GHOSTS OF MARS IS THE BOMB!!!!
You wanna talk underrated lets start right there. The flashback scene where they reveal the origin of the Martian spirits kicked serious ass.Statham as Jericho “We got a situation here” Butler. And a credible female action hero. Multiple graphic beheadings of innocents. Plus the screenplay kills off almost everyone. And don’t forget JC’s Bomb Ass Score!!!!!!
March 2, 2005, 12:08 p.m. CST
There You Go With Hope Again
Starship Troopers 2, man! Great, classic, B-movie fun that does not deviate from the first film! Everybody’s gotta check it out!
March 24, 2005, 9:39 p.m. CST
Dracula on the BBC & the very best of bad movies
Really liked the ‘Dracula’ BBC adaptation from ’77 – it really was masterful
Mrfan, if you liked They Live, waatch the best “bad” movie of all time. The mighty “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in “Hell Goes To Frogtown.” Really – without a doubt the best of the bad – ever.
March 24, 2005, 9:47 p.m. CST
Who played Van Helsing in that BBC version?
March 29, 2005, 7:48 a.m. CST
This was so bad I nearly walked out of the cinema, only the iron-plated charisma of Woods able to keep me in my seat, and that unwillingly. Not a single thing about this movie was “good”. And what the *hell* was the crappy little dollar sign in the title about? Call me picky, but if you call your movie “The Matrix” or “Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones” I expect that your movie will be about a matrix of some sort or clones attacking to a backdrop of wars amongst the stars. Ergo, “Vampire$” would be about vampires and dollars, wouldn’t it? No, it’s just about vampires and asking priests if they have erections during scenes of random violence before the final ultimately completely ludicrous denouement. However, I’m not sure how you get that in a title and stay catchy. In any case, I’m only talking about the title because talking about any other aspect of this shitfest such as the music, plot, script, acting, the ending (oh GOD, the ending) etc would mean I would still be writing this post in the year 2007. Goddammit, but this movie sucked and I want that precious time out of my life back. I can’t remember how long it was but I’ll be conservative and call it six hours – send it me as an email attachment.
April 4, 2005, 10:02 p.m. CST
I doubt anybody is still checking this talkback, but what the hell. I think you’re wrong about pretty much everything you say about the movie VAMPIRES, but that’s a matter of taste. No need to argue that. I just wanted to point out that the movie is not called VAMPIRE$. That’s the title of the book it’s based on, but not the movie. I know it was released earlier in Europe, so maybe you guys got a different print, but at least in its country of origin it was never released or advertised with a dollar sign in the title, and none of the horrible sequels have that title either. So maybe it’s time to get over that part, until you read the book, which does have a dollar sign in the title.
May 14, 2005, 8:11 a.m. CST
Actually, the author in “In the Mouth of Madness” was inspired by horror legend H.P. Lovecraft. Incidently King, as well as Barker, Blocke, Lumley and countless others consider Lovecraft to be their primary inspiration for writing horror in the first place.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.