Film Reviews:

Vampires and Other Stereotypes

(Kevin J. Lindenmuth, US, 1992)

A girl and her two girlfriends are led to a party by a leather-clad lad, only this guy is actually a demon and the party venue is a gateway to hell. Vampires is Kevin Lindenmuth's first feature length film (having made a number of 8mm shorts in the horror genre). As a genre film it shares similarities with The Evil Dead which Lindenmuth is happy to acknowledge. The structure of the film is such that once at the party venue, the three girls are joined by two men who are aware of the demons and are trying to kill as many of them as they can find. Once inside the building which is the entrance to hell, the goodies have to fight it out with the baddies. In this sense the film is most like The Evil Dead - teenagers trapped in an isolated location having to battle it out with the forces of evil.

For what is clearly an extremely low budget, the production does reasonably well in a number of areas. The acting is passable, particularly memorable is Suzanne Scott who plays Jennifer (her portrayal seemingly based upon P.J. Soles' for the character of Lynda in Halloween). The photography is often effective and makes good use of a wide range of strong colours - a nice break from everything being shrouded in black. Unfortunately, the film's faults outweigh its strengths. Staggeringly inept and ineffectual music can be heard quietly in the background throughout. The attempts at comedy are frequently too subtle for their own good - it's often difficult to see what is supposed to be funny and what isn't - and jokes about "watching too many low-budget horror films" are just too predictable. Worst of all is Lindenmuth's lethargic pacing - the film never gets out of first gear despite the bloodletting expanding as the running time increases. In the final analysis then, the weakness are so prevalent that they consign Vampires and Other Stereotypes to the winner of the worst Screen Edge release I've seen to date. It's just plain dull.

Rob Dyer