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This Darkness: The Vampire Virus
The Darkness

USA 2003
produced by
Dylan O'Leary for Druid Industries
directed by Dylan O'Leary
starring Dylan O'Leary, David Everritt, Jenevieve Frank, Amanda Cook, Sean Bennett, Son Nguyen, John McLeod, Ron Little, Eli Born, Tony Malachi, Mitch Roberts, Terry Prewitt, Rachel Barevich, Amanda Ratchford (= Amanda Cherry), Carley Quina, Jaimee Cooley, Chad Wosniak, Nathan Beene, Jonah Criswell, Chris Anderson
written by Dylan O'Leary

Van Helsing

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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In his thorough investigation of the human DNA, college professor Van Helsing (Dylan O'Leary) has found the secret for immortality - thing is, that secret is somehow linked to vampirism, and Van Helsing knows to unlock that secret would threaten the existence of humankind as such - thus he keeps his research secret even from his backers, which eventually makes them think he's a fraud and put the FBI on his case.

Thing is, doc Van Helsing's research has also attracted the attention of vampires, and while a young female vampire (Jenevieve Frank) who will later turn out to be Van Helsing's vampirized mother seduces the Doctor for no apparent reason, Tarquin (David Everritt), lord of the vampires, wants to force Van Helsing into develop the vampire virus further to eventually make him the perfect vampire bride. Van Helsing is appalled of course, but when the vampires kill all his flatmates (Rachel Barevich, Amanda Cherry, Carley Quina) and kidnap his girlfriend (Amanda Cook), the Doctor realizes the vampires means business and creates the virus Tarquin has ordered - but sneaks in an antivirus based on the common cold to weaken and destroy vampirekind at the same time. And ultimately he goes after Tarquin and his vampire hordes accompanied by his lab assistant (Sean Bennett), a martial arts expert (Ron Little), a rather gullible FBI agent (Son Nguyen), and a kid (Eli Born) - and in their all-out attack on vampirekind, pretty much everyone (even Van Helsing's girlfriend he was trying to save) is killed, and in the end, it's Van Helsing versus Tarquin, the last two standing, and while Van Helsing is no match for the vampire on a physical level, in the end he is able to decapitate his opponent using his switchblade knife ...

 

One can't deny that some thoughts were put into this film's plot to make it an unusual, original vampire tale ... but unfortunately, this basic plot hasn't been translated to film too well, and the main reasons for that are its over-reliance on explanations - there is so much (pseudo-)scientific babble going on it makes you dizzy - and a lack of decent pacing - which is in part the very result of its over-reliance on explanations (almost every time the action gets going someone steps in to explain something), in part though the inability of the director to cut extended scenes short when they don't do anything for the film's actual plot. Thing is, at 75 or less minutes, this could have been a really ok no-budget movie, at the 105 minutes it clocks in though, it's above all overlong and boring. Pity.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD