Vampires vs Zombies

Dir: Vince D'Amato
Star: Bonny Giroux, C.S. Munro, Maratama Carlson, Brinke Stevens

For the sake of certain parties, let's define "versus": it's used in legal and general language to mean "against" or "opposed to". I say so, because the film-makers seem unaware of it, since this all but totally lacks the conflict promised by the title. It is actually about a man driving his daughter through a somewhat post-apocalyptic landscape (I say "somewhat", since gas stations still offer beef jerky). They're pursued by vampires; they encounter zombies; but there's not nearly enough "versus" to justify using the word here. Indeed, there's not nearly enough of anything; the kindest way to describe the plot would be "loosely-structured", except rather than being intriguing, it comes over as incoherent and badly thought-out.

The production values are near non-existent, though we did derive amusement from the fact that scenes shot in cars, are all filmed while driving at approximately 3 mph. Meanwhile, the "zombie" makeup is oatmeal + body paint, and the fights are staged with the awkward grace of a ballet class fundraiser for the Special Olympics. The acting is actually not bad - not good, mind you, but in comparison to the other aspects of the film, it's Oscar calibre. Stevens (star of such classics as Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama) brings some presence before vanishing without explanation. But she's entirely negated by 'The General' (Peter Ruginis): supposedly a bad-ass, he comes over as the love-child of Santa Claus and Kenny Rogers. The credits say this was based on J.Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla: either they jest, or that whirring sound you hear is Le Fanu spinning in his grave.

December 2005

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