Monday, September 10, 2007

El Vampiro

This film had a pretty big legacy to live up to. It’s a DVD release by Casanegra, the same company that released such other classic Mexican horror movies as The Black Pit of Dr. M, Curse of the Crying Woman, and the Witch’s Mirror, all of which kicked so much ass that one viewing will literally cause your ass to explode. Needless to say, El Vampiro had its work cut out for it. It also had an additional hurdle to overcome, in that I generally dislike vampire movies. Filmmakers usually do not get this when it comes to vampire films, but I want my movie monsters to be scary rather than sexy. This film gets it half right: while the two vampires featured in this movie are in no way scary, they are at the very least unsexy, and I can get behind that.

The film does have its fair share of troubles beyond that, though, such as the amazingly clumsy and distracting visual effects. While most of the film’s visuals manage to convey a genuinely creepy mood, the teleporting nature of the vampires, accomplished by literally just stopping the camera and starting it up again once one of the vampires is in front of the camera, is so awkward that it dragged me out of the film each time. The vampires themselves are also rather goofy in the end. I don’t know how I was really expecting the film’s big climactic struggle between the courageous doctor and the villainous count to play out, but I was certainly not expecting the vampire to panic at the sight of the doctor and decide to sword fight him. Nor was I expecting the way the other vampire was dealt with, which shan’t be revealed here except to say that it was about as silly a way of stopping a vampire as a person could conceivably think of. No, sillier than that.

That said, there are some things I could recommend about this. Outside of the frankly sad attempt at special effects, the overall visual feel of the film is very effective, and I just can’t find it in my heart to dislike a movie that has people discovering secret passageways. Overall, though, it’s definitely the weakest of the Casanegra films that I’ve seen thus far, and you should only check it out if you’re really big on atmospheric horror movies.


mle said...

Oh, oh, may I guess? Does it involve pointing and shouting "look over there!" while beating the vampire over the head with a ginormous sub sandwich?

Zach said...

Not quite, but the reality of it was no less retarded.