Thursday, September 17, 2015

Vampiress Review: The "To Die For" Series

Bram Stoker's Dracula: The Love Story To Die For (1988)

The Gist: A real estate agent and her client fall for one another but he's got a secret.

Clarification:  Don't think too hard when watching this film since the story of "Dracula" does exist here so the fact that only one person in the film puts two and two together despite the guy not even hiding his past or changing his name is pretty absurd.

The twist here is that Vlad Tepish is not the bad guy here.   Much like (ok exactly like) the Subspecies franchise which came out a few years after this, Drac has an evil brother who's quite jealous of his way with the ladies and goes out of this way to ruin his life.

Female Vampire Factor: There isn't really.  This is a does she or doesn't she film when it comes to the main female lead Kate (Sydney Walsh) and the answer is no.  The only female vampire in the film would be Kates roommate Celia (Amanda Wyss) but she turns after getting half her face ripped off and while in the middle of getting her head cut off so there is nothing hot about it.
 While more horror like than Twilight, it's still a romantic horror film as the main vampire is one of the good guys.  I give it a Vampire Beauty Rating of 1 out of 5.  If I were to recommend a film with a similar story I would go with the original Subspecies film which improves on the story in a major way.

Son of Darkness: To Die For 2 (1991)

The Gist: A woman falls in love with the only doctor who's able to help her adopted infant who seems to never be able to stop crying.

Clarification: The subtitle of this film should have been "To Die For 2: Screw Continuity".  If it weren't for the fact that the character Martin IE Kates Boyfriend from the original film (Scott Jacoby) admits in the film that everything in the first film happened it could have gotten away with being just a remake IE the Fright Night films in the 2000's but instead they go into this half baked explanation that a womans blood slipped into the remains of Vlad's ashes after he burns in the first film resulting in the lab exploding and EVERY vampire who died in the first film magically living again.

Now Vlad is a doctor named Max Schreck who seemingly got Kate pregnant during the first film that was then put up for adoption once he was born and this woman Nina adopts him.  The kid screams bloody murder constantly and when Max treats him immediately knows what's wrong.  The kid is a half vampire.  Once he gets blood , no more screaming.  All the while Martin (after seeing more people dying on the news via "coyote attacks" which is the M.O. of Vlad's brother Tom) looks for revenge for what happened between him and Kate.

Selling Point:  This is more horror than romance this time around.

Female Vampire Factor:  There are two in this film who are both victims in the first movie.  First we have Jane (Remy O'neill)
Jane was Kates co-worker and was killed by Tom in the first film and her body was crushed by being dumped into a trash struck but again...screw continuity.  In this film she's Martins stooge until evil vampire Tom finds out and she's killed (again) by being strapped to a tree until daylight.
Next we have Celia (Amanda Wyss).  As you seen above it wasn't very pretty when she turned in part 1. That scene has her face partially ripped off her neck cut and she's eventually staked and melted into nothing.  Luckily she walked it off because she looks pretty hot now.
This time around she's Tom's sidekick (I guess getting over her obsession with Vlad that made for the most entertaining scenes in the first film).  Her and Tom begin to have a falling out as Tom attempts to teach her how to kill (and wants her for himself) and she instead falls for her prey who just happens to be Nina's brother Danny.
Her character in the first film was obsessive to the point of psychosis screaming, hissing and ranting with jealousy over Vlad's love for Kate which was great (even if she was human).  Here she's basically just a school girl with a crush. She just pops into Danny's bedroom for a quick lay and a bite every night and that's pretty much it.

As a stand alone film it's pretty good.  As a sequel to another film you have to do a LOT of ignoring of logic for this to work because death means absolutely nothing seeing how the vampires deaths in the first film were pretty final.  Either way it is an improvement and we get the version of Celia we should have gotten in the first film so it gets a Vampire Beauty Rating of 3 out of 5.

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