Subspecies 4: Bloodstorm Reviews
Radu, being burned at the climax of the previous film, falls from the castle wall into the safety of shade from nearby trees. He grabs the bloodstone and drags himself back into the bowels of his castle to await nightfall. When it comes, he makes his way to Bucharest to a stronghold held by Ash, the music lover and protégé to Radu. Ash is none too keen on Radu's resurgence and wanting to reclaim his holdings. He plots with his own protégé, Serena, to destroy Radu once and for all and take control of all that Radu has. Namely, the bloodstone.
Of all the Subspecies films, this one feels the most like direct-to-video. Having a much lower-budget than the already previous low-budgeted films, returning writer/director Ted Nicoleau manages his money wisely by draping each frame in gothic shadows, showcasing Romania's dark streets to perfection.
Returning stars Anders Hove and Denice Duff slip easily back into their respective roles as though a five-year gap between the end of Subspecies III and the beginning of Subspecies IV never occurred. Of the two, Anders once again steals every frame he's in, relishing wearing Radu's fangs for another go-round. Duff typically overacts in many of her scenes, especially ones she's in jeopardy. The only other actor to rise slightly above average is Jonathan Morris as Ash. He does his best to bring his character to life, but he's really not given much to do other than brood because he's no longer master of his own keep.
Nicoleau's script is also sub-par, mostly regurgitating plot and whole lines from the previous films. Only Radu is given anything interesting to say, but after three films even his dialogue is stilted and tired.
Make-up effects are okay, especially when it comes to Radu. His cheekbones are more pronounced and his elongated Nosferatu-like fingers have been greatly reduced. He's more of a monster in this film rather than pasty with long fingers. The titular creatures, whose roles are less and less with each film, never show up once, even at times when their presence would turn the tables on our heroes thus creating some needed conflict.
Usually I avoid spoilers in my reviews, but this film came out in 1998 and was meant to be the final nail (pardon the pun) in the coffin for this franchise. So far it's stuck, but only time will tell if another movie comes along. Radu, one of filmdom's greatest vampires, is dispatched rather easily, putting up almost no fight as he his head is (once again) severed, put on a pike and left to burn in the sun's rays. Kind of a culmination of all the previous ways he's been killed in each film. If one way doesn't work, try all of them at once.
Even though the film clocks in at a mere 90-minutes, patience will be tested as you sit through scene after scene of the same old dialogue you've heard in the previous films making the film feel much longer than it actually is.
As a final sendoff, it's lackluster and rather frustrating. One almost wishes that Charles Band would put together a fifth film just to make up for all the missed opportunity with this film. Then you remember the recent Puppet Master sequels he's put out and this one doesn't seem all that bad any more. The only real reason to watch this one is because you're a fan of the series and need to see every film. Otherwise, just stick to the first three and you'll be just fine.
I Like Horror Movies