John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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Dodgy-ish indie vampire movie. A gang of vampire mobsters are pissed off when a deal they made with someone goes sour when the guy takes off with the money. So they're after revenge but their crew starts getting killed and the supposedly badass vampire they hire has problems with his mental wife so it seems things aren't going to work out the way they'd hoped! For a very low budget horror this has some promising idea's, is disturbing at times and has a couple of decent performances to. It falls down at its attempts at comedy which occassionaly work but sometimes are far to over the top and in total contrast to the more disturbing scenes on offer and that makes the film feel weird and uneven. It also drags on far to long, it feels as if it should have been about 15-20 minutes shorter and that made it a bit of a relief when it finished. Still, a decent attempt and it has its moments. Could be worse, could be better.
Watched maybe half hour to hour of it. (2 hrs 15 minutes so the envelope said) Turned it off. I've seen better HOME movies than this. I think with a few others I could make a better movie than this. Not to mention the acting is questionable, It would give an insult to movies that get F's this is not even worth an F- ! but being that's the least amount grade.. I have to insult all the other F graded movies that are better than this. A little info.. Basically The Italian Vampire Mob.. UGH! OF what I watched was garbage The Movie Poster/dvd cover for it looked better! The description sounded more interesting but the movie doesn't seem to me to be the actual plot as what I watched in the movie.
Those who 'like' this.. You are cursed to go blind. This is true Crap.
I found this rare gem in a box set of pretty horrid vampire movies. How it got to be there, I don't know... but I'm thankful for it.
"Strange Things Happen at Sundown" is probably the smartest and honestly funniest vampire horror/comedy movies to date. You can tell they didn't have a huge budget, but what they did with it was a lot.
The story was pretty original, and tweaks the vampire mythos a bit to bring some new stuff to the genre. The characters are likable, despite their evil vampire gnawing. The balance between the gore and humour is pretty good, though there is one scene that needlessly showed gore. The pace of the story is strong- which is especially important since it's two hours. And the camera work was better than some of the stuff you see in mainstream movies- not complicated, but visually interesting and innovative.
Over all, for movies that have fun with the horror genre, this movie ranks up there with "Shaun of the Dead".
Jimmy Fangs (DeVito), a Brooklyn-based mobster who also happens to be a vampire, has discovered a way to impregnate marijuana with his blood and thus turn potheads into flesh-eating zombies under his mental control, but the cash he was going to use to create his unstoppable army was stolen by another vampre, Marcel (Green). Never one to let a slight go unpunished, Jimmy hires vampire hitman the Reaper (Gonzalez, voiced by Lemkowitz) to make an example of Marcel and retrieve the cash. Meanwhile, a mysterious woman with vast knowledge of how to kill vampires (Sapron) has everyone in her sights. Can this end any way but badly?
[center][i]Artwork from the DVD cover of "Strange Things Happen at Sundown"[/i][/center]
"Strange Things Happen at Sundown" can best be summarized as a cross between "Pulp Fiction" and "Near Dark", as created by Quentin Tarantino, Charles Band, John Carpenter, and George Romero. (It was actually directed and co-written by Marc Fratto, but I think that, in time, we will see his name along side those greats I just compared him to. His third film, "Zombies Anonymous" [[url="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/journal_view.php?journalid=245672&entryid=525964&view=public"]which I review here[/url]]) shows great growth both as a writer and a filmmaker.
The film's three biggest weaknesses is one that is often present in independent films from first-time directors.
First and foremost, Fratto has a tendency to let scenes go on for too long, or doesn't cut shots close enough. There literally isn't a single scene in this film that wouldn't have been stronger if it had been trimmed anywhere from a few seconds to a minute, and if some of the individual shots had been edited a bit tighter, the second problem might have seemed a little less evident.
Then there's the issue of some scenes feeling stagey. Too often, the actors seem to be waiting politely for the other person in the scene to finish their line, even in some heated situations. This is less of a problem in this film than in most indie films helmed by a first-time director, but when it's present, it's distracting. Despite the occassional staginess, though, all the principal actors do excellent jobs in their roles. Much of the time, the characters seem believable and the lines seem like they are spoken in earnest instead of recited--but then the loose editing comes into play in certain spots and undermines that sense of reality.
For all my complaining, though, I did enjoy this movie. I got a big kick out of the quirkiness of the characters and I loved the mashing together of humor, horror, and mob cliches that run through the film. (There is one character in particular who must be seen to be believed and who must be experienced cold to have its full impact. I'll just alert you to watch for the vampire who seems like she's a housewife just walked off the set of a 1950s TV show. Played with great flair by Livia Llewellyn, this character is by far the funniest thing about the film.)
While I personally found the vampire victim scenes increasinlgy tiresome as the film went on--particularly after it was explained why no one seemed to go into shock or pass out from bloodloss--I suspect viewers more into gore and "torture porn" than I am, won't mind them. The gore effects are mostly well done for a film at this level, and, unlike some films, there is a valid reason for the suffering going on other than the filmmaker just wants to gross out the viewer.
"Strange Things Happen at Sundown" is a quirky vampire movie that has a few weak spots but that still entertains. It's a film fans of vampires and mafia stories alike should get a kick out of. (Also, if you're still playing the old "Vampire: The Masquerade" RPG, you might be able to steal a few adventure ideas from the film.)
Strange Things Happen at Sundown
Starring: Joseph DeVito, J. Scott Green, Joshua Nelson, Masha Sapron, Jocasta Bryan, Shannon Moore, Livia Llewellyn, Giovanni DeMarco, Robert M. Lemkowitz, Steve Gonzalez and Gina Ramsden
Director: Marc Fratto
Pretty lame, but I did love this one. Fighting vamps to survive.
How should I know? I ain't no Scientologist.
My high rating may appear unreasonable, but with very little money the director manages to subtly display production skills that far more prolific directors have failed to grasp. Marc Fratto could produce some incomparably brilliant work with a genuine budget, and I hope he gets the chance. If you enjoyed this movie, don't miss 'Zombies Anonymous' (2007), also by Mr. Fratto, which shows more refinement in his techniques.
Are you kidding? This is amazing! Low budget movie about Italian mafia vampires and a grim reaper who is in an abusive relationship. Top notch!
I like my low budget horror; there is a point where a film is so bad it becomes good. Unfortunately Strange Things is just the wrong side of that point. This is only a film for the truly hardcore connoisseurs of bad horror.