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.
Of course, in order to finish off the series (it is over right?) Radu must die again but I've already given you a spoiler warning.
Missing are his little "subspecies" minions which is about the only real let down with this film.
I Like Horror Movies
This time around, the resurrection is handled with no finesse and the car crash deaths of Mr. embassy and michelle's sister is just too convenient. I mean, its like one of those, "okay, I guess that happened" moments in cinema. Sure, I watched the doc, so I know why they did it, but it is still...totally, um.
The addition of wacky Dr. Blud and the "Pilates vampires" Ash and Serena (in order to introduce their further adventures in VAMPIRE DIARIES!) leads to a lot of standing around. Or in the case of the two vampires, kneeling over topless women with blood running down their chins.
Radu does not have much to do in this one. And the creepy effects and other running shadow jokes are downplayed, probably for budgetary reasons.
The ending on this one is even less satisfying than the others, if that is even possible. The real stinker of the trilogy.
I knew I was in trouble right after viewing the opening credits. The credits are so god-damn cheap that it looks like I could have made them on my personal computer. This is a damn shame as Subspecies II and III had impressive title sequences that actually made the films look like they had quality. The film then opens right after the last film except the filmmakers do the unthinkable. Apparently they couldn't get some of the actors who survived part 3 to return for this sequel so the writers decided to open the with a car crash, killing our "survivors". What a cheap fucking cop out! This even makes the death of Hicks and Newt in Alien 3 look pale by comparison! The only returning cast members are Denice Duff and Anders Hove as Radu. The plot is extremely predictable. Radu survives and goes after Denice Duff yet a-fuckin-gain. Yawn. This film even has the gall to have characters that appeared in the Full Moon film "Vampire Journals" show up. That film was not part of the Subspecies franchise but thanks to this sequel it is now considered a "spin-off." I hate when filmmakers take characters from another film and place them in a completely different film and act like they have been there from the beginning. The only reason writer/director Ted Nicolaou only did this to try to pad the film with a little more plot.
Not only are the opening titles and plot bad, but so is the look of the film. This film looks like it was filmed with a $50 home digital camera. That mixed with bad DVD transfer makes this film almost unwatchable. Another thing I have to rant about is the title. The Subspecies sequels had a pattern to the title scheme - Bloodstone: Subspecies II and Bloodlust: Subspecies III. It was simple, have a "blood" word and then have Subspecies as your subtitle with a classy roman numeral. It was siimple and it gave the series flow. Leave it to Subspecies: Shitstorm to fuck the simple task up. First it puts Suspecies as the main title again, then changes the roman numeral to a number 4. Shouldn't be Bloodstorm: Subspecies IV? Oh fuck no! This may sound like a minor problem but come on! Are the promotional artists blind? Can't they see the flow to the titles?
As you can tell I hated this sequel with a passion. I love the cheesy Full Moon films of old but their newer films are just god awful and the company making shitty cash 'n grab sequels, tarnishing the names of their hit franchises just pisses me off. What makes me even more mad is that this sequel is from the same writer/director of the first three! I actually hate this sequel so much that I sold my DVD of the film and pretend it never existed. That's hardcore for me since I'm a completist when it comes of film series and in turn own many god-awful sequels. I even own Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation and Ghoulies IV. That says something!
I loved this movie, and all it's parts. I have been a fan of vampires for long time. This movie was the best in scary to me,,, The only other vampire myth was born from the books of Brian Lumley. Read of him? 16 text of the Vampire Mythos, starting with the, Necroscope series begins the mega series of a myth bigger and better than anne rice. The shit that can haunt you while you are asleep.
Can I say Scary Shit? And this series ended here. PLEASE GIVE US MORE OF SUBSPECIES?
This is the last movie in the 'Subspecies' series, but the events actually take place before 'Vampire Journals'. The appearance of a younger looking Ash is a little confusing and initailly made me think that I had watched the films in the wrong order. But after watching the making of feature, all became clear. The rest of the storyline is unfortunately pretty generic for the series, and the inclusion of an evil doctor as a bit of plot padding doesn't really work. Radu's twisted love for Michelle is more apparent in this movie, and he almost becomes sympathetic character in places. The finale is over too quick, and a bit of a let-down for the last installment. Anders Hove and Denice Duff return yet again as the main characters and (as always) work very well together. On the whole the movie is well made, but does not go out with the bang that a final entry should.