miércoles, 24 de febrero de 2010
Curse of the Vampires
The Philippines is not a place known for creating high cinematic art. Hell, every movie I’ve seen from there is an exploitation film, and for the most part, they’re the ‘so-bad-they’re-awesome’ kind. From low-rent monster movies to women in prison films, they seem to jump in on every genre, and I guess gothic horror is no exception. Taking it’s cues from the Hammer films, the story involves the Escodero family in Mexico, a family that is cursed with vampirism, particularly the mother. When the eldest son Eduardo (Eddie Garcia) gets himself infected, he decides to turn everyone in the house, including her sister, into vampires. Now it’s up to the ghost of Eduardo’s sister, Daniel Castillo (Romeo Vasquez) to destroy the curse. Only problem is, he’s a ghost! Yep, the plot sounds pretty ludicrous, doesn’t it? I mean, just when you realize you’re watching a Philippine movie that’s set in Mexico during the 1800’s, you already start feeling suspicious. But to my surprise, this is a very good, and very interesting old school kind of horror film. The best part of the film are the sets, which are very well designed and will remind everyone of the Roger Corman Poe films, particularly the later ones like The Terror and Tomb of Ligeia. The concept is also interesting, with a ghost fighting the undead, bringing a level or originality to the already tired vampire subgenre. There are a lot of interesting themes, like the honor of family, and the conflict between Catholicism and medicine, nothing new to vampire films I know, but still very interesting to watch. Now, this movie is not without it’s flaws. I can’t say anything about the acting because the version I’ve seen is dubbed, very badly I might add. I can still see that the acting is not very good, particularly Eddie Garcia who doesn’t make for a very convincing evil vampire. Christopher Lee he isn’t. Also, I know this probably shouldn’t bother me so much, but a lot of the cast members are Philippine women in blackface. All I could think of was “Minstrel show!” every time they showed up and it really took me out of the film. In the end, however, this is a very interesting, if flawed, gothic horror film and still comes with my recommendations.