Vamps 2:
Blood Sisters

Dir: Mark Burchett
Star: Paul Morris, Glori-Anne Gilbert, Rob Calvert, Amber Newman

15 minutes in, this almost joined a very select group: films so awful, even we couldn't finish them. With apparently no plot, just tedious striptease linked by random snatches of dialogue, it was hard to say which was worse: lead actress Gilbert's boob job, or her acting. The last straw was when chief villain Elizabeth (Newman, playing the previously-unmentioned twin of the Vamps chief villain; hey, A Better Tomorrow 2 did the same!) asked, "Have you ever heard of the prophecy of the redeemer?" Rather than, oh, answering the damn question, the film cut to another strip routine, and I hit the off button.

Two very strange things then happened. Chris turned to me and said, "Yes...but what is the prophecy of the redeemer?" Cutting a long story short, my wife convinced me to give a movie about vampire strippers a second chance. This is why I love the woman. And the other remarkable occurrence? The film actually got better. Okay, while all things are relative, just as in the original movie, when they eased back on the badly-executed soft-core and concentrated on the vampire stuff, this was bearable. Sure, the FX were almost non-existent and the action choreography laughable (if you're going to end with a big brawl, make sure you can deliver), but they'd actually put some thought into the story.

To answer the question above - thereby letting you fast forward through at least one strip sequence - the redeemer is the first child born to a vampire, who will have the ability to turn them back into humans. This doesn't sit well with certain vampires, who like the night-life, and will fight to preserve it. The concept ties in nicely to the hero, a former priest (Morris), and the Xmas setting, though is perhaps too large-scale for the tiny budget here. There's also one beautifully surreal moment involving marshmallows; I don't want to spoil this, since it comes close to justifying the entire movie.

Couple of other points. The film doesn't seem to know if its title is Vamps 2: Blood Sisters, or Blood Sisters: Vamps 2; the sleeve and title sequence disagree. And while Morris and Calvert reprise their roles, it may be significant that Newman is the only repeat in the female cast, albeit in a different role. New actresses play the returning characters, an issue glossed over as "shape shifting". Guess that's what they call breast implants these days. Confusing, maybe - yet still several steps above what this delivered at the beginning.

December 2004

Hard to bare...

Nightmare in Silicone Valley
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