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Year: 2006
Director: Jeremy Kasten
Stars: Matt Keeslar, Clare Kramer, Jeremy Sisto, Serena Scott Thomas, Neil Jackson, Adam Baldwin, Alicia Morton, Charlotte Ayanna, Erik Palladino, Michael Mantell, Dawn Weld, Ellie Cornell, Blaine Pate, Tom Lenk, Blythe Metz
Genre: Horror
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Alcoholic Max (Matt Keeslar) is having troubles staying off the booze, and more troubles keeping his girlfriend Lisa (Clare Kramer) sober. She works as a stripper, but one night while performing she collapses coughing up blood and is rushed to hospital. It is there that she finds out she is suffering from terminal cancer, but a mysterious woman, claiming to be a psychiatrist, visits her in the middle of the night. Soon Lisa has disappeared and the frantic Max, upset that she never told him about the disease, searches for her - but he has a shock in store...

It took five people, including director Jeremy Kasten, to script this derivative vampire film, whose publicity stated that it was "Requiem for a Dream meets Near Dark". Requiem was pushing it, as a spot of fast cutting, woozy camera and debased lovers does not a Darren Aronofsky epic make, but the Near Dark comparison was very appropriate, so fitting in fact that it's basically the same film that those five writers added their own redundant variation on. If you haven't guessed, the "psychiatrist" was a vampire, and now Lisa has been inducted into her group.

But first Max has to believe she is dead, so she fakes her own suicide. Her boyfriend is distraught, and mopes around their apartment for days afterward until two of his friends drag him out to a nightclub to take his mind off things. Unbeknownst to him, the bloodsuckers have taken over upper floor of the establishment to feast on unwary patrons, and Max catches sight of Lisa across a crowded dancefloor, but doesn't get the chance to make contact. What are the odds that he attends the very same nightclub that Lisa does? Or it could be a plot convenience.

Eventually they do meet up and Lisa does Max the service of transforming him into a vampire as well - cheers - which after his slough of despond perks him up no end. He then becomes part of the Drak Pack, and after that you may as well be watching Near Dark, as Kathryn Bigelow did it all so much better twenty years before. Some of the cast brighten up the overall murk, such as Jeremy Sisto as the leader with his variety of accents, or Adam Baldwin adopting his Southern twang for the second in command, though really this stuff writes itself. There's plenty of blood and breasts for the easily pleased, but it runs on tramlines of predictability and without much conviction in its tragic themes. Music by Joe Kraemer.

[The Starz Region 2 DVD has an audio commentary and a photo gallery as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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