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  Perfect Creature Blood World
Year: 2006
Director: Glenn Standring
Stars: Dougray Scott, Saffron Burrows, Leo Gregory, Scott Wills, Stuart Wilson, Craig Hall, Robbie Magasiva, Lauren Jackson, Peter McCauley, Glen Drake, Stephen Ure, John Sumner, Roi Taimana, Aaron Murphy, Scott Morrison, Owen Black, Katrina Browne, Ian Mune
Genre: Horror, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: This is a world unlike our own, where humans and vampires co-exist peacefully, as the humans supply them with blood and the vampires are dedicated to helping their food source medically. That is most important these days, for a potentially devastating plague of influenza is threatening mankind and the vampires are doing their best to cure it, with considerable results. However, there is a scandal bubbling under society, and in this New Zealand city a pair of vampire brothers, the good Silas (Dougray Scott) and the evil Edgar (Lou Gregory), are about to do battle...

By this stage in the genre, it's difficult to come up with anything entirely new for the seasoned types of horror movie, but in the twenty-first century, both the vampires and the zombies were tackled with a newfound energy. The bloodsuckers were often coupled to romantic plots, but in Perfect Creature, while there may have been an element of that, this was not your average fangs flick thanks to its writer and director Glenn Standring offering up an alternate universe science fiction take on the traditional characters. Although obviously not working on the biggest of budgets, he did manage to create an intriguing world.

Sad to say, for this landscape he populated it with what in the thriller genre would be pretty hackneyed stuff, especially as it often resorted to police procedural clich├ęs, only with the tension between the everyday and the supernatural to lift it out of the ordinary. You might as well have been watching one of those serial killer movies, because that was the manner in which its main villain operated, no matter how much this was adorned with a tentative romance between Silas and a detective on the case, Lilly (Saffron Burrows) or the shadowy, Freemasons-like Brotherhood of all-male vampires who order him about.

As for Edgar, he has his own agenda, which it turns out is to use his contaminated blood to spread a new disease throughout the city, and eventually the world. He also has something else in mind, but you don't find that out till the end. Before we reach that point, there's a lot of moping about to be done, as if there's any word to describe this it would be glum, with not one instance of humour, intentional or otherwise, in the whole of the running time. Not that it was necessary to turn Perfect Creature into a spoof, but the sense of everyone taking this gravely seriously does not amount to much in the way of fun, and the excitement tends to drain away even with the plight of humanity at stake.

Edgar sets his sights on Lilly, who has lost her family in the flu plague, and even goes as far as taking a bite out of her, which Silas cures with his own blood as if to say, look, we're not all bad to the audience (the public in the story are generally in favour of vampires). Meanwhile Edgar is captured, but the scandal will be hard to cover up as the police and authorities are desperate to keep order, not easy when there's a new ailment starting to spread. The plot is preoccupied with genetics and illness, but rather than offer this a sickly feel, the muted nature of almost everyone in this renders it more enervating, which in a way is appropriate for a vampire tale, but none too conducive to thrills. This is really at its best in the trappings of its environment, with its circular screened-televisions or the blimps floating in the sky (always a sign of parallel universes, that), though as steampunk it could have gone further. Unusual, then, but disappointing. Music by Anne Dudley.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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