Vampires and Other Stereotypes (1994) Review
The second of the two Visual Vengeance Blu-rays that mysteriously turned up in my mailbox, the other being Lycan Colony, Vampires and Other Stereotypes, was one I had vague memories of seeing when it came out. All I could really remember was that most of the scenes took place in a couple of rooms in a warehouse that somehow ended up in hell. That and there were some decent DIY effects.
The film starts in black and white as Ivan (Bill White, Heartwood) wakes up next to a psychic named Rosa (Laura McLauchlin, Addicted to Murder: Tainted Blood, Cattle Call). She’s trying to read his palm, which annoys him. She says he’s going to meet the girl of his dreams before the day is over, which doesn’t make her happy.
Vampires and Other Stereotypes switches to colour when his partner Harry (Ed Hubbard, Kissy Cousins Monster Babies and Morphing Elvis) picks him up, and they start another long day of demon busting by interrupting an attempt to sacrifice Albert (Rick Poli, New York Blood, The Killing Machines) a shady businessman and open a portal to hell.
But before they can get out, a bunch of college students Kirsten (Wendy Bednarz, There’s Nothing Out There) her roommates Linda (Wendy Bednarz) and Jennifer (Suzanne Scott, Child of the Sabbat) and Kirsten’s boyfriend of the moment Erik (Mick McCleery, Track 16, The Killing of Bobby Greene) who have been led to believe there’s a party being thrown here turn up. One of them cuts their hand, spilling blood and completing the ritual, sending the warehouse to hell. Their only hope is to survive until dawn and escape.
For a first time feature filmmaker writer/director Kevin J. Lindenmuth (Beyond the Lost World: The Alien Conspiracy III, The Life of Death) manages to get a lot of milage out of Vampires and Other Stereotypes one major location, an actual warehouse, not a set. The building’s narrow, dimly lit hallways in particular make for some claustrophobic moments as characters are pursued through them.
Vampires and Other Stereotypes’ plot, while undeniably daft, is inventive when not paying homage to films like Evil Dead 2, Breeders and Day of the Dead. It all involves a deal Albert’s ancestors made that promised their descendants to the devil. They were planning to kill him and his daughter to end the bloodline, but Ivan and Harry interfered. And, as you probably guessed, his daughter is not only one of the students but the woman Ivan was told he’d meet as well.
There’s a subplot about using the women to breed human/demon hybrids that can go out in sunlight, and a reimagining of what hell actually is. If you’re wondering where the vampires come into all of this, you’ll find out in the film’s final act, though you may guess well before then. While it sometimes seems a bit unclear on its details, like why dawn on Earth matters if they’re in hell, it generally holds together enough to make the film work.
The same can be said of Vampires and Other Stereotypes’ effects. They’ll all practical, thankfully, and range from a decapitated body to various demons created with masks and costumes, my favourite being the one that looks like a brightly coloured version of Mothman. There’s also a giant rat, which I think may have been some kind of puppet, and that’s still better than CGI. Other impressive for the budget scenes include a wall full of faces that mock our heroes and arms reaching out of a wall.
The print itself is nicely cleaned up and looks good, and the audio is solid. Visual Vengeance has also packed the Vampires and Other Stereotypes Blu-ray with plenty of extras, including two commentary tracks and several interviews, over seven hours worth, which should keep collectors, film students, and SOV film fans happy. If you’re not a collector, the film is available on a few Digital Platforms.
Region Free Blu-ray
New director-supervised SD master from 1-inch tape
Limited Edition Slipcase – FIRST PRESSING ONLY
Over 7 Hours of new bonus content
Commentary with Director Kevin Lindenmuth
Commentary with Actor Mick McCleery and Director Kevin Lindenmuth
Commentary with Tony Strauss of Weng’s Chop Magazine
Director Kevin Lindenmuth Interview
Actress Laura McLauchlin Interview
Actor Mick McCleery Interview
Actress Suzanne Turner Interview
Actress Sally Narkis Interview
Makeup Effects Artist Ralis Kahn Interview
Special Effects Artist Scott Sliger Interview
Photographer Sung Pak Interview
Publicist Joe Mauceri Interview
Behind the Scenes Image Gallery
Kevin Lindenmuth Early Super 8 Films
Visual Vengeance Trailers
Six-page liner notes by Tony Strauss of Weng’s Chop Magazine
‘Stick your own’ VHS sticker set
Collectible Folded mini-poster
Reversible sleeve featuring original VHS art
Optional English Subtitles