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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 10.17.08] movie review horror

Year: 2008
DVD Release date: October 14, 2008
Directors: Michael Roesch / Peter Scheerer
Writers: Michael Roesch / Peter Scheerer
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Amazon: link
Review by: agentorange
Rating: 5.8 out of 10

Rhetorical Question of the Day: What happens when you take a crackin' script and film it in just 12 days? Yeah, pretty much. Find out more in AO's better-late-than-never review of Brotherhood of Blood.

I think I shuddered a little bit when I saw Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer listed as the directors on the back of the DVD case for Brotherhood of Blood. I mean, the two names are essentially synonymous with "he who shall not be named within the pages of Quiet Earth" (psst... Uwe Boll) and, well, you know what they say about quilt by association and all that. I shrugged off the bad vibes almost immediately of course (as I like to give indie films a fair chance right up front) and was more than willing to give these two writers of Alone in the Dark, who've yet to even get behind a movie camera, the chance to prove that maybe they've learned a little something from 'ol Uwe along the way - like what not to do. And you know what? I found that while they failed to deliver anything in the direction apartment, their script was a winner and, ultimately, Brotherhood of Blood totally succeeds in being a fairly fun, albeit clichéd, bit of genre filmmaking because of it. I still caution you to approach this film like you would a wounded or dumb animal though as, depending on your own temperament, the outcome could really go either way.

You may have heard the rumors that Brotherhood of Blood was filmed in only 12 days and, well, it shows. The first act is bound to set off red flags in any viewer let alone die hard vampire fans. In fact, even from the first scene things weren't looking too good. A vampire is dressed like a ivy league philosophy teacher, lines are delivered like something out of a cheap Anne Rice knockoff novel, the sets are tight and poorly lit, and the vampire teeth are so big they actually impede the actors' performances! But then we meet up with the vampire hunters and things start, ever so slowly, to pick up.

Unlike so many Vampire films, the hunters in Brotherhood of Blood aren't descendants of some sacred order or the keepers of some ancient secret prophecy. They're more like mercenaries or bounty hunters - guys and gals who harness on a cross bow and take out nests in order to reap the spoils within. Times are tight and they're sort of coming apart at the seams. On a hunt one night, they discover that two brothers have unleashed the biggest baddest vamp ever and that all hell is breaking loose. Other hunters are being wiped out and eventually they have to go on a rescue mission to get one of their own out of the clutches of the nefereous vamps.

Slowly, Carrie Rieger (played by Victoria Pratt)emerges as the protagonist and by default leader of the group. I'm pretty sure she's supposed to come across all badass, like Eden Sinclair from Doomsday, but ultimately Pratt doesn't pull off quite as effortless a performance as Rhona Mitra did. It should be mentioned that Sid Haig and Ken Foree both managed to phone in a couple of fun performances, though, because they are so underused, their involvement actually wafts a stench of missed opportunity over the entire film. For one thing they don't even appear in any scenes together which I thought was strange. Seeing Haig and Foree square off in a battle of evilness may have redeemed an otherwise underwhelming viewing experience.

The DVD is part of The Ghosthouse Underground Collection and comes equipped with a commentary with the directors and Sid Haig as well as a behind the scenes featurette. All in all a fun little vampire romp, but not up to par with the other 7 stellar films in the set.

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