Movie Reviews 86 – Quad Pack: Modern Vampires (1998)

Continuing the review of the horror quad pack

Modern Vampires (1998)

ModernVampiresWith nothing but Casper Van Diem and some chicks names on the DVD cover I really had no expectation for this last movie in this DVD quad pack. But I watched the trailer first, (something I rarely do I might add) and it is seemed cool especially after spotting none other than Rod Steiger for what I thought would be some quick cameo role.

Then as I watched the opening credits I was bombarded by a whole slew of familiar (if not stellar) names including Kim Catrall, Craig Ferguson, Udo Kier and even Robert Pastorelli (Eldon from Murphy Brown) as “The Count”. Things were definitely looking up!

But just a few minutes into this drivel I knew we were headed for trouble. The script is simply atrocious and with every second sentence or so making you cringe and it just gets worse as the movie moves on. The senseless plot is about an underground community of vampires living in LA when along comes a new outsider girl vamp whose careless ways raise the ire of “The Count” (Dracula himself we eventually learn). The Count also earlier exiled another vampire named Dallas who has now just returned after 30 years hoping that the Count is no longer pissed at him for some of his past indiscretions. But as soon as the Count sees Dallas is back in town he once again gives him marching orders and Dallas soon meets up with the new girl making matters worse.

All the while the vamps are partying all over the place (especially this one late night decadent lair) making sure to have the odd human meal here and there. We also have Steiger as Dr. Van Helsing and his hapless hired hand who soon elicits the help of his own hip hop buddies going around hunting the vamps down with their targets set on The Count himself.

The hardest to watch was Steiger continually bemoaning “Don’t you know who I am? I’m Dr. Van Helsing, world reknown vampire killer….(yada yada yada)”. How can a Oscar winning (and twice nominated) actor of his caliber who played such fine roles like The Illustrated Man fall to such depths of thespian despair? Definitely hard to watch.

The Rick Baker special effects are quite effective, but then you have to endure some terrible German accents to spoil it at every turn. So unless you really want to see some of these actors at the low point of their careers, I’d stay away from this one.

Directed by Danny Elfman’s brother, Richard, some of the subpar aspects may be attributed to this being a TV movie (as categorized by IMDB), but I’m not entirely convinced this was a TV movie based on some of the nudity scenes.

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