Vampires: Los Muertos DVD Review
Written by Steve Pattee
DVD released by Columbia TriStar
Writen and Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace
2002, Region 1 (NTSC), 94 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on September 24th, 2002
Jon Bon Jovi as Derek Bliss
Cristián de la Fuente as Father Rodrigo
Natasha Wagner as Zoey
Arly Jover as Una
Darius McCrary as Ray Collins
Diego Luna as Sancho
Derek Bliss (Jon Bon Jovi– Pay it Forward, U571) is a hired vampire killer. Bliss is a lone hunter, but his new employer wants him to get a team together to track down Una, a super vampire who is making some nasty plans. Although Derek is used to working alone, he reluctantly agrees to get a team together. After all, Derek is a man of his word and his word is his bond. But things are not looking good. Every time Bliss gets a name of potential team member, they are slaughtered either before Derek can get to them or as he arrives.
However, have no fear! Derek manages to pull together a ragtag team of vampire hunters. The baddest group of hunters south of the border and all the bases are covered. Everyone has a reason to fight.
First there is Sancho (Diego Luna – Y tu mamá también), the kid who is just too darn young to be fighting vampires. Sancho has a score to settle though! Those vampires killed his friends!
Next there is Father Rodrigo (Cristián de la Fuente – Driven), the mysterious priest. No one really knows why he's there. Yeah, sure the vamps ticked him off and made it personal, but he wouldn't be a mysterious priest without some mystery now would he?
Next up is Zoey (Natasha Wagner – Urban Legend, High Fidelity). She's infected with the vampire disease, but she's got it under control because she's taking medication. She's only along to further the plot and provide a love interest.
Finally, rounding out the team, is Ray Collins (Darious McCrary – 15 Minutes, Mississippi Burning"). The biggest, baddest vampire slayer y'all will ever run across. You'll see.
Una (Arly Jover – Blade) better watch out. She's got Bliss's team after her now. They may look like a loose bunch, but they are really a tight unit and each have their own reasons for wanting her dead. Except Zoey. Zoey is just there to look pretty.
Derek Bliss is a hunter.
In a Volkswagen he drives.
He wants vampires.
Dead not alive.
(Sorry, Couldn't resist.)
I went into this movie with the expectation I usually reserve for a root canal. This movie had numerous things going against it from the get go. It was a sequel to a movie that didn't do that well originally, although I personally liked the original Vampires. The movie was straight to video. The main character is played by an 80s rocker. Vampires: Los Muertos was doomed from the start.
However, all that aside, it's not a bad movie. Although it isn't the greatest acting bunch out there, the cast was competent and the gore was decent. The only major problem I had with the cast was Bon Jovi is waaaaayyyyy too pretty to be a tough guy. James Woods was great as the vampire hunter in the original Vampires because he looks like a mean SOB. I get the impression the first thing Bon Jovi is going to do in a fight is put up his hands and yell "Not in the face! Not in the face!" It was hard for me to buy his character.
Also, Tommy Lee Wallace ("Stephen King's IT") does a great job with the special effects on what most likely was a limited budget. The special effects are much better than I had anticipated and there are two scenes in particular that were very cool. One is a diner scene when Ula, the lead vampire, comes in and makes a 'to go' order. The scene is bloody and shot extremely well because the scene was filmed in "vampire time" which is much like "bullet time" but cooler because Ula is so fine. The other scene takes place at the monastery. Apparently, Ula and her clan don't like priests too much. Well, they like the priests enough to eat them, but not hang out with them.
All in all, it's not a bad movie. There are a few scenes that are very good, but the movie is a little slow paced. The ending lets you down a little bit because it seemed hurried, but Vampires: Los Muertos is at least worth a rental.
Video and Audio:
The video looked very sharp and crisp. Vampires: Los Muertos is presented in it's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. There is also a fullscreen presentation available.
The film sounds good and the music doesn't override the dialogue. Also, keep an ear out during the movie for the score. It's very good. Presented in Dolby 5.1.
Commentary by writer/director Tommy Lee Wallace and some trailers (Vampires: Los Muertos, John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula). Wallace's commentary is more interesting on Vampires then it was on "Stephen King's IT", but a little dry nonetheless. I'm not saying it's a bad commentary because if you have some time to kill it's not a total waste. I just find Wallace to be a better director then a commentator.
Movie - ***/***** Not a bad movie. Not the best movie out there, but a sequel that is better than most. Definitely worth a rent.
Video - ****/***** Sharp and crisp. A good picture.
Sound - ****/***** No problems on my system.
Special Features - **/***** Barely an effort.
Overall - ***1/2/***** A good rental or purchase if it can be had under ten bucks. There are some pretty good killings and a decent score to go with them.
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