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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Immortal (1995)

Vampires have been a staple of the horror movie industry for decades.  As such they've changed over the years from being the purely evil blood sucking beasts of my childhood to the teenage, angsty, mopey tools of recent years.  Once in a while, something different comes along...

Dex is a musician who has a problem that is slowly tearing away at his band, his friendships, and his relationship with is girlfriend.  He's an addict... but not your average addict...

He's a vampire...

The premise is actually quite intellegent- examine the vampire mythos from the perspective of it being an addiction and how it would affect the vampire's dealings with those around him.  Too bad the execution failed to explore that premise to a satisfactory level.

"Immortal" is a very low budget production- we're talking camcorder low.  In some ways it's helped, but overall kept it from being a film with depth and coherency.  The film quality gave it a nice gritty look to the film, but at the same time, made it hard to see certain scenes properly.  There are some nice shots and angles in this film- with one scene in particular being lit and shot somewhat well.  The scene where Dex kills the record label scout wasn't bad.  The red lighting, the shadows, the shifting angles and cuts gave it an almost hallucinatory feel.  Beyond that scene, and a few rare instances, the camera work was rather bland and lacked energy.

The acting wasn't that great... not that the characters were given much screen time.  Andrew Taylor, as Dex the vampire, wasn't bad... though the character wasn't likeable enough to make me care about him or his problems.  The rest of the cast kinda struck me as simply being friends with the director who got together and decided to make a movie over a couple of beers.

There are some interesting elements to the story that intrigued me- but weren't developed to any real depth.  The story lacked coherent connections between most of the scenes.  None of them really set up any of the others, or added to them.  It was almost as if the crew knew the back story- and thought the audience could read their minds and get the full story from just a few fragments.  There were too many questions they didn't answer- giving the movie a jumbled together feeling.

I think part of the problem with the storyline involves the music.  Rather than simply having the music as a background element, it decided to have most of it done as part of the story.  I didn't mind that they did that- after all, since the main character is in a bad, it's to be expected.  The problem came with how much of the music was done as part of the story.  I got the feeling that the people shooting the movie used the band performance scenes as a way of showing off their band- and to act as "filler" to avoid actually focusing on the story.  The music wasn't bad though.  Not something I'd buy at the music store, but it wasn't bad.

"Immortal" starts out with a pretty good idea... but ends up losing focus and thought- which puts it in "The Ugly"

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