The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kiss of the Vampire aka Immortally Yours (2009)

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How could this not be intriguing? Gary Daniels in a vampire flick, as a vampire? Not only that, but we have Dar from the syndicated TV version of Beastmaster, which was one of my favorite guilty pleasures ever. Then you throw in Matthias Hues, Martin Kove, and Costas Mandylor? How can this go wrong?

Kiss of the Vampire is about a vampire (Dar) who is really powerful, but would rather be mortal. This upsets his gang, led by Gary Daniels, who love the raves and blood sucking. Dar finds a woman whose dad is working for this horrible criminal cartel to help them find immortality. Dar falls in love with her, her father helps him gain mortality, and he stops the cartel.

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This was an unmitigated disaster. The story had too much going on that wasn't exactly going anywhere, the dialogue wasn't properly proofread and very wordy and overly dramatic, and there was this sappy love story aspect that screamed bad Twilight fantasy. Half the time I wasn't sure the movie was even serious, especially when Dar and the girl's father are carrying a midget off as they dash to save the girl. It was pretty hilarious, as was the midget headbutting some dude unconscious. Then you had the strange growling noises the vampires made. Are they vampires or mountain lions? I liked Matthias Hues as the vampire hunter-- he ironically makes a better good guy than a baddie I've noticed-- but that part was highly underused, as were the two investigating police officers that were also pretty solid. Even more underused was Martin Kove, because for some reason he was the crime cartel leader's main hatchetman, as opposed to the leader. Really? All the other guy had on Kove was bad hair. Top to bottom, sautéed in wrong sauce.

I will give this a plus for the fun factor of having Daniels as a vampire. I won't let this off the hook though for skimping on the Hues/Daniels fight. They should've let the two choreograph their own deal and had them get after it. I know, I'm the action guy, and this wasn't necessarily an action movie, but there wasn't a lot of other stuff going on, so why not get some good action in there, right? Anyway, fun novelty, Gary Daniels as a vampire, but nothing else beyond that.

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Yes, we finally got a Dar movie in here. I know, 700+ posts in, it was a lot sooner for some other syndicated TV guys I love, including Adrian Paul and Kevin Sorbo-- plus Lorenzo Lamas, one of the few who would make both a DTV and syndicated TV Hall of Fame. Seeing him here reminded me of the great times I had when syndicated TV ruled. Before the days of limited syndication for new TV shows and syndication of cable TV shows, some of the best stuff was in straight to syndication. Highlander: The Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Renegade, Hercules, I could go on. Then there were the ones that weren't so great, but still tons of fun, like Nightman, She Spies, and syndication's last gasp, Legend of the Seeker. When that was cancelled recently, an era officially ended. I don't know what to make of Dar in this movie, because I was just so happy it was Dar, it didn't matter. It would've been better though if he had a staff and listened to animals talk. Oh, and if his buddy replaced the midget.

This one totally dropped the ball in its casting of Martin Kove. The main baddie's hatchetman? The main baddie was played by Eric Etebari, who directed Bare Knuckles, a women's fighting flick that featured Kove too. Anyway, switching Kove and Etebari would've done a lot to enhance the movie and made both actors work better. If Kove is going to be the hatchetman, you need an extremely powerful head baddie, like a Malcolm McDowell. If not it doesn't work. Speaking of great hatchetmen, we also have Matthias Hues. I don't get it, but he makes an exceptional good guy, which is crazy, because he almost always plays a bad guy. I loved the way the wordy, poorly proofread dialog mixed with his German accent, because it made everything that much more awkward.

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It seems to be a popular thing right now to have human women in unrequited romances with vampire men, which is cool, but it got me wondering: why don't they do the reverse? I saw some pretty hot vampire chicks in this, why not have her date a guy and show us all the problems that come with that. On the one hand, the leather and hot outfits would be amazing; on the other, at 32, the whole rave thing would be a bit much. Also, I love to hike, and it's hard to do that at night; not to mention, it consumes a lot of calories, so even if we did go on a night hike, she'd need to fill up a Camelbak with blood. And there's the whole meeting the parents thing. Does she have any outfits that don't involve skintight black leather and/or fishnets? Yes, 90% of the time that stuff's awesome, but meeting my parents, I'd prefer something a little more understated.

This is ten kinds of miss. Not even close. As sautéed in wrong sauce as you can get. Only the cast makes this worth a look, and even then it's pretty painful. You'll find yourself like me, at the 75 minute mark going "just end it already! Find me one of those WRAP IT UP signs!"

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758755/

13 comments:

  1. Wow! This sounds even worse then American Streetfighter and Full Impact combined! I'll be avoiding this one like the plague. It does sound better then those Twilight films though.

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  2. Saw this in the $2 shop and was intrigued by the Daniels factor, but after doing a quick review-search on my phone in the shop I decided I'd rather throw my $2 coin down the drain. I bet it was far more entertaining that this film would have been.

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  3. Nice review! Heard this was pretty bad, what a waste of Hues and Daniels. Hopefully they will be in a good movie and have a real throw-down.

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  4. Thanks for the heads up. Will avoid at all cost!

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  5. Thank you for this. I was trying to talk my fiance into watching this the other day but she didn't take. I'm glad now.

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  6. It sounds like I took one for the team here! That's what I'm here for, I hurt so you don't have to.

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  7. This was bad and agreed on every word. I think, when you get around to seeing it, you'll find that The Lazarus Papers is just as bad, but at least that one didn't have Hues, so no missed fight opportunity there. This was apparently made at the time when, according to Daniels fan site, Daniels was about to quit acting (bad experiences with Submerged and Retrograde). Thankfully he didn't, since Tekken, The Expendables, Hunt to Kill and Game of Death soon followed. For a guy approaching 50 (and who's not a short oriental guy - definitely no racism intended here), he's pretty darn athletic! As for your idea... Didn't Speedman play a human character who fell for Beckinsale's vampire in the Underworld films? Or was Speedman one of those werewolves or something...?

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  8. Wow, the dvd cover is actually cool. Reminds me of Fright Night 2. I'm surprised it's so bad. Looks can be deceiving.

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  9. Yeah, I'm a (near) Daniels completist but was very wary about getting this film. Think I'll give it a miss.

    One thing I noticed though is that it's got Costas Mandylor who fought Gary in Fist of the North Star. Guessing there's no sweet rematch here?

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  10. Yeah, I'm hoping Daniels doing all these films with bigger stars will get him more excited, because I agree, the usage of him in Submerged and Retrograde, especially the former, was pretty appalling. Even in Hunt to Kill, a movie I didn't like, Steve Austin allowed him to choreograph his own fight scene, and that was only a role he was doing for Austin as a favor. Hopefully the more he gets respect like that, the more he'll want to get his own pictures where he's the main lead.

    As far as Speedman and Beckinsale, I think Speedman was a Vampire/Werewolf hybrid, right? But even so, I was thinking more like ordinary girl gets swept off her feet kind of deal. We need an ordinary guy and vampiress love story, you know what I mean?

    I haven't seen Fright Night II in forever (Netflix doesn't even have it), but yeah, this isn't anything like that. What do you think of the Fright Night remake? Originally I was opposed to it, but the commercials look like fun, so I don't know.

    And no, no Costas/Daniels rematch either, they're not even on screen together. As a Daniels completist, you may want to check this out, but I'd wait until you've gone through a lot of his other films first, because this only has the novelty of him playing a vampire.

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  11. It was a nice thing to do for Austin, I think. Daniels's high kicks stole the limelight for a while from Austin's brute force, but I think it worked pretty well and Austin came out looking good. I'm not a huge Austin-fan myself, but he might have the correct attitude for making DTV-action. I think he enjoys the stuff and doesn't try to reinvent the wheel. Hopefully they don't waste MJW in Tactical Force since Blood and Bone was, in my opinion, one of the best DTV-actioners in recent years. TF has apparently received some bad reviews, but I could't care less how accurate the SWAT-tactics are if there are fun fights to watch.

    I've seen pretty much every Daniels-film available from Final Reprisal onwards (I personally enjoyed White Tiger most) except Cold Earth/Dark Secrets. Anyone has any thoughts on that? It's not action, but is it worth watching or a total amateur hour?

    It's been a long time since I watched Underworld, but according to IMDb plot summary, Speedman was indeed a werewolf. So your idea is still unused. Here's a fun thought: How about Against the Dark 2 with Seagal falling in love with a sexy vampire girl? Okay, so Seagal is anything but an ordinary guy, but that way Seagal could have a chick who looks like she's 18, but is really 500yo old or something, so it would actually fit the plot that she'd go for older men :)

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  12. Wow, this sounds like quite a stinker. However, you ask an intriguing question. Are they vampires or mountain lions? I propose a movie featuring vampiric mountain lions. What do you think?

    Wondering if you'd like to share a link. Here's my blog:

    http://thefiftymoviepackproject.blogspot.com/

    Already added you to my link list. Keep the great reviews coming!

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  13. Hey, thanks man, and I added yours as well. And wasn't Stephen King's Sleepwalkers kind of like vampiric mountain lions?

    I'm going to withhold my comments on Dark Secrets just because I'll be reviewing it in the near future. I do like the idea of your Seagal flick, though I'd like to see something with an unassuming dude, like a coffee barista or something.

    I have not really enjoyed any of Austin's DTV flicks, though I've wanted to. Hunt to Kill was probably the worst though, from Gil Bellows, to the computer genius who couldn't think to look up a guide on the Montana wilderness, to the whole city folk suck country folk rule, which devolved into borderline racism with the one African American character depicted as a degenerate rapist that Austin needed to keep his country folk daughter protected from. I'm holing out hope that Tactical Assault will be the one I finally enjoy.

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