Bloodsuckers  (2005)

This is a region 1 release by Lion’s Gate.  This, by the way, is a TV-movie.

This review is going to be short.  Not because I don’t want to talk about it, but because I saw it a little while ago and am only writing about it now.  Why only now?  I’ve been busy, what do you want.  I would’ve forgone writing about it completely, except that this movie actually has some entertainment value, and not ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ amusement.  There are some good moments in here.  The movie moves, ‘Cowboy Bebop’-like, following a group of V-San (vampire sanitation) people on a ship some time in the future, going from various clean-up missions to other various clean-up/extermination missions.

Just a warning: I’ll actually take this movie seriously, reviewing it on its own, intended merits.

There’s some camp value if you look for it, but these people, in my mind, tried very hard to make something entertaining.  The movie reminded me a lot of ‘Serenity’ (or ‘Firefly’, for that matter) only without the humour or penchant for (to put it bluntly) good dialogue.  The dialogue is pretty silly, and sometimes laughable.  To be fair, it’s only laughable when the movie’s other big fault comes into play.  Some situations and relationships are just trite and, well, laughable themselves.  You get into some serious clichés with the crew not liking the ‘rookie’ captain and all the talk about loyalty and brotherhood.  Give me a break!  The character arcs are beyond visible from this side of the galaxy.  Guess what the by-the-book rookie captain’s gonna do at the end?  Guess what the crew will think of this captain at the end?  It’s silly, and because of that, the dialogue suffers a lot.  Not that the rest of the dialogue is gold, but it’s passable, and that’s a lot better.

The rest of the movie is actually pretty nice.  Apart from the tepid delivery of the awful dialogue, the acting is good.  There are a few faces that should be recognizable.  You’ve got Peter DeLuise in a small role.  He was the janitor in ‘Seaquest DSV’, if you guys remember that.  I bit more recognizable are AJ Cook (TV’s ‘Tru Calling’, ‘The Virgin Suicides’ and a bunch of bad slasher/horror movies), Joe Lando (that guy from ‘Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman’), Natassha Malthe (Typhoid from ‘Elektra’) and Michael Ironside (‘Starship Troopers’, ‘RoboCop’ (here)).  All the actors in the movie give okay performances, but they’re not perfect.  (On a side note, two actors managed to get parts in Uwe Boll’s ‘In the Name of the King’, for some reason.)

The action isn’t perfect, either, but it’s pretty nice.  The CG shots are good enough, and the vampire make-up is pretty good.  The low budget is only pretty evident in a few shots, which is good.  Director Matthew Hastings (who was responsible for the pretty bad ‘Decoys’ (which, incidentally, was shot in Ottawa, in part on my ex-university’s campus)) knew how to use the money he had, and the production value.

The movie was made for the Sci-fi Channel, and although it suffers from a bad script, it was actually almost good enough for a theatrical release.  With a slightly bigger budget and a script revision (and a title change), this would’ve been a pretty nice movie.  As it is, it’s enjoyable, but there’s no getting over its flaws.  It’s fun and if you like vampire licks, this is a much better choice than ‘Ankle Biters’.

The only extra is a trailer (the length of which I’ve forgotten, but is probably around a minute and a half).  It’s an okay trailer, with the best scenes they could have chosen to sell the movie.  Nothing spectacular, but good enough.

The movie is available in English Dolby 5.1, and the track is pretty good.  When the rear/side speakers act up, the voices are drowned out a bit, but that doesn’t happen too often.  The track has some direction/surround effects, like spaceships going around your living room, but the track is mostly front-loaded.  You get bullets when they’re needed, and some vampire sounds, but that’s pretty much it.  The dialogue is mostly clear, and is heard throughout the movie.  It’s adequate sound for the movie.  I think there might be a stereo track available, but I don’t remember.

1:33:1 full frame.  I didn’t see this on my TV, so I can’t be completely sure of the quality, but it looked decent enough.  The colours were nice, and the cold palette was reproduced nicely.  There didn’t seem to be any bleeding, specks scratches or any other print problems.  On the authoring side, there doesn’t seem to be any problems, either.  I didn’t see any edge enhancement or compression artifacts.  The picture looked nice.