VAMPIRE RESURRECTION

PrintE-mail Written by Martin Unsworth

There are always some simple go-to subgenres for low budget filmmakers: zombies and vampires. Both are undead, both very commercial, and both fairly easy to film with little or no money. Making them work on a shoestring is incredibly difficult, but after several shorts, Mark Morris has plunged into feature work with a fairly decent effort.

Twenty-five years ago, a young girl helps her guardian (Beaumont) slay a vampire; just a normal child’s upbringing, then? Now in her mid-thirties, Anne (Kay) has two teenagers - both awkward in their own way - and a no-nonsense husband, Jack (writer/director/cameraman Morris), who is determined his family should lead a normal life. Anne, however, has no problem telling her children (Harding and Pooley) all about her past and the evil that lurks out in the world. Unfortunately, one night, the kids decide to find the grave of the bloodsucker their mother killed. A tragedy enables the vengeful nocturnal predator to return, leaving Anne no option to seek out the slayer who raised her, while disbelieving Jack is convinced it’s all the work of a bunch of drug addicts.

While Vampire Resurrection may not be the most original of ideas, it certainly manages to bring some different slants to the weary format. The main focus of the action is the stubborn father, really. His attitude goes beyond scepticism to be practically blinkered, and this highlights one of the other aspects that the film brings to the table: humour. OK, we’re not talking hearty belly laughs, but the approach and tone do mean the movie is particularly family-friendly. Like the TV series that so obviously influenced the tale, there is certainly lightness to the storytelling and the violence and gore are at an acceptable early-teens level. This is heightened by the often whimsical score, which also allows the father to be a figure of fun, definitely an aspect younger viewers would enjoy.

There is plenty to enjoy in the film, but it’s not without its problems. It could do with the narrative tightening up, overstaying its welcome a little as we get through the one-hour-forty running time. An impartial editor could have easily sorted this out, but sometimes the projects at this level are too much of a personal achievement that one can understand it’s hard to let go of certain aspects. Morris certainly manages to work wonders with what he has, though. Some really well composed and thought-out shots allow for some atmosphere - particularly during the night-time scenes.

Like most low budget films, some of the acting is lacking, but that’s to be expected and it’s not too distracting. Where Vampire Resurrection does succeed is bringing a family moral to the proceedings. Not as schmaltzy as Buffy, and probably a lot more relatable to a younger British audience as a result (well, apart from the undead rising with papier-mâché transformed faces). There’s potential here, and it’s certainly worth your time.

VAMPIRE RESURRECTION / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: MARK MORRIS / STARRING: MARK MORRIS, AMANDA LARA KAY, ALAN HARDING, RACHEL POOLEY, PAUL VAN BEAUMONT / RELEASE DATE: TBC

Expected Rating: 4 out of 10
Actual Rating:



 


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