Kevin VanHook brings
us another shockingly derivative work done with at least some style
in "Slayer" a SciFi Channel Original Picture that really
isn't all that original.
And with this Sci-Fi Not So Original Picture, we get a bunch of
commandos down in South American jungle for no clear reason (something
about rebels is mentioned in passing) that get attacked by vampires.
The United States Government, of course, isn't about to admit that
there's a bunch of pre-Incan vampires roaming South America--remember
how much flack they took over "Ketchup is a vegetable"?
So, they're just going to write the whole thing off as a "local
tribal anomaly". And they're going to send the leader of the
commando team back into said jungle to retrieve his scientist ex-wife.
Oh, and probably have to kill his best friend, who was also on that
commando team, and now may be the ruler of the local tribal anomaly,
because wouldn't that just suck if he got back to the States and
went on a book signing tour proving conclusively that the United
States Government was capable of lying about something?
That just can't be!
But anyway, I seem to remember this being a movie on the Sci-Fi
channel long before it actually hit video stores, so pardon me if
I'm a smidge nonplussed before we even get this candle lit. The
back of the box confirms my shattered memories--this is in fact
a SciFi Original--which basically means welcome to the craps table,
boys...purely random action. It might be good, but then, it might
totally suck. And no, that's not a pun. Why does everyone think
I'm trying to be funny when I say most vampire movies just plain
Don't believe me? Here's a quick summary of what Kevin VanHook's
trying to foist on us now: Johnny Rico from "Starship Troopers"
going into the jungle to kill some guy from "Underworld",
who's leading an attack squadron of vampires about to invade America.
Oh, and Johnny's also got to rescue the hot chick from "The
Lost World". Though I'm being facetious, the actors' best-known
roles are quite accurate--the back of the box agrees with me in
most cases--so it's pretty safe to say, hellooooo dumping ground!
Never mind that VanHook uses wire-fu like no tomorrow. Never mind
that his script and choice of actors is about as bereft of originality
as a desert is of water--it's freaking "Predator", for
crying out loud! He just replaced extraterrestrial hunters with
Never mind any of that. It may not be long on originality, but one
thing you can say for VanHook's work is that it certainly is not
dull. Nope, there's more than enough action going on around here
for two movies. Lots of fighting, lots of gunplay, lots of vampires
getting staked. No, this will not be boring, just wildly unoriginal.
Though for some, that may make it boring enough.
The ending is much like the rest of the movie--packed with action,
yet not featuring a whole lot beyond what you'd expect from it.
But there are a couple handy plot twists at the end that help to
redeem it from total mediocrity.
The special features include a commentary track, photo gallery,
a copy of the screenplay for those of you with DVD-ROMs, and trailers
for "Masters of Horror", "Voodoo Moon", "The
Fallen Ones", "Room 6", and "Hellboy: Sword
All in all, Kevin VanHook's latest effort is much like his earlier
efforts: fair, with plenty of action, but not a whole lot of uniqueness
to distinguish them from the pack.
Directed by Kevin VanHook
Written by Kevin VanHook
Starring Casper Van Dien, Kevin Grievoux, Jennifer O'Dell, Alexis
Produced by Kevin VanHook
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