Article 5486 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Steven J. Niles
Featuring Steven J. Niles, Kimberly Niles, Marci Kotay
What it is: Starvation-budgeted indie horror movie
A man driven to destroy the vampire that killed his wife encounters a cult of the monsters intent on resurrecting a former leader of theirs who was burnt at the stake 300 years ago.
First, a little background. Mill Creek Entertainment puts out fifty-movie sets of public domain movies, and I must admit to being rather inexplicably fond of them. They also put out four sets of latter-day independent horror movies, and by independent, I mean maybe a step or two above student films. I picked up the first two sets out of curiosity; I passed on the other two sets because once my curiosity was satisfied (I saw a handful of movies from the sets), I figured it just wasn’t worth the investment; almost every movie I saw was ghastly and annoying. Since I currently am going through my entire collection and watching everything, I decided finally it was time to address one of these sets. However, I have no intention of reviewing all of these movies; in fact, unless any of the entries end up being particularly striking, I may end up only reviewing this one as mostly an acknowledgment that these collections exist. I would have reviewed the first movie off the “Tomb of Terrors” set (called DISK JOCKEY), but I decided not to, as I came to the conclusion after seeing it that it wasn’t even genre.
This, the second movie on the set, is perhaps the most competent movie I’ve seen so far from these sets. At any rate, it was the least annoying of the bunch; it didn’t suffer from the endless non-stop cussing, gratuitous nudity, horrible acting and stupid editing decisions that I’ve encountered before. The most annoying thing about this one is endlessly pulsating soundtrack music that infects many of the scenes. Many of the scenes during the first half of the movie are lit very dimly as well, and the first third of the movie is very muddled. That being said, the movie occasionally shows moments of competence, and the special effects of vampires disintegrating aren’t bad for the budget. Still, the story isn’t particularly engaging, and like all the other movies from these sets, it’s not the least bit scary. And the fight scenes are truly awful.
As stated earlier, this review may stand as my sole comment on these two boxed sets. Unless one of the other movies strikes me in any strong way to inspire another review, this may be the last I mention of them.