Subspecies

I am not a fan of Twilight.

In fairness: I have neither read the book nor seen the movies.  However I have read many a synopsis and watched quite a few clips of the films,  and come to the conclusion that this tale of vampires trying to fit in high school and find love (sorta) is just not for me.  Note: I am not saying that it stinks or that it is deplorably horrid.  I am just not a fan of this version of the vampire story.  Mercifully, there are myriad of vampire tales for weirdos like you or me that Twilight fans would find absolutely dreadful.  One of my favorite of these sorts of vampire films is Full Moon Entertainment’s Subspecies.

The first installment of the Subspecies saga introduces the audience to three college students that are visiting Romania to study its local folklore and mythology in the small town of Prejmar.  Prejmar just happens to be infested with (you guessed it) Vampires!  Our lead college student, Michelle, becomes infatuated with local Romanian student, Stefan, who is pretty, awkward and chock full of inner turmoil…

Alright, I’ll spoil it for you: he’s a vampire.

You'd never have seen it coming...unless you've seen a movie before (or yes, read Twilight). Stefan has issues with dating a mortal woman-despite being the half-breed offspring of such a union- whereas Michelle's issues have more to do with Stefan’s older brother, Radu.

Portrayed by the Greenlander, Anders Hove-Radu Vladislas is the younger, hipper version of Count Orlok from the original Nosferatu complete with extended creepy fingers, pale skin, and freaky-high cheek bones.  What’s going to stay with you, though, is how Radu is perpetually drooling/bleeding from his mouth throughout not only this film but each of the 3 sequels.  It’s fascinating, he must be re-hydrating every second he’s not on camera! And while it would be easy to dismiss Radu as a mess of make up with a nice trenchcoat, but Hove imbues the Radu with great character and charm and becomes the real focal point of the series, especially as the sequels progress.

Acting as the foundation of the picture is the country of Romania itself.  Shot entirely on location in Bucharest, the film looks unlike any other vampire flick on the market.  Given the budget, the film should look cheap. But Bucharest and all of the native Bucharestians give the film a production value, and more important, an authenticity  that one does not often find in a low budget horror movie.  Or, it could be that I’m just an ignorant American.

Now I know you must assume that the title “Subspecies” refers to the vampires  but you would be wrong.  No, the subspecies (according to the back of the video box) are, in fact, Radu’s little minions that are grown from his amputated fingers.  Yes, you read that sentence correctly, and no, it does not make a lick of sense.  Please understand: Subspecies is produced by Full Moon Entertainment, so by contract there has to be some form of cute, little creature of darkness.  See: The Puppet MasterDemonic Toys , DollmanPrehysteria! , and Dangerous Worry Dolls.

And if none of the above is enough for you, there is always Angus “The Tall Man” Scrimm... wearing poodle hair as the King of Vampires!  Again, Yes, you read that right and no, it doesn’t make any sense.