Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Welcome back Sporefans. In this week's review we will focus on the mystery and terror of the Sci-Fi pictures release of the 2005 movie "Man-Thing". For those of you who don't already know, Man-Thing is a character from Marvel comics, and it is the focus of a cheaply made movie originally to be released directly to DVD but was broadcast by the Sci-Fi network. If you're looking for any other type of "Man-Thing", I suggest you look elsewhere. Pervert.

I'd like to think that I have a unique perspective on this movie, because I have little to no prior knowledge of the comic or its contents. Because of my ignorance, there's no way for me to compare the movie to the original concepts laid out in the comics, and I could do a pure review of the movie alone. I know that some of my readers are familiar with "Man-Thing" in its comic book incarnation, and you may have your own opinion as to how the movie fared either on its own or by comparison. But in my untainted and uneducated view, this was a piece of crap.

Here's a quick overview of the plot for all of you who were spared from watching this Man-Thing-movie. A guy in a boat shows up to the small town of Bywater in some Southern state in the US. Apparently this guy is Kyle Williams, played by Matthew Le Nevez, and he's the new Sheriff in town. Using his super-sleuth abilities, Kyle asks the ferry man "Why is it (the town) called Bywater?". The stereotypically grizzled and dirty ferryman sarcastically replies "Cause it's by the water". This is a pretty good indication of how the rest of this movie is going to turn out, as most of the characters are crafted to re-enforce the stereotypes of the denizens of the deep South. Ironically, the movie was actually filmed in Australia using mostly Australian actors.
As the film progresses, Sheriff Williams is drawn into a fight between some environmental activists who are predictably the protagonists, and some big faceless corporation doing something bad to mother earth who are just as predictably the antagonists. Its not made entirely clear exactly what the bad, bad corporation is doing to the sacred Indian land that they bought from the local tribe, but if there are oil tanks in the back round and flames coming out of smokestacks, you can be pretty sure it has to do with oil.

At this point the movie introduces the leading lady, Teri Elizabeth Richards played by Rachael Taylor, who is an environmental activist/3rd grade school teacher. Also making their first on screen appearance is the main villain Frederic Schist, played by Jack Thompson as well as his number one son Jake Schist, played by Thompson's real life son Patrick Thompson. Keep your eyes open, as "Schist" is plastered over a lot of the surfaces of the buildings and machinery in this movie. Yes, this movie is full of Schist.

Enter "Man-Thing", as a shadowy moving tree/man shaped thing that kills one of the refinery workers. Now, for all of you who don't know, Man-Thing is a giant green tree looking thing with big red eyes. In the imdb plot outline, it lists Man-Thing as "a shambling swamp-monster whose touch burns those who feel fear.".

Well, I don't know anything about burning people with a touch, because the Man-Thing in this movie appears to like to shove a root or tentacle or something up the rear end of whomever it decides to kill and grow a tree in their guts. This is... well frankly, really really gay. Not only does this shambling menace get saddled with the name Man-Thing but it also likes to kill people through their butts. My personal theory is that Man-Thing was originally a character in "Deliverance" but was cut out because having a shambling tree thing sodomizing Ned Beatty didn't make any sense.

I kept waiting for those guys from "Queer eye for the straight guy" to show up and try and give Man-Thing a makeover.

So as the "plot" (and I use that term loosely) progresses, some people get killed in the aforementioned way, there are some Indian prophecies, and they eventually reveal that Man-Thing is some sort of sacred guardian. According to Pete Horn, the old Indian guy in the movie who knows all about this sort of thing (played by Rawiri Paratene), Man-Thing is the guardian spirit of "The Nexus of All Worlds". Who decided to put "The Nexus of All Worlds" in the middle of a swamp? Is Man-Thing angry that the white man is taking oil from his swampy home, or is he just pissed off that he has to spend eternity guarding the crappiest place on Earth?

There are a lot of things in this movie that stand out like some Schist on a sidewalk on a warm Summer day. There's a diner scene where the new Sheriff tries to get some coffee. After interacting with the local yokels, there's a bit where the old Indian guy who knows stuff pours sugar all over the counter and begins to do sand drawings. As one of The Damned pointed out "This tribe lives in a swamp. Why would this guy be doing sand paintings. There isn't a lot of sand in a swamp."

It should also be noted that pouring sugar all over the counter at a diner will probably piss off your waitress and get you kicked out onto the street. Not that I know that from personal experience.

The movie continues as the Sheriff and his cowardly Deputy investigate the mystery of the refinery workers killing by taking a crappy little boat out into the middle of the swamp in the dark of night. After giving a rousing speech about how the "Dark Water" area of the swamp gives him the willies, Deputy dead guy is predictably dispatched, leaving Sheriff Williams to feel a small pang of guilt over basically dragging someone out to their death.

Then, after the "Oops, my bad" moment is over, the Sheriff meets a bit character: Mike Ploog, played by Robert Mammone. Originally, I was going to leave Ploog out of this, but after some great dialogue I had to throw him in here. Check out this great scene:

Ploog: Can you smell that, Sheriff? It's the perfume of my future. Point, click, fame. [hears Man-Thing roaring out in the swamp]
There it is! Gotta go. Good luck out there, man! It's the cover of Life magazine, man!

Sheriff: Life magazine? Life magazine went out of business, you SPORING idiot!

And of course, Ploog gets plugged by the Man-Thing.

Make sure to cover your butt as the Man-Thing approches!

Eventually the ecologically sound school marm leads the Sheriff to the shack of the mythical Pete Horn, dabbler in sugar. His wonderful shack is surrounded by abandoned cars which are on fire for no apparent reason. This caught me as particularly absurd, so I decided to take a page from Man-Thing's handbook and do a little "probing" of my own, only for information and not up people's butts.

According to imdb, the tribe depicted in the movie is supposed to be the Seminole tribe. It turns out that the real Seminole people were the first tribe to set up a casino on their lands back in 1979, and as a result they have a lot of money. Let me say this again just to be clear.

They have a lot of money.

In fact, the Seminole tribe recently purchase the Hard Rock cafe chain of resturaunts. Also, just to confirm, there is no mention of sand painting on the Seminole tribe's website. Did I mention that they have a website?

OK, so the movie industry isn't renowned for its accurate depiction of reality, especially on direct to DVD horror movies made for a mere $7.5 million, which Sci-Fi scoops up and broadcasts as a "Sci-Fi Premiere" about twice a year. The Seminole thing aside, there are dozens of other things planted about this movie that make it pretty painful to watch. The plot is shoddy with no character development and there's very little backstory to help ease the audience into the film. You get the feeling that you're walking into a conversation about half way through and then spend the rest of the movie trying to catch up.

In this scene, the Schist really hits the fan.

The director also decided that Man-Thing "sees" in flashy jump-cut sequences, which give the impression that Man-Thing is perpetually both tripping on acid and taking large amounts of speed. The effect also gets re-used for the dream sequences and visions that the Sheriff recieves on occasion for no apparent reason. I guess Brett Leonard, director of this stinker, thought that he could cover up the purile script with some effects and flashy camera work, but his efforts fall flat and only draw attention to the movie's faults. I see a trend here, as some of Leonard's other works are "Virtuosity", "T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous" and "Highlander: The Source".

On a side note, if you're not familiar with that last Highlander title, don't fret, its due out in 2007.

The final nail in the coffin is that none of this is made any more bearable by Sci-Fi's editing, which cuts out all nudity, most of the violence and replaces all the profanity with flat voice overs of a specially picked and trained Sci-Fi intern saying "shoot" or "darn" where appropriate. I don't know what's worse, the unnecessary amounts of profanity that were inserted into the script because the writers thought it would be more adult if they cursed, or Sci-Fi's edits making all the more apparent that there's a great deal of content missing.

So in the end, this movie is typical of the made for DVD stock that Sci-Fi likes to show off (because it cost them nothing to make), full of cheap flashy effects, sound and fury, but ultimately its full of Schist.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Teenage Zombies

Hello again Sporefans. This week we have a quickie review of "Teenage Zombies". This movie was a gift that I recieved from one of The Damned which came in a 2 pack with "Teenagers from Outer Space". From the looks of the 2 pack I deduced that way back in 1959 people feared teenagers. I guess 1959 isn't too different from today in that aspect.

I like how the cover proclaims this movie to be a "cult classic" despite the fact that I've never heard of a cult that revolved around this movie.

Teenage Zombies tells the story of 4 teens, 2 guys and 2 girls, who go boating and explore a small island somewhere in the un-named body of water near the un-named town in some state in the U.S.A. The island happens to be the home of the evil Dr. Myra and her zombie horde. You can tell that she's evil because A) she's an adult and B) she's a brunette in a 1950's B-movie. Also, the zombies are a good hint that's she's up to no good.

Once discovered, Dr. Myra sends her zombies after the teens, and sends some more zombies to steal their boat. Now it should be noted that the zombie horde is only in 1 scene, shot from afar, and are just walking from one place to another on this island. After that, there's only one zombie: Igor. I'd like to tell you more about Igor, to give you a better picture of his hopes, his dreams, and his life before being turned into a zombie; but unfortunately the script just says "Igor: a zombie". Expect this type of depth for the remainder of the movie, in pretty much every aspect you can think of.

Igor: a zombie. Please also note that while the shot is in color, the movie is in the original black and white format. If they touched up the film quality and re-edited the sound this movie could be a piece of crap.

Now, I want to be clear on something. Way back in the day, before the 1968 movie "Night of the Living Dead", most movie zombies were portrayed as people who's mind were blank or controlled. They were not popularly undead until after Romero changed the zombie movie genre. Another great example of zombies pre-Romero was the 1941 movie "King of the Zombies", which I should review sometime. So the zombies of "Teenage Zombies" are not dead, they're just brainless. But why would anyone want to make people brainless? Why?

Because they're Un-American. That's why!

It seems that Dr. Myra is working for some foreign power who wants to take over the U.S. by making everyone mindless slaves. They commission Dr. Myra to develop some type of nerve gas pellets that make people into zombies. The pellets prove untrustworthy, but when they do work they make someone into a permanent zombie, like Igor. When the agents from the evil government show up and demand results, Dr. Myra suggests that they use a gas agent instead. The gas would make more people into zombies, but could be counter-acted if a skilled chemist got a hold of it. Which is good, because no one in 1959 would sit through the movie if the teenagers were made into permanent zombie slaves of a foreign power.

At this point there's a quick cut to some government men talking of government things. Things like, "Hey, did you know that there's some zombie making doctor planning on taking over America somewhere in the Mid-West experimenting on teens?" And government man 2 says something like "Yes, but we've no idea where the lab is, so we can do nothing. The only thing we can do is prepare for the worst. Maybe we could save 20% of the population." Don't worry, you never see these guys again in the movie. I don't even know why this scene was here. Its probably some statement about impotentce, but only Jerry Warren knows for sure, and he probably took that secret to the grave with him in 1988.

Anyhoo, Dr. Myra, with 4 teens in her custody and while being pressured to test this new gas by the evil agents, decides to test the new zombie gas on... a gorilla. Yeah. Once the gas hits the angry ape, its bedtime for Bonzo. Meanwhile, the 2 guys escape from their cage. Using their limited brain capabilities, they somehow convince the girls (who are in a separate cage) that staying locked up in the evil science lab is a good idea. Then the "two yout's" go out and try to find their boat. The one they already looked for and couldn't find earlier in the movie. Good job guys.

Just before dawn, team brainiac decides it "sure would be a swell idea, gosh golly to build a raft" and escape from the island on it. Using some crap that they found on the beach and some twine, they kind of, sort of, fashion something that might be a raft if you worked on it with some real materials for 4-5 hours. Then they hide their shame in the weeds and head back to their cage, before Igor figures out that they're gone. It really says something that these two fear being outwitted by a brainless zombie.

So, eventually, the girls get turned into zombies. There's some fighting, some shooting, and somebody dies. The counter-zombie formula is found a few minutes later and the girls are normal again. So much for the teenage zombie aspect of teenage zombies. Eventually, the gorilla finds some of the anti-zombie formula and goes ape on everyone.

I can feel your pain, you know. Your sweet, sweet pain.

The teens escape back to the mainland and turn in the evil Dr. Myra and the only living agent left, and then, completely un-scarred from their ordeal, dash to the car parked out front and drive away to go horseback riding.

So ends the flat, unsurprising tale of "Teenage Zombies". I'd say that there was a surprising lack of teenage zombies in this movie, but after the lack of vampires in "The Malibu Beach Vampires" this doesn't seem so bad by comparison. If you're looking for a nice, safe, tame movie, this is the one for you. This movie is about as scary as a bowl of plain, butterless mashed potatoes. If you've got the time to watch this movie, you'd be better off getting an extra 73 minutes of sleep instead.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Good evening Sporefans. Today we have another exiting review for you all. Today we'll be focusing on the "de-evolution" of movies by comparing two movies. One of these movies is a classic and a defining example of the horror film genre. The other movie is a piece of crap.

Today we will compare the 1979 classic "Alien" directed by Ridley Scott and "Parasite" a 2004 flop directed by Andrew Prendergast. These two movies are so similar and yet so different. I mean, one of them's actually good.

Lets start by introducing how the movies are similar. Alien is a movie about a group of people who are trapped in a large industrial ship with no one to help them. The intrepid crew works diligently for a faceless company and are isolated on a mining ship in space. The crew discover an alien life form, and I don't mean ALF, which attacks and kills the crew until there is only one survivor who escapes from the alien's clutches.

The movie Parasite has almost the exact same plot. Parasite is a movie about a group of people who are trapped on a large oil rig in the middle of a hurricane with no one to help them. The insipid crew works (occasionally, when they're not communally showering) for a corrupt company who has sent them to test a new experimental enzyme that eats oil residue. The crew accidentally overdose a lamprey, or eel, or something which attacks and kills the crew until the leading couple are the only two survivors who eventually escape from the oil rig.

This is what's left of the crew and the eco-terrorists after half the movie. The lug holding the flashlight and the girl with the target painted on her shirt are the least annoying actors left in this group. Guess which ones get killed off first.

So at a glance, the overall plot of these two movies is pretty much the same. But now we get to view some incredible differences. The most glaring of which is talent. The cast of Aliens are all professional actors and actresses who spent most of the movie improvising the dialogue. This shows a great deal of trust in the ability of the cast of Alien. The cast of Parasite can hardly be counted upon to deliver their lines. In fact, it appears that acting ability was directly inverse in proportion to the size of the role in the movie. While many of the supporting characters work well, the 3 main leads look like their auditioning for a high school play.

Actually in all good conscience I can't make that statement, as its too insulting to junior thespians everywhere to have to be in a comparison to these schmucks.

Saskia Gould is the worst of the 3, as her portrayal of Dr. Christine Hansen is grating when at its best, and sickening the other 98% of the time. Conrad Whitaker plays Mickey, the pretentious looking eco-terrorist who's acting is as pretentious as his character. G.W. Stevens starts the movie as the fake protagonist and presents a fairly decent portrayal until his character "breaks" under the pressure. After that it becomes apparent that while Stevens does have some small amount of talent, its not enough to counteract the horrible script, which was pasted together by no less than five separate writers. Compare that with the two writers for Alien, one of which worked on both the original story and then completed the screenplay solo.

"Dude, I'm like all about saving the planet and stuff, and that's deep. Chicks dig that, you know. But you wouldn't understand that because you're not cool like I am.
Hey, aren't you a giant mutated lamprey?"

Pretty much right after they inroduced "Mickey", The Damned and I started rooting for the monsters.

Speaking of scripts, the script for Parasite contains huge plot holes, the most glaring of which revolves around the motivation of the eco-terrorists. In the beginning of the movie there is a sequence shot in video of 3 masked men raiding a corporate installation and stealing information. The information stolen is about the enzyme that eats oil and the oil rig where the final stage testing is to occur.

This actually leads us to another minor plot hole: When the information is stolen, evil corporate head honcho man moves up the testing schedule so that months of lab testing are overlooked and the live demonstration at the oil rig is set to commence in the next couple of days. Turns out his sole motivation was to get Dr. Hansen killed, but how was faceless corporate head honcho man to know that the enzyme would mutate lampreys?

Well, the cleaning crew arrives and sets about cleaning all the oil residue off the oil rig... and also mutating some lampreys by O.D.ing them on the cleaning agent. Then, the eco-terrorists show up and take everyone hostage. This is pretty amazing, as the eco-terrorists show up completely unarmed, and are out manned 3 to 4. The eco-terrorists explain that they want to stop the sinking of the oil rig because the oil will harm the fish.

Now, they must have read the info that they stole at the beginning of the movie to find out where this test was taking place, so did they just skip the part where the entire point of the test was to provide an environmentally safe way to sink the oil rig and create a new reef formation? Granted, it also mutates lampreys, but no one knew that until someone screwed up the ratio of enzyme to water and made a super potent batch 1000 times more concentrated than anything made previously in the labs.

Finally lets have a look at the creatures themselves. In 1979, before the revolutionary changes brought about by computer animation and special effects, a crew of special effects artists took the conceptual work of H.R. Geiger and made it come to life using foam, latex, and even shellfish and the internal organs of a few animals. With 25 years in the advance of the special effects industry, you would think that Parasite would be able to keep up with their sophisticated computer animation. Guess again.

I will say that the most prominent shortcoming of the computer animation techniques is that the animated effects never look real when matted onto the film with the live action. There have been great advances in this field, and it is becoming less noticeable as time goes on, but computer animation is a technique that should be used sparingly, and could greatly benefit from filming live action models and overlaying them into the scene later. Its also a great way to film a scene that would be too dangerous for actors to film outright. A good example is the movie "Snakes on a Plane", where the snakes biting the passengers are CGI.

In Parasite, all of the moving monster effects are CGI. There are a few spots where they filmed cocoons which were made out of latex, but anytime the monster is moving at all, its CGI. Now lets consider the following: This movie is called "Parasite". The creatures in the movie are not parasites. They prey on the crew members and eat them whole, which is how Predator's operate.

Well, that and heat vision.

Parasites are supposed to infest their hosts and feed off of them while they live. The writers could have gone with smaller invasive parasites which actually would have made for a scarier and overall better movie. They would have been able to combine the real latex and foam techniques which evolved from many an 80's horror movie with CGI effects for the Parasites moving under the actor's skin (creepy, ain't it? Click it. Click the link. I dare you. I totally dare you to click this link you chicken.). Instead, somebody probably watched that awful 1998 movie "Deep Rising" with Famke Janssen and though giant eel lamprey creatures were cool. Add in the fact that CGI is cheap in 2004 and you get giant killer lampreys.

Now that I think about it, "Deep Rising" is another movie in this genre, has pretty much the same plot as Parasite without the enzyme. The only difference is that Deep Rising had a $45 million dollar budget. Compare that with the $11 million budget to the original Alien.

Check out this wicked bar graph. I totally stole this idea from that esuarez guy from The Foreign Object.

When we factor in the 3rd movie, you can see the downward curve of this genre of movie, and I think its time make our escape from Parasite. Oh, wait. We can't escape from this movie just yet, because there is one more incredible piece of ridiculousness that I have to lay on you all, and it has to do with escape.

So, lets play a game. You are the designer of an oil rig. You need to design an escape system that the crew can use in case of an emergency to evacuate your facility. Now, lets pick one of the 3 following options.

Option A: Life boats. Tried and true, but their deployment might be a little hazardous in storms, and boats made from wood are easily broken against the metal pilings of the rig. Still, not bad and will get you back to land if you have enough fuel.

Option B: Inflatable life rafts. There are inflatable life rafts that are designed to be used in storms, where there is a canopy over the top of the raft. It may not go anywhere, but you'll be safe on the raft until a rescue crew shows up for you.

Option C: A multi-million dollar electrically powered escape pod which requires the oil rig's generators to be functional to launch said pod 50 feet out into the water away from the oil rig. It should also be noted that this escape pod has only 2 seats, is controlled remotely by a computer in the main terminal of the rig and has no manual over-ride.

All of you who chose option C, pat yourselves on the back really, really hard, because you qualify to write the sequel to parasite. Everyone else can go home and do something else less shameful.

Saskia Gould shows off her "lifeboats". I guess this is how she got the lead.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Malibu Beach Vampires

Welcome back Sporefans. Many of you have been awaiting the first review of the new year, the much talked about movie "The Malibu Beach Vampires". Some of you were present at the screening of this movie, and a couple of you even survived. In honor of that momentous feat of daring, you brave souls have been elevated from minions to a new elite rank: The Damned.

Congratulations on your promotions.

The rest of you may now know the torments that they suffered as it is chronicled here in this review. May Cthulhu have mercy upon our twisted souls. I will now write the rest of this review while listening to some mood music, which you can listen to here.

Tune in Sporefans, cause its gonna get nice and heavy.

After all the pain waivers were signed, our magical journey into the heart of darkness began with a rousing, extended version of that 1965 classic song, "Beach Blanket Bingo". Whilst we were made to listen to this remixed 60's surf diddy, our ocular nerves were assaulted with the introduction to the night's viewing entertainment, "The Malibu Beach Vampires". We were made horrifyingly aware that certain actors and actresses, if they could be called as such, were to portray a bevy of original characters such as "Christina Walker as the Chairperson, Malibu Vampires, Inc", "Rod Sweitzer as Colonel Oliver West", Francis Creighton as Rev. Fakker" and lets not forget "Cherie Romans as the Girl who failed her S.A.T.".

There is no caption in the world that could make this image any better than it already is.

All this was accomplished as scenes of 4 girls in bikinis danced badly in a badly choreographed dance number on a beach somewhere that was probably not Malibu. We were also treated to several shots of seagulls and a passer-by or two on the beach which was then intermixed with the four twits playing air guitar and performing the monster mash so the editor could pad out the insipid number.

After about 11 or 12 minutes of this, we were treated to some dialogue between one of the vampires and someone that might have been Colonel West, as the flimsy premise for the movie is revealed. The Malibu Beach Vampires have come up from the underworld, not to drink the blood of humans, but to inject corrupt people with truth serum from their fangs, forcing them to tell the truth or die. At this point the sexually harassed vampire bares her fangs at West, as seen below.


The sight of these "venomous" fangs does nothing to stop West's lust for the vampire girl, and the two proceed to make out on the beach.

The plot eventually shifts over to Rev. Fakker and his wife Pammy Faye, whose television church appears to be in a converted dance studio. And by "converted" I mean that they threw a curtain over one of the mirrored walls, and only one wall. A second musical number is doled out by the Fakker dance squad for no apparent reason. After the number draws to a well needed close, the Reverend Fakker brings out a "cripple" in a wheelchair so that he might proceed with some of his good ol' fashioned faith healing.

Did I mention the cripple was wearing tap shoes and couldn't keep his legs still for the entire scene? I didn't? Did I also mention that the tap dancing cripple who couldn't play a cripple and had no speaking lines in the movie was the best actor in the entire production?

After this tap number, the plot gets a little hazy. There are some girls time sharing with Reverend Fakker who have some sort of scene where they discuss their dreams. The blonde one... oh wait... the blonde one with the curly hair reveals that she wants to be just like Cher, hence the name of her character "Wannabe Cher". At that point, the film editor decided that he wanted to do something classy and special to inform the audience that the following clip was intended as a dream sequence.

So he used a star wipe.

Somehow, in Wannabe Cher's dream sequence (which is supposed occur while she is speaking to the two other girls and therefore conscious) Wannabe Cher is attacked by a vampire and is forced to fend off the beast with her award, which is most definitely a lamp of some sort. I must commend the actress ability to portray a girl so stupid that her own daydream becomes a nightmare. Its almost as if it came naturally to her.

I love how this "award" has a bunch of wires in its hollow base.

After the Night-daydream-mare sequence, the plot completely goes down the crapper, as bits of a mock Oliver North-like trial are interspersed with a plot about a corrupt politician and more segments from the Reverend Fakker.

The movie was obviously trying to make some political statement. Unfortunately, the only statement that the Damned and I could interpret from this movie is that "Corruption is bad". There are scene's which allude to some conspiracy between the Reverend Fakker, Colonel West and the politician, but the movie never explains how the three "bad men" are in cahoots to hide the Colonel's use of CIA money to buy bikinis. The movie also sends mixed messages about how the men's corruption is inherently evil, as they are all obviously guilty of having extramarital affairs, and yet are constantly surrounded by vampires and women in bikinis having a good time.

Another great feature of this vampire movie is the extreme lack of vampires. The movie centers mostly around badly written scenes that allude to some acts of corruption, with some occasional extra crap thrown in for filler. We spent most of the movie trying to figure out what was going on, as the scenes shifted from one storyline to another, frequently re-using actors and actresses to play new parts or possibly the same part at a much different time. There was little delineation between scenes that were actually occurring and scenes that occurred in the character's vast and empty minds.

Reverend Fakker and "Little Vlad" share a moment.

Speaking of scenes, there were about 3 main sets for the most of the movie. The beach, the Fakker television chapel/dance studio and the trial/speech areas that were shot against a black cloth backdrop, most likely a high school or community college auditorium. The rest of the scenes were shot in the cast and crew's homes, including one one living room shot and two bedroom shots.

I'm sorry, there was one other location. It was supposed to be a walk in closet. Unfortunately, no one in the production owned a walk in closet, so they just filmed the scene in a regular closet and had the girls walk into it. I guess the budget didn't allow for a script doctor, which is of little consequence as they would have needed a script mortician instead. With a little work, they might have been able to pull off a closed casket funeral.

So, as the Damned and I watched the numbers slowly increase on the front of my DVR, hinting at our eventual release from this vile garbage that assaulted our minds, a wondrous and humorous event occurred on the screen.

At 1 hour, 7 minutes and 49 seconds, someone was finally bitten by a vampire.

While it is technically true that Colonel West was "bitten" by a vampire, it was done accidentally... while they were making out. What we were witnessing at 1 hour, 7 minutes and 49 seconds was a true bite, full of intent and as vicious as 2 years of high school acting could produce. Could this be? Could the movie actually develop a plot and save itself ever so slightly from the murky depths it had plunged to?

To my amazement, the credits rolled at 1 hour, 10 minutes and 35 seconds. And with that, "The Malibu Beach Vampires" sank to the bottom of the murky depths of the motion picture toilet were it so belonged. Unfortunately for me, my copy of "The Malibu Beach Vampires" didn't fit down the toilet so well, and all I got for my trouble was a wet floor and a bill from the plumber.

The horror. The Horror.