A road/vampire movie with teen leads, The Forsaken
feels a lot like a sexed-up pilot for a TV series. Kerr Smith takes a job driving a classic car from LA to Miami, with clear instructions that no harm should come to the wheels and he shouldn't pick up hitch-hikers. In the middle of nowhere he is manipulated into giving a lift to a drifting slacker (Brendan Fehr) who turns out to have been bitten by a vampire year or so back. Fehr is keeping the transformation into a blood-drinking monster under control with medication, but needs to destroy the master fiend who sired his attacker to effect a total cure. When Smith is nibbled by traumatised babe Isabella Miko, he is infected too and they all hare off to track down Kit (Jonathan Shaech), a medieval French knight currently cruising the backroads with a posse of minion-cum-killer associates.
Unlike Near Dark, from which it steals a lot, The Forsaken is pretty feeble in its re-imagining of the vampire myth: Shaech is just another pin-up pretty boy with highlit eyes who bungles his master villainy, while the very striking Phina Oruche (a black English model) is wasted in an eye-candy role as his nastiest disciple. Smith and Fehr do better in the traditionally weak hero parts, benefiting from snappy patter, but the plot keeps tripping over itself and the blood orgies and vampire combustions are third-hand.
On the DVD: The Forsaken comes to DVD with three tiny deleted scenes, two minimal featurettes, trailers, filmographies, and a dry but absorbing commentary track from director JS. Cardone. --Kim Newman
Sean (Kerr Smith) is driving cross-country to deliver a vintage Mercedes and attend his sister's wedding when he picks up a hitchhiker, Nick (Brendan Fehr), who just happens to be a vampire hunter, tracking down a group of youthful vampires that feed on unwary travelers. As the plot thickens, they run into Megan, (Isabella Miko) who has been left for dead by the vampires. As they use her as a lure for the vampires, Sean becomes attracted to her. Further complications ensue when Sean is infectedwith the vampire virus. He, Megan and Nick must race against time to kill the vampire leader (Jonathon Schaech) to stop Sean from becoming one of the undead.