Top positive review
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Full Moon's vampire collection
on 1 December 2008
I had seen the first four movies here, the first two of which I owned on VHS many years ago and my DVD-R copies needed a rest so this box-set was an ideal opportunity to watch them again in sequence.
The first Subspecies sees three female students staying in an old house just as the vampire master Radu returns to his ancestral home, he soon has his eye on one of them. The Subspecies are the creatures that spring from Radu's blood and the effects are pretty well handled here.
Subspecies II sees the surviving student Michelle, now played by Denice Duff for the next 3 movies, escaping from Radu and fleeing to Bucharest where she is joined by her sister Rebecca (Melanie Shatner) it has a decent open ending as Rebecca tries to save her sister from Radu and his minions.
Subspecies III sees Rebecca, a Romanian policeman she has befriended and a low-level McGyver type trying to rescue Michelle in an "assault" on the castle.
Subpecies IV is set in a clinic where the mad doctor uses Michelle to trap Radu for his own use, this adds some clever twists to the series and has some suitably over the top hammy acting that fits in quite well.
The last movie Vampire Journals is the odd one out. It looks into the background of some of the vampires, not Radu though. It is atmospheric, grim, seedy and erotic, what more do you want from a vampire movie?
The negative points, I would have preferred the original covers and not the trimmed down versions; each film has a 10 minute or so "making of" featurette where the crew are generally shown goofing around but commentaries would have been nicer.
All in all a decent effort, in "making of Vampire Journals" director Ted Nicolaou even hinted of making another in the series but, as the last of these films was from 1998, it looks like that idea was shelved.