Vampires who look like Radu generally aren't very interested in romance, because... well, how many Lestat/Edward fangirls are interested in a guy with a rubber mask face?
But the third Subspecies movie tries pretty hard to whip up a tragic love story subplot for the heretofore-uninterested-in-romance Radu. "Bloodlust" does suffer from a rather slow middle section, where nobody seems to be doing much except hanging around spinning their wheels, but it does try to flesh out the characters of Michelle and Radu.
Immediately after the end of the last movie, "Mummy" (Pamela Gordon) proves that Michelle (Denise Duff) CAN be useful. Specifically, her blood can resurrect Radu (Anders Hove), bringing him back to life for the second time. Immediately the trio magically flees back to Radu's castle in Transylvania, where Michelle promises to be loyal to Radu if he teaches her the ways of the vampire.
Meanwhile, Becky (Melanie Shatner) freaks out upon discovering that her sister has vanished yet again, and along with the chiseled love interest whose name I have completely forgotten, she begins searching for Michelle's whereabouts. But Michelle is slowly falling into the sway of evil, even as Radu seems to be falling in love with his "pretty one."
"Bloodlust" is mostly composed of Becky and Designated Love Interest sniffing around for Radu, and Radu showing Michelle how to hunt pedestrians, turn into shadows and look longingly at the sunrise. That's it. Not much actually happens in this movie except that, except for brief periods at the beginning and end when things are much, much more more interesting.
Remember how most of Michelle's time in "Subspecies II: Bloodstone" was composed of running, crying and standing at clubs? It's sort of like that.
But the slowness is forgivable. Director Ted Nicolaou seems to be focusing more on character development than action. We still have some moments of hilarious B-movie gore (Mummy throws a knife that IMPALES A GUY'S HEAD), but Nicolaou is clearly much more interested in the slow moral slide of the ever-weepy Michelle ("Kill me, Radu") and Radu's romantic interest in her.
Well, there are some flaws with that. Denise Duff's perpetually weepy acting really doesn't illustrate how Michelle is being tempted to the dark side. And Radu's sudden love for Michelle seems kind of... sudden. However, Anders Hove does an excellent job depicting a monstrous, evil creature who maybe, just maybe, is starting to regret his past actions and feel sad about the emptiness of his life ("Now I have it all... don't I, pretty one?"
"Bloodlust" is a more character-driven piece than the previous two movies, trying to inject a little depth into Radu's character. Sadly, such cannot be said about "Subspecies IV"...
on 22 March 2016
Conclusion to the planned trilogy directed by Ted Nicolaou this third film ends rather openly suggesting that Full Moon Productions were already sizing up future instalments. This time Radu kidnaps Michelle and takes her to the castle that he shares with his mother, a Sorceress. He teaches her to master her vampire powers, willing to sacrifice everything to empower his true love when Michelle's sister Rebecca attacks his stronghold.
The trilogy is weakening here with little original storyline and little excitement. However the series still - at this point - remains highly unique and still fantastically riveting. Once again the acting is of a high standard, the Romanian locations breathtaking and the script, score and direction, even in this 'weaker hour' surpass many larger budget films. Stable stuff.