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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Perfect Creature [DVD]
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on 9 February 2008
Very much in the style of Tim Burton, foreboding and oppressive relative to the mood of the new Sweeney Todd..as it features alley ways etc. Thank heavens for the rogue vampire, otherwise this would be too sedate and ramble...the scenes are good, but not enough of him. The acting is fine throughout..but paced somewhat lazily as it dwells on the pact of being good with the authorities. Bad is rather good when it comes to vampires, and more action scenes would have made this quite super..instead one can only say this is fairly good...in that it looks nice and we have vampires, even though the majority are in sombre mood throughout, leaving the rogue vampire to prove what vampires are all about, and he does not fail in that.
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on 2 August 2009
For a premise that goes against the grain of so many Hollywood vampire flicks, this film makes use of far too many plain, boring character types.

Enter the stereotypical bad guy, who wishes to show the vampire masses that hunting = good. Lestat hair cut - check. Dodgy accent - check. Psychopath - check.

Enter the heroes. Hero 1, a member of the vampiric 'brotherhood'. Dressed only in black - check. Emotionally distant - check. Related to the bad guy - check. Hero 2, a police officer hot onto the bad guy's trail. Emotionally traumatized - check. Works best outside the rules - check. Romantic interest for hero 1 - check.

The stamp of studio exec interference is all over this production. It's a steampunk, buddy-cop, horror mash up that's gone mildly wrong...and I think that's a real shame. The romance/blood lust between the two heroes is so contrived you can almost hear the studio exec saying 'add more sex appeal' - so voila, it gets chucked in. And that goes for the widening of Dougray Scott's role too. It's not hard to see that Silus was never meant to be the central character. In this kind of story you need your audience to identify with the humanity of the hero...Silus has very little. He was never intended to, the character wasn't written that way.

If the romance had been dumped entirely, and Silus made a secondary 'hero' then 'Perfect Creature' may just have made a really good flick, rather than an okay B-movie.
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VINE VOICEon 8 December 2009
First off, despite the vampires and blood-letting, this is not a horror movie. This is a Science Fiction film set in a parallel world where, 300 years ago, vampires were created by an early form of genetic engineering. They are born, infrequently, from human women and are all male. Rather than act as predators, they have set themselves up as protectors of humanity and have organised themselves into the highly respected Brotherhood where they function as a cross between priest and scientist, receiving voluntary donations of blood. Technologically this world is very different from ours with a technological level that echoes, sort of, the 1950s but crossed with Victorian steampunk -steam-engined cars for example. A genuinely different world is convincingly created despite a low budget and is worth seeing for this alone.

The villain is a vampire whose illegal, but unofficially sanctioned by his superiors, experiments have changed him and he's become a predator of humans. However, his real motives are far darker than mere bloodlust. It's unfortunate that he resembles Bob Geldof on a really bad day. Dougray Scott effectively plays the taciturn vampire hero who has to track the villain down. Saffron Burrows is even better as the efficient but emotionally-damaged police detective nominally in charge of the operation, which is also a coverup, and who becomes Scott's unrequited love interest. Unfortunately that also makes her a prime target for the villain. And that is just the setup.

This is an intelligent and skillfully made film which deserves to be better known than it is. It doesn't, however, work quite as well as it should, possibly because of its unrelenting grimness, not helped by being mostly set in a slum within an industrially polluted city. However, if you want to see a Science Fiction movie which attempts something different, I strongly urge you to give this a try as you may find it surprisingly rewarding.
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VINE VOICEon 5 September 2010
Perfect creature is a very visual film, set in an alternate reality somewhere around 1900. Here Vampires belong to the Brotherhood, they look after the human race and are the focus of all religion. Part of the agreement is that people donate blood to the Brotherhood and do this willingly and it is a great honour. Never has a Vampire taken a human life - until now.

Again the setting is terrific, costumes are good and this alternate reality is a harsh impoverished place. For the setting the film gets top marks.

What I found troubled me is that the film is like watching a docudrama about the alternate reality because it lacked almost all suspense. It has an evil vampire but only a few scenes have much to get excited about, and towards the end there are hardly any at all.

It makes for an o.k. viewing but I really don't know how to classify it, it isn't horror, probably more like drama - with vampires. Not very good at all.
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on 7 December 2007
This classic vampire genre film was filmed in the South Island of New Zealand and features the victorian architecture of Dunedin and Oamaru. An interesting twist is that the vampires are the good guys. Recommended for fans of the genre and anyone interested in seeing a different side to New Zealand (if somewhat digitally altered) than the Lord of the Rings style landscape.
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on 23 January 2008
There is a problem when your hero must by design show very little emotion. This film fails to capture a sense of right and wrong with the situation it sets up; it dourly explains everything without betraying an interest; the main characters show no sense of connection let alone chemistry; Saffron Burrows emanates her usual mix of the tough and fragile, but Dougray Scott fails to convince in his change of heart (or perhaps it is merely the direction that renders him cold then colder), and Leo Gregory's bad brother has a great sense of menace and intensity but is let down by the most ridiculously wavy Anne Rice dictated hair cut. While the setting is convincing and fascinating, the action feels out of place, and too much of the plot feels too close to Underworld. It also feels slow. Brave attempt but feels mechanical and lacks passion.
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on 27 January 2010
Nuovo Zelandia, the 1960's. Following a series of plagues that have ravaged human kind, a new race is born, a race of vampires that becomes known as the brotherhood. Humans and vampires live side by side, the humans providing blood at church ceremonies for the vampires to exist, and in turn the vampires use ancient alchemy to provide cures for the plagues that still ravage the land. This arrangement soon is in danger, when a rogue member of the brotherhood, Edgar, infected by a virus whilst attempting to alter the birthrate of the brotherhood, starts to kill the people in the slum of Jamestown. Edgar's blood brother Silus assists the police in tracking him down before he kills again, but whilst capturing him, police officer Lilly(Saffron Burrows) is bitten by Edgar. Silus saves Lilly's life with an on the spot blood transfusion, and Edgar is taken to a laboratory in the headquarters of the Brotherhood.
However, Edgar escapes, and soon the population of Jamestown have a new plague to worry about, as Edgar vows to change the world to a very different place.
This film is a flawed, but very fascinating curio. It is set in an alternate New Zealand in the 1960's, where the industrial revolution of steam and steel is still very much alive, and where vampires and humans exist side by side in a fragile state of harmony. It looks great, with huge zeppelins flying way above the city, and giant bulidings reach into the sky. Its a film about race, as Edgar's actions endanger the purity of both races and Silus' selfless actions at the end change the world for the better. The film also shows religion, but the only one on show here is the church of the Brotherhood, mainly a place where people donate vessels of their blood for the survival of the Brotherhood.
The cast all do a great job, Leo Gregory especially of note as the unhinged Edgar. Saffron Burrows gives a nicely understated performance as the orphan detective.
The film perhaps throws one idea too many into the mix, but its difficult to criticize a film for having too many ideas.
Definately worth investing in, especially if you are looking for a very different take on the legend of vampires, and also if you are looking for an inventive mix of crime thriller and horror film. 4 out of 5
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VINE VOICEon 15 December 2009
This film really grabbed me at the start with its parallel world were a vampire type race "ruling" humans and set in a lovely grubby old world with a touch of Dark City, Blade runner, Poirot! and even the game Bioshock. However the quality isn't maintained and it ends up a little bit of a mess with several ideas and theme's touched on but none really settled on and nor focusing on a great story.

The basic plot is The Brothers, a vampires/church type race, protect the humans; especially from influenza. But the previously flawless protectors have a rogue in their ranks who they're loathed to admit and his brother is sent to sort him out and work with the human police.

The twist with the vampire being the protectors is excellent and adds a shade of mistrust with you for all there good deeds. They've the teeth and drink their own blood but don't have the blood lust. But then there's the rogue....

The plot has some parallels with religion and secret societies and touches on ideas of genetics, spread of disease (AIDS/ flu?), covering ups and actions for the greater good. However it fails to settle on one or two nor, as mention, a good neat story. The love story developes out of nothing as does an event near the end and would the Brothers act as they do?

Dougray Scott performance is excellent, difficult to read and captivating, Saffron Burrows is okay, Leo Gregory detracted from the story for me. Shame there wasn't more of the police.

The films set up for a sequel but not sure they'll be one!

The style and setting of the film is great so watch it if that appeals but don't expect it to be matched by the story.
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on 18 August 2013
The plot is unusual, and has a satisfying ending, one that, as far as I know, has not been alluded to before. It's a relatively peaceful vampire film, although the villain, an insane, out of control vampire does have his gory moments. The set is interesting due to being on an Earthlike planet, not Earth itself, and the steampunk enhanced cars, guns, even homely artifacts such as pipe work and radiators gave my consciousness a mild wallop, and made me question exactly where I was. The extreme architecture of the churches, and other local buildings, just that bit different from ours, also contributed to this feeling. The ethos of the age was the bringing together, under one roof, (the vampires') of religion, dogma and ritual and the advanced science of genetic engineering. Unhappy bedfellows I would have thought. This is slightly anomalous to the horse drawn vehicles and decidedly unscientific lives of the non vampires, the "ordinary" people.
I would like to have had a more in depth look at the lives of the vampires, their laboratories, and more on their religious rituals. There is certainly more scope for another film even if it is to show how the lives of the two "homo" species have survived intact, something that has not happened here on Earth!
I shall certainly watch this again, it's on my view a number of times list, and I know I'll enjoy it.
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on 7 February 2013
In this allegorical take on the evils of a Church ruling unchecked over humanity,
Vampires are the ... Church itself-called the Brotherhood in the film's
alternate, gothic-punk reality. This is a very interesting basic premise,
which, unfortunately, dies stillborn in a half-baked script, because
there isn't enough background of this alternate reality to hinge the story
Most of the CGI is unimpressive, but there are some nice shots of
Dickensian squalor. The enhanced senses of the Vampires are effectively
integrated in the film. Dougray Scott and Saffron Burrows are very good
in their respective, very subdued and dejected personas.
However, before anything meaningful evolves from their interaction,
the latter half of the film devolves
to some kind of disaster or action blockbuster, and ends in more confusion.
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