Superhero
Vampirella
.
Dir: Jim Wynorski
Star: Talisa Soto, Roger Daltrey, Richard Joseph Paul, Brian Bloom, Corinna Harney
Cert / Year: - R / 1996
Format: DVD R1
'

Vampirella (Talisa Soto) is a dark, Mysterious and sensual, vampire princess from the planet Drakulon. Unlike most vampires she will not kill to get the blood that she needs, surviving on a synthetic substitute, Vampirella journeys across the stars seeking vengeance the brutal murder of her father. Tracking his killer, to Earth where finding herself in Las Vegas she discovers her enemy the evil Vlad (Roger Daltrey) has disguised himself as a rock star. In order to stop Vlad's dastardly plan for world domination, Vampirella must make a dangerous alliance with a group of hi-tech vampire hunters as its a race to prevent the apocalypse and our fate is in the hands of the fiery and beautiful Vampirella.

Vampirella is a dumb and half-hearted / witted adaptation of the popular comic book of the same name by Forrest J Ackerman. Although the character is renowned for wearing little clothing, this does seem to be a flimsy excuse to have the beautiful Talisa Soto cavorting around and strutting her stuff in a small, red plastic leotard / swimsuit (Not that I'm complaining of course) and little else. Admittedly, Soto isn't as fulsome or buxom as the comic representation but she looks good and I suppose that was the point here. The story is as you would expect, taken from the comic which was never what you would consider intellectually stimulating stuff, but it seems to have been infused with plenty of cheese and reworked as it appears pretty corny and very cheesy.

Lead singer of The Who, Roger Daltrey takes time out from singing and tries his hand at acting. 'Hammy' is inadequate a word for his dreadful, over the top and generally camp performance. You can't help but cringe in shame for him at times, not to mention the dodgy song he sings here. Overall, you wonder just what Daltrey was thinking when he agreed to do this (Although the chance to snog Talisa Soto on screen may have been a deciding factor), as he really should have stayed at home and planned another comeback concert for The Who, and leave all this acting lark for real actors. Just why exactly they keep handcuffing him in the film when they seem most ineffective and he can break out of them at the drop of a hat is quite inexplicable. The sultry, doe eyed Talisa Soto is visually pleasing as ever but like her co-star is guilty of some cheesy moments, in a terribly Razor Blade Smile kind of way. Although being totally fair, I very much doubt it is her minimal acting ability that will attract the majority of viewers.

The fight scenes are very amateur and look awfully false and totally staged, most unconvincing and rather disappointing. To make matters even worse, there are some cheap looking sets and the whole affair has 'low budget' stamped all over it with an unavoidable bland cheapness. The influence of Executive Producer Roger Corman on this movie is very much in evidence, but this could have done better with him behind the lens instead of Wynorski. In true Corman fashion, the director uses some stock space special effects footage from another of his B-movie flicks, the Traci Lords starrer Not of this Earth (which is also pretty dire) for the dastardly escape by Vlad and his cohorts from the planet Drakulon.

Vampirella is bound to attract a certain audience (hormone enraged teenagers probably), but is unlikely to endear itself to the legions of comic book fans out there. If you try to see this as an adaptation of the comic, you will be disappointed because it stinks. There also seems to be similarities to Blade in some respects; the bad guy threatening to plunge the world into perpetual darkness so his vampire hordes can feed on human kind, vampire hero / heroine that won't take human life to drink blood, a blood serum substitute and the whole revenge thing, but in reality, this is not even close to being as cool as Blade. But as no brain lads entertainment it is just about palatable, after some alcoholic lubrication that is. Not quite as bad as many Fred Olen Ray movies and not as bad as Razor Blade Smile, but bear in mind that there is No horror here folks, just cheese.

There are a couple of amusing (if only in a geeky way) cameo's by Phantasm bad guy Angus Scrimm and cult director John Landis, but there is little else noteworthy really. Thankfully there is no sign of the threatened sequel advised in the end credits, which is probably a good thing.

Taglines

Thirsty for justice, she'll settle for blood.

Rating: 1 out of 5

DVD
Picture 4.3 Fullscreen Decent enough transfer but only fullscreen
Audio Mono Not good but tolerable
Features Dull uninteresting menu
Commenary track by director Jim Wynorski
Small cast biographies
3 Vampire B-movie trailers
Verdict Not very impressive presentation but the image looks good.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Reviewed by Logan Back Top Home