I had never heard of this movie, but it’s dated 1986, and since the 80s was my favorite decade I decided to give it a shot. A Facebook friend then filled me in that it was part of an anthology, a movie called, Fright House (1989), and the vesion included is a shortened version. Fright House didn’t ring a bell either until he showed me a cover of the DVD he had and then I realized I had seen it in the pages of Fangoria, probably as a review.
I had hoped it was going to fall into that good-bad movie category, but at 80-minutes it took me two nights to get through, thus making a bad-bad movie, with a confusing plot to boot.
In Fright House this flick is called, Abadon, which is a more appropriate title, the Vampires one isn’t, at least not fully. The late Duane Jones (Night Of The Living Dead original), stars in it, kind of, and it’s also his last film. Apparently there this private school that’s been around since the 18th century that used to be the hub for these mad experiments. Now it’s a private school run by this chick whose last name is Abadon. According to the movie humans are made up of positive and negative energy and this woman’s husband created a machine that could suck out all the positive energy, leaving the negative, which I think is supposed to make you some kind of killer that lurks around the school offing anyone that comes within reach.
Duane Jones is ex-scientist, Dr. Charles Harmon, who, I think, helped in the creation of this machine and has been living a long, long time, possibly from the 18th century, and this Madeline Abadon (Jackie James), is some kind of immortal too. She routinely turns on the machine, sucks some energy from the kids (it’s never shown how this energy is sucked) and has remained youthful ever since.
The movie starts off by following this exchange student named, Ione (Orly Benyar), who’s at the school looking for this dude she met in Paris the summer before, but this dude got his energy sucked, went missing, and roams around killing chicks. She meets Helen, and after Ione sees her guy wandering around outside, approaches him and gets killed (none of this shown but explained away through a voice over) the movie then follows Helen. The big twist with Helen is that her parents are Jones and that Madeline. There’s a really lame confrontation that goes no where with the three of them before we get an equally lame twist that has Helen an immortal now? I’m not sure.
Oh, and then there’s this odd prologue of this chick coming to the school, getting settled in, taking a shower and finding the toilet won’t flush. Her boyfriend visits her, they have sex and then they’re both sucked directly into the toilet and disappear. No clue what the hell that had to do with the movie, but it happened.
The production value is really low, but that’s never been a deterrent when it comes to liking certain bad movies. This one just happened to be on the extreme lower end than what I’m used to dealing with.
So this should come as no surprise to anyone reading this that I cannot recommend Vampires on any level what so ever.
On May 10th Film Chest releases Vampires on DVD only!
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1.33:1 full frame—English Dolby Digital Stereo—No subs.
To add insult to injury the transfer is horrendous. It’s from a VHS and not a very good one. Day and light scenes are fairly discernible, but the night time stuff isn’t and certain other shots where detail is all flattened out.
Thankfully there are no extras included at all.
The only good news I have to offer is that this review is now over.