Saturday, August 25, 2007

Perfect Creature (2007)

Vampire flicks are notoriously hard suckers (pun intended) to pull off. The vampire myth is so well-known that to keep the audience’s interest you need to throw something new and exciting into the mix. It seems that there are a plethora of vampire movies released into the horror market ever year, but few of them are memorable or even good.

Luckily, the recently released Perfect Creature, written and directed by Glenn Standring, infuses the tired genre with a whole new take on the vampire mythos, one that has vampires co-existing peacefully with humans…until a renegade decides to change the world.

In an alternate world that looks like a post-industrial Victorian London mixed with 1950’s and 1960’s technology, The Brotherhood exists. The Brotherhood is a superior race that began some 300 years ago who use their abilities to protect humans. In turn, humans revere and give their blood to sustain the Brothers. The Brothers have never killed a human being for blood…until now. Edgar (Leo Gregory), a renegade Brother has snapped and is now running amuck through the city, feasting on humans. Edgar had been doing genetic experiments to try and make female vampires a reality. You see, there are no females in the Brotherhood and therefore there hasn’t been a new Brother in over 70 years. Edgar has been infected with his own tainted experiment that has made him bloodthirsty. Silus (Dougray Scott), a high-ranking Brother in the order, is hard on his tail, but the human police discover one of Edgar’s victims before Silus can catch him and cover it up. The police, including Lilly (Saffron Burrows) and Jones (Scott Wills), are joined by Silus to track down the vicious Edgar before he starts spreading his virulent disease.

Perfect Creature is a wondrous new take on the vampire myth. These fanged creatures certainly don’t follow the rules of old school vampires! For one, they are looked up to by the human populace and revered as priests, scholars, scientists and benefactors. They also can move about freely in sunlight and don’t need a stake through the heart to kill them. They still have fangs and still need blood to survive, but these fanged crusaders do things for “the greater good” and all that jazz.

Adding to the “different feel” of the movie is the setting. The film is set in a gritty, dirty world that Jack the Ripper would feel comfortable in. At the same time, the industrial-Victorian feel is contrasted with the more modern appliances we see – a 50’s style television, old cars and even a zeppelin flying overhead. The spectacular visuals and setting sealed the deal for me and really sold the very different vampire story.

Speaking of the story, it goes deeper than merely two vampires, one good and one bad, duking it out. The relationship between Silus and Lilly develops very subtlety and there is a nice little surprise at the end that wraps everything up nicely while still leaving the film wide open for a follow-up. The characters were all well-developed and the film goes much deeper than a typical Underworld/Blade-style vampire film.

The action scenes do not disappoint, though I thought there would be more of them. The way the Brothers crawl straight up walls and other feats of their superhuman strength were pretty nifty to watch. Edgar’s escape from the Brotherhood was fraught with expectancy and was a thrill to watch. For a vampire film, there’s not very much blood spilled, but I was still pleasantly surprised at how the film stuck to a solid storyline rather than devolving into a brainless vamp action film. Props must be given to writer/director Glenn Standring for crafting such a fine story.

If you are sick of all the throw-away vampire films that seem so frequent these days, sink your teeth into this meaty hunk of a whole different breed. This Creature is definitely one feature you won’t want to miss…

Available on Amazon!

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