Virus-induced vampirism sets the low budget three-raspberry cheapy Reign in Darkness (2002) in motion.
There are moments in this Australian produkction when one thinks someone involved in the project (i.e., writer-directors Kel Dolen & David Allen) did hope to do something worthwhile, but simply didn't know how.
Looking for anything to praise, one can say the rough photography is sometimes accidentally elegant rather than endlessly amateurish. But being too cheap even to rent a day-for-night filter, the box's promise that "they feed while the world sleeps" is acted out in broad daylight.
Action sequences are reminiscent of something you might see in front of a 7-11 store when drunken hilljacks are pretending they're Bruce Lee.
The moments that are apparently intended to be actually macho come across faggoty instead. The climactic swordfight with its hard-on for Wesley Snipes in Blade fascinates only by the awesome incompetence of its choreography.
The anti-climax's cheezy overlong speech about vampires & HIV & how humans are destroying the environment is so earnest it's positively tragic to realize that the reason it isn't effectively funny is because it wasn't supposed to be.
The vampire sound effects seem to have been purchased from the Stupidmat, & range from noises children might make thinking they sound just like snarly dogs, to the gurgling inside a clogged toilet.
The unknown actors aren't worth mentioning by name, except to note that would-be Jack-of-all-Trades writer-director Dolen also fancies himself as having movie star potential. As "hero" of the piece, he isn't butt-ugly like the rest of the cast, & looks pretty good in a Matrix coat. Nevertheless a peanut with a face inked on it could act better, & the character's explain-everything voice-overs are excruciating.
There are moments when the film raises to the level of mediocrity & one thinks, "Well, I've seen worse," but then it just gets increasingly tiresome. It finally just seems to have been the creation of a pack of morons who got into some film school on scholarships for the mentally handicapped.
Vampire's Kiss (1989) and The Hunger (1983)
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl