Monday, March 12, 2012

Clubbed Senseless: "Club Vampire" (1998)

I will never be a member of any club that would have me, especially this one.

Starr Andreeff is a single mom/stripper who gets attacked by a female vampire and left for dead. She begins to get a hankering for blood, and meets up with John Savage, looking like he's wondering where he left Michael Cimino's phone number. Savage is also a vampire and wants to let Andreef join his little vampire family, which consists of a British vamp, the blonde vamp who attacked Starr, and a green haired midget (I am not making this up). The family does not want Starr, so they try to kill Savage and Starr and Starr's kid.

Someone forgot to tell John Savage that this was a drama. He spends most of his screen time exhibiting more facial tics than Hugh Grant on a Jolt Cola bender, and he reads all of his lines like he is making a Farrelly Brothers film. Andreeff tries to make the most of a badly written role, but screenwriter/director Ruben goes for all the vampire cliches, like Starr eating her son's pet hamster and buying a lot of raw meat to fight the craving for blood. The kid also gets knocked around a lot, for those who think watching violence against children is really entertaining.

The film is extra gory, but not in a wild, over the top way like "Killer Tongue." Here, the gore is gross and never justified, it just occurs. It is just in the budget. Most of the R rating goes to Andreeff's coworkers, who are put through embarrassing strip routines in the background of conversation scenes. The budget does not include vampire fangs! All the vampires here must stab their prey to eat. Nifty idea, unless you have already seen George Romero's "Martin."

Even at 77 minutes, and once you throw in Ruben's attempts at arty direction (skewed frames, blurred scenes), this is one tiresome, dull, and dirty ride. Leave this club and take a shower, you will need it. (*) out of five stars.