God of Vampires DVD Review
Written by Sharon Davies and Ilan Sheady
DVD released by Safecracker Pictures
Written and directed by Rob Fitz
2011, Region 2 (PAL), 82 Minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD Released 9th July 2012
Jayson Argento as Jablonski
Dharma Lim as Frank Ng
Shy Theerakulstit as Vincent
Ben Wang as Uncle Ping
[Ilan Sheady] I’m sure you won’t need me to tell you that Asian horror has a tendency to feel a little bit more ‘out there’ than the typical western horror. Films like Ju-on (The Grudge), Ringu (The Ring) and Shutter pushed the boundaries of the ‘vengeful spirit’ genre while films like the recent Dead Sushi (premiered at this years Frightfest the 13th) shattered the boundaries of any genre it could possibly be included in.
Excuse the pun but it was only a matter of time before the bloodsuckers had another re-vamp and there’s nothing quite as uniquely imaginative as eastern folklore. God of Vampires isn’t as insane as many of its predecessors with it being made within an American movie, but there are enough abnormalities in the genre to put us in unfamiliar territory.
[Sharon Davies] So sinking our fangs into this story we cast our eyes on contract killer Frank Ng, he has been hired to dispose of a Chinese crime lord, but as luck would have it this is no ordinary gangster – Frank has unwittingly been hired to kill the legendary Kiang-Shi, a Chinese vampire God who is so appalled to have been challenged that he curses Frank's life. This curse will ensure that every person he cares for or even grazes will meet a sticky end and as the hunter becomes the hunted Frank must desperately put together a force which will allow him choose to face his own monster and meet the darkness against him.
[IS] In many ways God of Vampires resembles John Carpenter’s 1998 film Vampires, but what makes this film stand out is the superstitions behind vampires, primarily because instead of worrying about anything as cumbersome as stakes through the heart, these vampire hunters need carry no more than Chinese scrolls which paralyze when pinned to the foreheads of the undead.
[SD] The main thing about this movie is it was a huge labour of love for the creators, director and all involved (it took a whopping six years to make) and all the blood, sweat and tears spill over in its character. For me the FX remind me so much of The Evil Dead and I defy any fan of its work not to be switched onto this. Made up of completely practical effects this does allow the movie to have a realistic dripping quality. Even the actor Dharma literally flings himself into the role and uses his choreography skills to the max, apparently smashing into real glass bottles, cracking his head through doors and breaking his finger three hours into a 21 hour scene, but battling on.
[IS/SD] In summary you need to put yourself into a category – are you the sort of horror fan who needs their skulls polished and their carving knives clean or can you fight through the grime and see the art beneath the budget? What this film does for the industry is show that with a willing crew and huge determination you can achieve anything, you don’t have to churn out the same old tired storyline over and over again, and CGI can go to the dogs. If you are the latter then you’re in for a gloriously sticky ride.
Video and Audio:
What the film gains in notoriety, determination and originality is does seem to lose in its video quality and audio, which is uncomfortably layered. Like how someone with one eye loses depth perception, it feels like everything is fighting to be heard each sound over another, a piece of dialogue hidden within a piece of music or a sound effect is lost under something that should be further away. It can often feel disorientating but if you can swim through the audio gore then you may just have a ruby at the end.
There are no special features on this disc.