- X 2019
Fist of the Vampire
Lisa McQuiston, Len Kabasinski (executive) for KillerWolf Films
directed by Len Kabasinski
starring Brian Heffron, Darian Caine, Brian Anthony, Cheyenne King, Leon South (= Len Kabasinski), Deanna Visalle, Stevie Vaneck, James C. Nickels, Brian Arrington, Dave Campbell, Victor Kuehn, Matt Borczon, Christian Lestat Bussiere, Todd Chapman, Mason Cizmek, Melody Davidson, Kylie Deneen, Melody Lee, Gina Rae Michaels, Jason Russo, Melissa Scott, Natalie Vindivich
written by Len Kabasinski, music by Figblots and Chylum, fight choreography by Leon South (= Len Kabasinski), special effects by Cemetary Lights FX
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Cop Lee (Brian Anthony) is sent to infiltrate the gang of Nicholas
(Brian Heffron), a gang that's running an illegal fight club, but also
does a bit of drug pushing and group murder on the side. Lee figures the
best way to infiltrate the gang is as a prize fighter, and he soon fights
and wins at Nicholas's tournaments. But Nicholas and company are no fools,
neither, they soon figure they are spied on and want to lure him into a
death trap. And Nicholas and his guys and girls have one advantage over
Lee: They are vampires - which by the way explains why they have to resort
to group murder every now and again ...
Lee and fellow undercover agent
Davidson (Cheyenne King) have done their homework though, and by comparing
the cases linked to the gang they have long figured Nicholas might run a
vampire gang, and when Lee walks into Nicholas's death trap, he walks in
well-prepared, armed to the teeth with stakes as such, while Davidson has
managed to take out Nicholas right-hand man Reno (Len Kabasinski) simply
by turning his watch two hours back, which makes him, the vampire, walk
out into the sun unprepared.
Of course, everything ends happily, and in
the end, we learn that it was Nicholas and his gang who killed Lee's
family 30 years ago ...
An ambitious low budget picture that
has a lot of things going for it: It's directed in a very cinematic way,
nicely filmed, and director/fighgt choreographer Len Kabasinski certainly
has an eye for action, ably demonstrated in the slick fight scenes. And
that most of the performers are actual martial artists doesn't hurt one
bit of course.
But that said, the film is far from perfect: Basically,
its beautiful direction never goes beneath the surface, and while
everything looks good, it pretty much lacks dramatic impact, while the
scenes are shot and edited in the coolest of ways, their narrative
functions are limited, and even if the musical score sounds good by
itself, it does nothing to build up atmosphere or suspense. Also, while
most of the performers might be skilled martial artists, hardly any of
them are skilled actors - in fact only the ever-dependable Darian Caine
gives a spirited performance, but she's sadly underused.
In all, while
the film can hardly be called a trainwreck, it is basically a missed