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Fist Of The Vampire
cast: Brian Anthony, Darian Caine, Cheyenne King, Brittney Card, and Melissa Scott

director: Len Kabasinki

95 minutes (18) 2007
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Brain Damage DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 3/10
reviewed by James A. Stewart
Two of the most successful genres of film ever are martial arts and vampire movies. Throughout the decades since big-screen filmmaking began, there have been some groundbreaking pieces delivered to us by visionary directors, producers and actors. In martial arts we've had Enter The Dragon, The Crow, Shaolin Master Killer and in the vampire vein there has been Interview With The Vampire, Nosferatu and Salem's Lot. But, I can tell you right now, Fist Of The Vampire will be consigned to bargain bins and compilation DVDs in due course as this is far from classic.

The plot is absurdly simple. As with many offerings from North America, we have the undercover cop; in this case Detective Lee Southward. The detective's task is to infiltrate and bring down an underground fighting organisation. To be fair, Brian Anthony puts in a commendable performance as Southward in this well worn and clichéd role. As he closes in on his prey he starts to find things go a tad weird, and that there are some strong links back to a cold case over 30 years old. Can it be there are vampires involved? Well, the title does give that surprise away a wee bit.

Fist Of The Vampire starts to go by awry when the plot holes start cropping up. I won't go into detail as I am still rubbing my eyes in disbelief at the horribly acted fight scenes where choreography seems to have been a luxury that the makers simply couldn't afford. As the film wears on the idea of vampires practising martial arts is dropped in. And they fight in the tournament - hell, they bloody (geddit?) organise it! I am still trying to work out why. I mean, a vampire who wants blood goes and gets blood, end of story. However, in Fist Of The Vampire bloodlust is perpetrated through fighting.

This gets the film into some sort of Fight Club, Blade, From Dusk Till Dawn and Bloodsport combo. It's as if all the bad points have been picked from these classics and thrown into a melting pot of CGI and drunken direction. Fist Of The Vampire is a film that fails on so many levels. It is poorly acted with cumbersome fighting and repetitive scenes that are condescending to the viewer. Even the sound and dialogue are sketchy, at best. If you want to see high kicking vampires stick to Blade for the time being, even the much maligned Spike TV spin-off of the hugely successful Wesley Snipes' films wipe the floor with Fist Of The Vampire. And that is saying something.

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