Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Children of the Night

Director - Tony Randel (Hellbound: Hellraiser II)
Starring - Karen Black (House of 1000 Corpses), Peter DeLuise (Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon), and Ami Dolenz (Ticks)
Release Date - 1991
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Pray for Dawn" and "Be home before nightfall... and pray for dawn!"
Format - VHS (Personal Collection) (Stills from youtube)

Rating (out of 5):

     This is a movie I've seen multiple times before.  I remember seeing it for the first time when it aired on t.v. when I was younger and really liked it.  I was able to find it later on VHS  at a flea market or yard sale, I don't remember which.  As I got older, me and my friends would often pull all-nighters and watch horror movies.  I remember showing them this one and they hated it.  After doing a little digging online I found out that a lot of people hate this film. This is surprising to me because I really enjoyed this movie.  This movie is one of the few films released by Fangoria Films before Fangoria shut that department down.
     The film follows two friends preparing to leave town for college.  The local teens have a ritual for those leaving.  Those moving out of town have to swim in a flooded crypt in order to wash the dirt of the town off   Those that do not will eventually be sucked back.  One of the girls, Lucy (Dolenz), is wearing a necklace with a cross pennant.  Her cross falls from her necklace and touches an ancient vampire on the forehead.  This burns the ancient vampire and awakens him from a decades long slumber.  The thing grabs Lucy's friend, Cindy, and drags her under as Lucy flees for her life.  We then meet Mark Gardner (Deluise).  Mark is a school teacher in another town and travels to Allburg, the town the girls are in, because a friend asks him to.  His friend, a priest, has broken his vows and sleeps with his brother's wife.  His brother is deceased and he checks in on his widow and daughter whenever he can.  However, something happened when he checked on them this time.  The priest takes Mark back to his brother's home.  Once inside he finds one of the rooms is boarded up and he hears a woman screaming.  He looks inside and discovers that Cindy and her mother are now vampires.  The priest has been calling Lucy because he knows her and Cindy was together the day Cindy was turned.  Every time he calls her house he hears a woman panting and groaning.  Mark knows Lucy and wants to go check on her.  Mark is able to rescue Lucy from her grandmother-turned-vampire and the two team up with the town drunk to battle a town full of vampires.  While preparing to battle the vampires, the town drunk tells Lucy and Mark about who the man was in the water.  The vampire, dressed as a priest, came in to town about 50 years prior.  He would play games with the children till he earned their trust.  He would then take them to the crypt and feed.  Knowing their children was dead, the residents of the town made the drunk flood the crypt sealing him in.  The three strap a cross to the front of a van and give the town of vampires some hell. 
      I really like writing reviews for films I've seen before.  I can go more in depth with those films because I notice more and more about it with each viewing.  I can see see why so many people do not like this film, however, I think the good far out weighs the bad.  I really love the storyline for this film.  There are so many aspects of the story I really enjoyed.  The first thing I really liked was the ancient vampire dressed as a priest and dragging kids down to their deaths aspect.  If you want my honest opinion, which I think you do because your reading my review, is that is true horror at it's finest.  I also liked the twist that was added to the vampire mythos.  Instead of the vampires resting in coffins they lay in water with their lungs exposed, while others spit out a cocoon that covers their body.  I also like the atmosphere of the film.  The film's dark tones, dark atmosphere, and character development only makes the storyline even more enjoyable.  The acting is decent on some levels.  Some of the cast did a great job while others did not.  In fact, those that did a bad job added some comedy relief to the film.  The film does not offer much in the realm of kills, but does offer up some great practical effects.  Though the special effects look great the CGI does not.  I have a hatred for bad CGI and this film does have a few shots of it.  Overall, I recommend this flick for any true horror fan.  The only downside is that if you really want to watch it you will have to grab a VHS because the DVD is long out of print and really expensive.



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