Perfect Creature

JULY 18, 2007


Man, if I was the slightest bit limber, I would kick myself for not checking out a theatrical screening of Perfect Creature a week or so ago. I saw the invite, and my response was “Why would I want to go see a direct to video movie in a theater?” (This was only the response in my head. I was much more professional in reality: I just deleted the email without replying at all). And now that I watched it at home, my thoughts are the exact opposite: this movie SHOULD have been theatrically released.

It’s no masterpiece, but it’s certainly a cut above what you would expect for a DTV vampire movie (starring Dougray Scott no less! Fuckin Ian, like you could ever compete with Mike). And it is in fact pretty damn good. Fans of films like Equilibrium and V for Vendetta should certainly appreciate the production design, which looks like a combination of 19th century London, 1940’s Germany, and a modern New York slum. I’m a sucker for alternate reality meshes of time and setting.

The plot’s not too shabby either. Vampires and humans peacefully co-exist, until the requisite evil vampire threatens that. His brother and two human cops reluctantly join together to stop him. But it’s not as silly as it sounds; in fact the film is deadly serious, and it's the better for it. It’s also refreshingly light on boring battles, a la Underworld or whatever passes for a modern vampire movie. Going against expectations is definitely one of writer/director Glenn Standring’s goals, and he often achieves them.

Plus Saffron Burrows is in it. Horror fans may remember her as the girl who needlessly stripped down to her underwear in Deep Blue Sea and then got badly edited out of the final scene because everyone realized that no one would like her character. She’s much more likeable here, and still hot. I can’t believe that movie came out 8 years ago already. Seems like just yesterday I was watching it back to back with a 2nd viewing of Blair Witch Project. Ah the good ol’ days, when horror movies were financially successful and good enough to pay to see a 2nd time.

Ironically, despite looking much better and more professional than any DTV film I have ever seen (except maybe Theodore Rex), the only real problem I have with the film is that it feels severely under-produced at times. It’s also very short (89 minutes), and it feels like they had to cut parts out due to a lack of resources. Or, I dunno, maybe they intended it to be the first of a trilogy or something. The head vampire (Stuart Wilson) character, for example, just disappears at the beginning of the 3rd act. There was a point where I switched my DVD display on to see how much was left, assuming there was like 40 minutes or so, only to discover there wasn’t even half that.

Still though, highly recommended, especially if you are like me (or in fact are me) and sick of typical vampire movies.

And is this a Horror Movie A Day record? I liked 3 movies in a row? And the one I’m seeing tomorrow stars Mary McCormack, so it’s already safe from the ‘crap’ basket.

What say you?


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