Vampires and Other Stereotypes (1994)

Rating:

USA. 1994.

Crew

Director/Screenplay/Producer – Kevin J. Lindenmuth, Photography (colour + some scenes b&w) – Tullio Tedeschi, Music – The Krypt, Additional Music – Mike O’Brien, Special Effects – Imageffects Studios (Scott Hart & Scott Sliger), Additional Effects – Brimstone Productions, Set Design – One By One Film & Video. Production Company – Brimstone Productions

Cast

William/Bill White (Ivan), Wendy Bednarz (Kristen), Ed Hubbard (Harry), Anna Di Pace (Linda), Suzanne Scott (Jennifer), Mick McCleery (Erik), Rick Poli (Albert), Laura McLauchlin (Rosa), Monica Baxnavis (Adriana)


Plot

Three female roommates are lured to a New York warehouse by a date on the promise of a party. There they meet two men, Ivan and Harry, who are professional monster hunters. However, when they entered the warehouse one of the girls impaled her hand on a nail and this has inadvertently opened up a gateway to Hell and allowed demons and other creatures to emerge and take over the warehouse. The group’s only hope is to survive until morning, otherwise all Hell will be loosed to roam the world.


Low-budget independent video filmmaking has usually become the province of the modern Edward D. Wood Jr’s, the Herschell Gordon Lewis’s and the Andy Milligan’s. Video has proven a bonus for no-budget filmmakers – it is instantly accessible, cameras are cheap and it does not require exorbitant lab costs. Certainly, most low-budget video-made genre films remain that way for a very good reason – films tend to be cheap, badly made, fannish ripoffs of other films, rather than original or worthwhile stories in their own right. That said, there are some exceptions and Kevin J. Lindenmuth is most certainly one of them.

Vampires and Other Stereotypes was Kevin J. Lindenmuth’s first film and he has gone onto make some a host of others within the horror and sf genre. (See below). Lindenmuth makes no-budget, video-shot films (the budget for Vampires and Other Stereotypes was $30,000 and it was his most expensive film). He sells them independently via mail and website (www.lindenmuth.com) and has also attained that rare achievement for a no-budget filmmaker – the commercial release. Vampires and Other Stereotypes has many of the flaws familiar to video filmmaking – lack of slick editing and lighting, with variable sound being the most noticeable – but for the most part it is well made and competently acted.

Kevin J. Lindenmuth’s considerable ingenuity here is in being able to use a single warehouse as his location – one where, through a minimal number of special effects and suitable generation of an otherworldly sense of dis-ease, he willingly engages our suspension of disbelief to accept as a doorway to Hell. Lindenmuth’s plot is ambitious – he creates a complex demonology behind it, which is more than most horror films concern themselves with, and there are some often surprising moments of characterization. There are some effective makeup effects – walls of screaming faces, a giant rat and (in an Evil Dead II (1987)-esque touch, something the film reminds of a little, albeit conducted more seriously) a disembodied hand with a talking mouth. Lindenmuth tends to fall down when it comes to the generation of tension though. Scenes like where the group hold off against zombies trying to break down a door or run past the giant rat are directorially flat. Other than that, Vampires and Other Stereotypes is remarkable in terms of the success of its ambitions far beyond the limitations of its surroundings.

Lindenmuth’s subsequent films have improved markedly and all contain a considerable complexity and audacity of ideas that far belie their low-budget origins. Also worth checking out are his vampires films Addicted to Murder (1995), Addicted to Murder: Tainted Blood (1998) and the co-directed Addicted to Murder 3: Blood Lust (1999), and the sf film Planet of the Werewolves/Rage of the Werewolf (1999). Most of Lindenmuth’s other films are compilations of works from various directors. His compilations includes:– the horror anthology Twisted Tales (1996); The Alien Agenda trilogy, The Alien Agenda: Out of the Darkness (1996), The Alien Agenda: Endangered Species (1997) and The Alien Agenda: Under the Skin (1997) and its followup the The Alien Conspiracy trilogy, Grey Skies: The Alien Conspiracy (2001), Time Enough: The Alien Conspiracy (2001) and Beyond the Lost World: The Alien Conspiracy (2002); Creaturealm: Demons Wake (1998) and Creaturealm: From the Dead (1998); Blood of the Werewolf (2001), Monstersdotcom (2003) and Werewolf Tales (2003). Lindenmuth’s Brimstone Media production company also acts as distributor for other director’s films.



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