Pale Blood (1990)


USA. 1990.


Director – V.V. Dachin Hsu, Screenplay – V.V. Dachin Hsu & Takashi Matsuoka, Producers – Omar Kaczmarczyk & Michael W. Leighton, Photography – Jerry Lively, Music – Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Special Effects – Players Special EFX (Supervisors – Kevin & Sandra McCarthy) & Wizard Special EFX (Supervisor – Bob McCarthy), Makeup – Kevin Hudson & Dean Jones, Production Design – Shane Nelsen. Production Company – Noble Entertainment Group/A Leighton-Kaczmarczyk Production


George Chakiris (Michael Fury), Wings Hauser (Van Vandameer), Pamela Ludwig (Lori), Diana Frank (Jenny), Darcy DeMoss (Cherry)


Vampire Michael Fury arrives in Los Angeles. There he hires Lori, a researcher who is obsessed with the occult and vampire movies, to investigate a series of vampire killings that are plaguing the city. He is desiring to find undead companionship. Meanwhile, Van Vandameer, an unhinged artist obsessed with the occult, captures film footage that proves Fury is a vampire and determines to capture him.

Pale Blood is a vacant and stylistically empty attempt at a modern day vampire film. It is all posed mood – washes of synthesizer sound, downbeat lighting, lots of slow-motion and endless street scenes, plus lots of padding footage involving a laughably pretentious New Wave band called Agent Orange. However, the plot is far too insubstantial (read non-existent!) to support anything that is going on.

There are gaping credibility holes – at the beginning of the film, George Chakiris’s vampire receives a phone call to go to the storefront where the latest victim is, he managing to arrive before the police and tv news people do – who the phone call was from and how they were aware of what was going on before anybody else did is never explained nor questioned by Chakiris. The story never convinces – the twist ending about Pamela Ludwig being a vampire too defeats credibility, is the sort of thing that seems more appropriate for a vampire comedy. The problem about modern vampire films is that the vampires need to seem credible against the environment they are alien to – Pale Blood does not see this problem and the scenes of the vampires inexplicably floating and vanishing, not to mention the addition of clairvoyant dreams, seem implausible in a realistic context. Some attempts at modernity do occasionally amuse, particularly amusing is Chakiris’s collapsible valise coffin.

George Chakiris is an appropriately dark romantic vampire, the film achieving this largely by having him hardly saying anything throughout – although the closeups do reveal his youthful looks to be less than they appears. Wings Hauser, usually a staple actor in low budget action films, gives a bizarre performance, ranting about all manner of things throughout and managing to eerily dominate half the women in the film before going right off his rocker in a ludicrous ending with him locked in an asylum and seeing vampires everywhere.

Actors: , , , ,
Themes: ,