Sometime in the totalitarian future, which looks like WWII-era Eastern Europe crossed with Terry Gilliam's BRAZIL, hardboiled cop Steve Grant (Bokeem Woodbine) and his partner run afoul of a serial killer who drains his victims' blood, possesses superhuman strength and can scuttle straight up perpendicular walls like a lizard. Only Grant survives their run-in with the monstrous murderer, and he goes to his superiors at the NSA with a tale he fully expects them to disbelieve. To his surprise, they not only believe him, but let him in on a state secret: For more than a year, the government has been working out a truce with vampires, who have preyed on us for centuries but now drink only synthetic blood and want to mingle freely and harmoniously with human beings. Before Grant can absorb this shocker, he gets another one laid on him: His new partner is a vampire cop named Aaron Gray (Adrian Paul). Neither Grant nor Gray is especially happy with the arrangement, but orders are orders. They start their investigation of the serial murders at the vampire shtetl Serenity, where Grant meets Cross (Peter Halasz), a charismatic vampire leader who strongly supports the integration of human and vampire communities. Other vampires aren't convinced, given the long history of hostilities between their races. Grant's investigation leads him to Lucy Westenra (Bai Ling), a mysterious femme fatale; psychiatrist Dr. Graf Orlock (Istvan Goz), in whose office a new victim is found; and vampire separatist West (Zen Gestner), who may or may not be in cahoots with Lucy to sabotage the truce. Could the serial murders be a cynical effort to disrupt the peace process? Grant also learns that his own superiors aren't sure about the vampires' intentions, and have been cooking up a lethal virus to use against them in case they prove to be fiendish wolves in sheep's clothing. Though Christos Gage and Ruth Fletcher's screenplay weaves vampire-movie cliches into a tidy allegory of political persecution, Gray's back story verges on trivializing the Holocaust: An Eastern European Jew whose family fell victim to Nazi persecution, he became a vampire in order to avenge their deaths. This handsomely designed film, which benefits greatly from its Hungarian locations, debuted in the cable channel Starz!
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: R
- Review: Sometime in the totalitarian future, which looks like WWII-era Eastern Europe crossed with Terry Gilliam's BRAZIL, hardboiled cop Steve Grant (Bokeem Woodbine) and his partner run afoul of a serial killer who drains his victims' blood, possesses superhuman… (more)