An attempt to follow in the tradition of INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE (1994), this low-budget entry has a lush look but muted impact.
Zachary (David Gunn), a "vampire with a mortal's soul," has dedicated his existence to destroying other creatures of the night ever since one killed his beloved Rebecca (Rodica Lupu). In Eastern Europe, he rescues beautiful pianist Sofia (Kirsten Cerre) from master vampire Ash (Jonathon Morris),
who presides over other bloodsuckers at the local Club Muse and realizes that Zachary is "the wanderer" who has been prophesied as a threat to him. Ash invites Sofia to perform a private recital for him, and she goes despite warnings from Zachary, who follows her to the club. He is turned away by
the club's manager, Iris (Starr Andreeff), who is in Ash's employ, and Ash bites Sofia, beginning her "initiation" into vampirism.
Ash subsequently invites Zachary into the club, where he realizes the strength of Zachary's convictions and promises to let him see Sofia once more if he swears to then leave forever. But Ash has been gradually draining Sofia, bringing her over to the dark side, and reveals to her Zachary's true
vampiric nature. As Ash completes Sofia's conversion, Zachary is freed from his room by Iris, who has become angered by Ash's increasingly conspicuous murderous exploits. Zachary rescues Sofia from Ash, who pursues them through underground catacombs to the concert hall, where Zachary kills him.
Sofia has been saved, but like Zachary, is fated never to see the sun again.
Like Full Moon's previous SUBSPECIES films, VAMPIRE JOURNALS was shot by writer-director Ted Nicolaou on location in Romania, and the result, if nothing else, has atmosphere to burn. The Old World settings are evocatively lit for a truly Gothic feel, and Nicolaou obviously takes the classical
vampire genre seriously--too seriously, in fact, as his staid, straightforward approach drains most of the fun and excitement out of the movie. The characters and the intrigue among them are passably engaging, but lack any real spark, and the actors go through their paces acceptably without
bringing any interesting quirks to their characterizations. And while it's one thing to have a villain with a tragic side, it doesn't help his effectiveness as a bad guy that Morris frequently looks like he's on the verge of bursting into tears.
VAMPIRE JOURNALS is rarely scary, but then it seems more oriented toward melodrama than shock. Yet Nicolaou also throws in plenty of explicit gore and nudity, which exists uneasily within his essentially old-fashioned approach. From its title to its open ending, the film seems clearly intended to
be the first in an ongoing series; as such, it leaves one hoping that Nicolaou will come up with more interesting stories to back up his technical polish in future installments. (Graphic violence, extensive nudity, sexual situations.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1997
- Rating: R
- Review: An attempt to follow in the tradition of INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE (1994), this low-budget entry has a lush look but muted impact. Zachary (David Gunn), a "vampire with a mortal's soul," has dedicated his existence to destroying other creatures of the ni… (more)