Reviews
Vampires vs. Zombies (2004) half brain
(USA)

Filmmakers have tricks of the trade, just like everybody else, and I think I've discovered one of the tricks of horror filmmakers. If you put zombies in a film, somebody will watch it. It doesn't matter how bad it is, some zombie film lover is going to see it on the shelf or online somewhere and get it, and most likely sit all the way through it, just so he or she can rant about how bad it was later on. I think that's what the makers of Vampires vs. Zombies were thinking.

This film has two main things against it: false advertising and a plot that just makes no sense. There's a disease going around that basically turns people into vampires, except they can walk in daylight and don't turn into bats. The film centers on a father and daughter (C. S. Munro and Bonny Giroux) who appear to be on a mission of some kind, going to a rendezvous with a character known as The General (Peter Ruginis). On the way, a mysterious woman (Brinke Stevens) gives her daughter Carmilla (Maratama Carlson) to them for safekeeping. This is where things start to get confusing (about 10 or 15 minutes into the film). They only get more confusing as time goes on. I still don't really know what happened.

Judging by dialog later in the film, the father and daughter already knew who Carmilla was before they picked her up. She's a vampire, and the reason that they're meeting up with the General is to kill her. But they stick her in the back of the jeep, and eventually the father even leaves his daughter alone with Carmilla so the two of them can have sex and the daughter can also be turned into a vampire. The daughter isn't even particularly alarmed when she later discovers two large fang marks in her thigh.

I could go on in detail about what else was confusing, but the rest of it is in a similar vein. But wait, you say, what about the zombies? Here's where the trick of the trade comes in. My guess is that this movie was made, and the filmmakers looked at it and said, This'll never sell. So they filmed some extra footage of the actors interacting with zombies. (Every scene with a zombie is completely self-contained, adding nothing to the story. We don't even know where the zombies are coming from.) Then they picked a title to catch the notice of zombie fans, even though you never really see a zombie and a vampire come anywhere near each other during the film. Voila! Instant market.

I wish it had not been so badly written, because otherwise, it seemed kind of promising for a low-budget film. The acting wasn't horrible, and they had some decent effects. But I spent too much time looking over at my friend Goatdog with a wrinkled brow, trying to figure out what was going on.