The notion of devoting a film to the wholesale dissection (both literally and figuratively, in this case) of a supernatural being is hardly a new one. Jerome Bixby’s The Man from Earth – in which the characters sat around discussing immortality – is a good recent example, and one which, like Vampire, features a cast of unknowns, a fixed setting and a budget lower than the cut of Jordan’s dress. What the latter film sorely lacks that the former boasts, however, is an engaging cast of characters accompanied by a suitably developed, nuanced script.
Vampire – which sees a vampire serial killer (a modestly engaging Jason Carter) captured and experimented on by a team of scientists – feels painfully amateurish, and it’s drenched in neon and soft-focus with the result that it already feels dated. The direction and camerawork are similarly cack-handed, tracking a cast who, seemingly drip-fed on ketamine, stagger around an unconvincing set wearing ill-fitting medical costumes. It almost feels like a tongue-in-cheek imitation of a US medical drama as opposed to a serious piece of fiction; Friends’ depiction of Days of Our Lives comes to mind, except Matt LeBlanc’s mannered gurning is infinitely more entertaining than this ploddingly portentous dross. Indeed, what really offends about the film is how excruciatingly dull it is; though it may have a passable premise and sporadically interesting plot, the pedestrian script – never good enough to be arresting nor bad enough to be laughable – ensures its effect on the viewer is as energy-draining as the titular bloodsucker.