Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Horrors of October - Vampirella

Vampirella (1996)

An alien vampire (Talisa Soto) sporting a very skimpy battle bikini arrives on Earth in order to seek and destroy Vlad (Roger Daltrey), an escaped prisoner who killed her stepfather and now strives to conquer the world while also doing rock shows at seedy dives in Las Vegas. I love a lot of comic book crap and other geeky material but the character of Vampirella has never really worked for me. My main grip begins and ends with her superhero outfit; I can accept many questionable female garb in comics and also enjoy fan service but I just can't believe a female badass would want to wear a red, thinly layered, no-banana hammock with giant white collars. Here, in this direct to video adaptation, they made it more form-fitting but still garish to look at. As for the film itself, it's pure 90s b-movie drivel that is highly entertaining whenever a new bad element pops on screen. Producer Roger Corman literally spared no expense, as director Jim Wynorski works his exploitation magic to make a barely put together feature filled with colorful bare bone sets, poor fight choreography, and delightfully bad acting all around. Soto is sheer dreadful during her opening dramatic moments but once she reprises her flat, cold Princess Kitana attitude to the character, she can be slightly more forgivable. Daltrey on the other hand, dear lord, is an absolute ham and never comes across as an intimating force. To make matters worse, he dons three pathetic outfits: a washed rock star with ruby lipstick, a wilted pompadour, and a sideways dyed orange ponytail; a squeaky leather bodysuit; and a baby's first Dracula getup taken from a local Party City. VAMPIRELLA may have problems in every department, plot holes galore and the worst bat transformation effects ever but it's a very fine good bad flick to laugh and cheer at.


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