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Jan 20

Subspecies II: Bloodstone

subspecies2Genre: Horror
Year: 1993
Country: USA

aka: Bloodstone: Subspecies II

Director: Ted Nicolaou
Starring: Anders Hove, Denice Duff, Kevin Spirtas, Melanie Shatner, Michael Denish

 

Some things are better left Undead

 

Radu’s small creatures have been able to save the old vampire from eternal death and he quickly takes advantage of the opportunity to kill off his brother Stefan, but he spares the life of the newly made vampire Michelle because he is starting to develop some feelings for the beautiful girl.

Michelle is struggling with her new life as a vampire and she ends up stealing the Bloodstone and heads out to Bucharest to try to locate her sister Becky for help. But even though she is running away, Radu is not letting her or the Bloodstone get away from him that easily.

The second and third Subspecies films were both shot back-to-back, again in Romania. It was a decision that was probably done due to saving money, but since both films also continue right after each other it also gave them the opportunity to have the same atmosphere in both films and also the same cast. The first thing that fans will notice in this is that the character of Michelle is now played by Denice Duff instead of Laura Mae Tate. I liked Tate more, but it’s not a change that brings the movie down that much anyway.

This time around the film focus more on the vampires instead of taking advantage of the Romanian settings. Even if this is basically a story split in two, it still paces quickly along and all the scenes with Radu (again portrayed by Anders Hove) are a lot of fun to watch. They could have kept the cheesy looking mother of Radu away from the story however or just made her into a regular vampire instead of looking like a cheap and ridiculous zombie though.

Ted Nicolaou returns as a director and makes the most of the budget and story. While he has mostly worked within the Full Moon universe, I do wish that he got his hands on a different horror project to show what he is able to do on his own. I guess the Subspecies series and TerrorVision will be as close as we will get to seeing just that. He is able to deliver a great atmosphere and his use of shadows in this one is some excellent work considering the genre he is working within.

The cast isn’t that great. Denice Duff is alright as the new Michelle and Anders Hove is again great as Radu, but most of the screen time is spend with Becky (played by Melanie Shatner, the daughter of William Shatner) and her love interest Mel, played by the awful soap opera looking actor Kevin Spirtas. I guess that’s the downside of shooting a film back-to-back since all of these also did return for the third one.

Subspecies II: Bloodstone, ironically enough also isn’t that much about this damn Bloodstone, is a respectable follow-up that is able to explore more of the vampire saga introduced in the first film and still feel fresh and new. Fans of the original should be pleased and honestly, why would anyone else even check this out to begin with?

 

 ★★★☆☆ 

 

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