Starz Inside – Bloodsucking Cinema (01×02)

Starz Annual Fear Fest usually delivers something all horror fans crave, a whole month of genre films, hour after hour of excellent, questionable, B-movie, amazing, disgusting, and enticing cinema that is both a guilty pleasure and some of the most memorable films of all time. This year’s Fest also includes the hour feature Bloodsucking Cinema, a look back at the history of the vampire film from the myth and legend to modern interpretations and genre bending engagements.

From F.W. Murnau’s original Nosferatu to modern films like Underworld and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the piece takes a careful look at the history of the film and peers into the window of what makes the vampire movie so enticing to movie-goers that it still remains nearly a century later.

Cory Haim in Bloodsucking Cinema

Starz Media manages to gather some big name director’s in the genre like John Carpenter (John Carpenter’s Vampires), Joel Schumacher (The Lost Boys), David Goyer (Blade: Trinity), and Stephen Sommers (Van Helsing) to relay their experiences with the genre, and how they tried to flesh out their takes on the legend. Commentary from Leonard Maltin, Ain’t It Cool News’ Harry Knowles, and Blade creator Marv Wolfman give a great reflection on how the sub-genre has really affected generations of filmmakers.

The special pays particular attention to several memorable entries in the vampire stable like Interview with the Vampire, From Dusk till Dawn, Blade, Underworld, Van Helsing, and The Lost Boys. Questionably added to that list is Uwe Boll’s BloodRayne which is easily one of the poorest entries in the special. Personal opinions aside of the filmmaker’s work, Boll’s inclusion is sure to turn off a great many of hardcore fans who may loath his writing and ‘filmmaking’ skills.

Stan Winston in Bloodsucking Cinema

Bloodsucking Cinema doesn’t quite spend enough time focusing on how the genre has branched off from the core mythology into other genres like the teen flick (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer) and comedy (Dracula: Dead and Loving It), instead just touching upon them with a simple screenshot of their respective one-sheets. It would have been nice to get some perspective from some of the director’s and special effects artists who shaped the genre on what they thought of the films coming to a point where they’re making fun of themselves because of overblown mythologies and sometimes bloated back stories and contradictory rules.

With all the movies included, the producers opted to go for the T&A wherever possible, which isn’t so much of a problem when it doesn’t feel as though they are trying to hard to entice the audience with talk of vampirism being a thinly veiled metaphor for sexual activity and eroticism. Sometimes the scenes just seem shoehorned and forced into the special to keep the audiences’ interest, which isn’t needed because Bloodsucking Cinema is an hour of horror pleasure in itself.

John Carpenter in Bloodsucking Cinema

Horror fans and especially vampire movie fans will find tons to love here, including some little trivia bits about some of your favorite films you might not have known (they added glitter to the blood in The Lost Boys, did you know that?). For those with Starz, you should be able to catch the special one of a dozen times over the next few weeks. For those without the premium channel, the special is worth the monthly payment, and the daily dose of horror is only blood-red icing on the cake.

Written by Erich Becker
Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!