2001 - - 90 Mins.
|Director: Jesus Franco|
|Producer: Kevin Collins|
|Written By: Jesus Franco|
|Starring: Samantha Olsen, Lina Romay, Viktor Seastrom, Fata Morgana, Paul Lapidus, Ezequiel Cohen, Steve Barrymore |
|Review by: James O'Ehley
This has to be the worst movie I have ever seen, and believe me I have seen stinkers in my time. “Vampire Junction” is so bad that it makes “Manos – the Hands of Fate” look like an Ingmar Bergman movie in comparison. Yes, it IS that bad.
The plot? According to the DVD box: “A female doctor arrives in the town of Fallas, New Mexico and discovers a situation that seems to be misplaced in time and doctrine. Unbeknownst to her, a vampire princess of American Indian descent has chosen her to become her vampire heir.”
I’m not usually so lazy as to quote verbatim from DVD covers and the like, but in this case I really couldn’t be bothered because 15 minutes or so into Vampire Junction I started using the Scan function (the DVD equivalent of Fast Forward on a VHS machine for those of you who haven’t made that leap into the 21st century yet) and found the movie was drastically improved this way.
So I found myself fast-forwarding throughout the entire movie trying to find something (a) interesting and (b) resembling a plot. Not finding any of the above, I found scanning to be the ideal solution. Best of all I was finished in time for my weekly dose of “The Simpsons”.
However, there is little that can be done to compensate for the irreparable damage done to my psyche in that 15 minutes of infamy. I even seriously considered suing either the movie’s distributors (Sub Rosa, which specializes in bringing out people’s home movies as the real thing) or director Jess Franco (who directed “Ilsa, the Wicked Warden”, one of the sequels to the infamous “Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS”). But nothing, I repeat nothing, not even a year in Swiss health spa, can ever make up for the sheer unwatchable dreadfulness of “Vampire Junction”.
‘Just what is it that makes the movie so bad?’ I can hear you ask. Remember the comedian Bill Hicks’ sketch about porno movies on the pay-per-view channels of some hotels which has the actual sex scenes edited out? Watching a porno without any actual sex scenes wouldn’t only be pointless, but downright excruciating. That is the case with most so-called ‘soft-core’ movies (have you actually managed to sit through one episode of “The Red Shoe Diaries”?) and also with “Vampire Junction”, which can be classified under the same category.
Think a porno movie, but without any explicit sex scenes in it. Think that same movie filmed on a pitifully small budget with actors who are so bumblingly amateurish that they don’t even know what to do with their hands in some scenes (even porn stars have a modicum of acting abilities). Now add some unbearable pretentious camera shots and voice-over. A pretentious sexploitation movie filmed on videotape? I do believe I have come across one of the Dante’s undiscovered circles of the hell here.
Add to this a glacially slow pace (the lesbian love scenes are painfully drawn out and dull – even in Scan mode!) and probably the most annoying soundtrack I have ever heard in a movie. Yes, even worse that the type of cheapo incidental music they use in blue movies, or the incessant thumpa thumpa techno used in faux historical epics starring Christopher Lambert and movies based on video games.
Ultimately “Vampire Junction” does the unthinkable: it makes lesbian sex scenes dull. And as someone once remarked of another movie, it so unwatchable that it practically dares you keep watching. This one I lost. Badly. Movie: 1 000. Me: 0.
(By the way, nine voters on the Internet Movie Database have given “Vampire Junction” 7.3 out of 10. I am sure that they are cast and crew members and it says a lot about this movie that so few of them actually bothered voting for it. Apparently there is a series of novels entitled “Vampire Junction” by one SP Somtow, but don’t I think this movie has anything to do with them. You can buy this movie from www.b-movies.com if you want to use it on your worst enemies. That would however make you one sick sadistic puppy.)