Subspecies II: Bloodstone (1993)

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Released 10-Mar-2010

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Trailer-Subspecies 3
Trailer-Future Cop 3
Trailer-Tourist Trap
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 86:48
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Ted Nicolaou
Studio
Distributor
Full Moon Pictures
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Anders Hove
Denice Duff
Kevin Spirtas
Melanie Shatner
Michael Denish
Pamela Gordon
Ion Haiduc
Tudorel Filimon
Viorel Comanici
Viorel Sergovici
Catalina Murgea
Case Custom Packaging
RPI ? Music Richard Kosinski
William Levine
Michael Portis


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

“Some Things Are Better Left Undead"

     At the conclusion of the first Subspecies movie we saw the subspecies minions gather around the newly killed vampire Radu. Needless to say a follow up movie was imminent. The opening scenes in Subspecies II: Bloodstone show the minions reunite Radu's head with his body and remove the stake that "killed" him. Radu (Anders Hove) is resurrected and promptly kills with a stake his still sleeping brother (the good vampire Stefan). Before he can also deal with Stefan's newly undead lover Michelle (Denise Duff), the sun rises and he is forced back into his coffin. The next night Michelle awakens first and finds Stefan reduced to ashes. Realising what has happened she takes the bloodstone (an ancient relic formed from the blood of saints that grants special powers and strength) and flees to Bucharest. Radu is most unhappy about losing the bloodstone and so follows Michelle to Bucharest where he reunites with his sorceress "mummy" (Pamela Gordon) in her tomb. Mummy (as Radu refers to her) is as nasty a piece of work as is Radu, and instructs Radu on how to regain the bloodstone and claim Michelle for his own. Michelle contacts her sister Becky (Melanie Shatner) and begs her for help. Becky agrees and so travels to Bucharest where she teams up with the U.S. Embassy representative Mel Thompson (Kevin Spirtas), Lieutenant Marin (Ion Haiduc) of the Bucharest police, and Professor Popescu (Michael Denish) of the Folk Art Museum in a quest to help Michelle. What follows is a series of events which pit Radu and his mummy against vampiress Michelle and her friends, with the death of Radu and possession of the bloodstone as the ultimate goal.

     Viewers who have already seen the first Subspecies will realise that the character of Michelle has been replaced by Duff in this sequel. In the acting stakes Duff holds her own and is suitably glamorous and determined as a heroine. As in the first film Hove is by far the most interesting character and dominates the screen whenever he appears. The other actors are adequate although hardly overwhelming. Shatner (William Shatner's daughter) looks good in a flimsy dress and makes a suitable vampiric victim with Gordon really over the top as the sorceress.

     As in the first movie Subspecies II has plenty of flaws and in my opinion is not quite as much fun as the original. The subspecies minions themselves only appear in the opening scenes and look as dodgy as ever. Yet again Andres Hove as the perpetually drooling Radu steals the movie with "mummy" a welcome addition to the mayhem. The authentic Romanian countryside is not so prominent this time so the Gothic mood is less pronounced. Overall Subspecies II is still a reasonable, if cheesy, budget vampire movie, but not quite as attractive as its predecessor.

     Subspecies II: Bloodstone is the second movie included in the Subspecies box-set.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video is presented in full frame 1.33:1 aspect and is not anamorphically enhanced. There is a lot of noise, positive and negative artefacts and grain however it is a slight improvement over the first Subspecies movie. None of the video problems are bad enough to be distracting. Sharpness is better than VHS quality but nowhere near as good as a DVD can be. Given the age of the source material this is a satisfactory presentation overall.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     A Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track encoded at 192 Kb/s is the only offering but is a reasonable effort. All the dialogue is clear and synchronised with the video. There were some directional effects with surround processing enabled however overall the surrounds and subwoofer were inactive.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

     The menu was still and without music.

Behind The Scenes Featurette (10:27)

     1.33:1 aspect with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio at 192 Kb/s. As introduced by director Ted Nicolaou, and featuring cast and crew, this is a fairly interesting behind the scenes look at the making of Subspecies II including the difficulties they encountered filming in Romania. Video quality in this featurette is very soft with a real VHS "quality" about it.

Theatrical Trailer (1:18)

     1.33:1 aspect with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio at 192 Kb/s.

Other Bigsky Trailers

     1.33:1 aspect with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio at 192 Kb/s:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This version is from a five disc box-set and looks identical to the stand alone DVD of Subspecies II. Apart from PAL versus NTSC and language differences this version looks the same as the Region 1 disc and so this local version is recommended. Note that there are references to this movie being presented in 1.85:1 aspect on Region 1 sites, however I believe that the original aspect is actually 1.33:1.

Summary

     Subspecies II: Bloodstone is not quite as good as the original but is still a lot of fun. The carnage and gore is all there but not as graphic as modern horror movies. The performance of Hove as Radu is again excellent, with the rest of the cast quite adequate. Highly recommended for all lovers of the genre however you should watch the original Subspecies movie first as this second film is a continuation of the story.

     The video quality is good. The audio quality is good. The extras are good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mike B (read my bio)
Friday, January 14, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910 and Panasonic BD-35, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic TH-58PZ850A. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationDenon AVR-3808 pre-out to Elektra Theatron 7 channel amp
SpeakersB&W LCR600 centre and 603s3 mains, Niles in ceiling surrounds, SVS PC-Ultra Sub

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