Subspecies III: Bloodlust (1994)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
|Year Of Production||1994|
|Running Time||78:40 (Case: 86)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Ted Nicolaou|
New Moon Productions
Beyond Home Entertainment
Michael Della Femina
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Continuing on from the closing scenes of the second Subspecies movie, Bloodstone: Subspecies II, we see Mummy (Pamela Gordon) bring back to "life" her vampire son Radu (Anders Hove). Radu's newly undead "fledgling" Michelle (Denise Duff) has been reunited with the vampire and has reluctantly taken up an apprenticeship in vampirism with Radu as her mentor. Michelle also wishes to share in the powers of the bloodstone but Radu advises that she is not yet ready for that transition. Mummy has jealous mother-in-law syndrome and is none too pleased that Michelle is on the scene. Radu, however, is smitten with his new toy and it's plain to see that this little family threesome is in for a rocky relationship. I suspect somehow that this will all end in tears. Meanwhile Michelle's sister Becky (Melanie Shatner), U.S. Embassy representative Mel Thompson (Kevin Spirtas) and Lieutenant Marin of the Bucharest police (Ion Haiduc) go to the cemetery tomb and find the dead professor Popescu - killed by Mummy in the previous instalment. Marin thinks that this is just a murder scene but Becky and Mel know the circumstances of the professor's death, and the danger that awaits them. Becky had originally travelled from her home in the U.S. to Bucharest to help her sister and is firmly dedicated to this quest. Mel's growing attraction to Becky encourages him to also share her commitment to the rescue.
Using their vampiric powers Radu, Michelle and Mummy return to Castle Vladislav and proceed to wreak havoc amongst the local town population. Becky, Mel, and Marin are hot on the trail of Michelle and Radu, and stake out the castle. Marin however is still not convinced that this is anything more than a murder investigation. Unable to gain entrance to the castle Mel enlists his CIA buddy Bob (Michael Della Femina) (in full commando gear plus machine guns loaded with silver crucifix bullets) to scale the castle walls and breach the defences. Needless to say this causes a few ramifications with family disagreements adding a twist to the mayhem that follows. Can Becky and friends rescue Michelle from the clutches of Radu? Can the bloodstone be retrieved? Can the subspecies minions make an appearance before the final credits roll?
Filmed at the same time as in the second movie in the series Bloodstone: Subspecies II, the third instalment Bloodlust has a very similar style with the same strengths and weaknesses. There are plot holes a-plenty, dodgy special effects, B-standard acting, and a bit of gratuitous nudity for good measure. William Shatner's daughter won't win any acting awards but she makes for nice eye candy. The Marin role and portrayal of Romanian police grated on me a bit as at times they seemed to be played more for amusing rather than dramatic effect. Are Romanian police really that useless - and do they all drive clapped-out cars? On the positive side Andres Hove as the perpetually drooling Radu steals the movie yet again, and Mummy is even more disgusting this time around. The Romanian countryside is used to good effect and the local townspeople add a bit of authentic colour to proceedings. With both Bloodstone and Bloodlust being short movies it would have been relatively easy to combine the two movies, however I suspect the producers wanted to maximise their investment rather than tighten up the plot. Overall, however, Subspecies III is a solid continuation in this cheesy, budget priced vampire series, and is a lot of fun.
Bloodlust: Subspecies III is the third movie included in the Subspecies box-set.
The video is presented in full frame 1.33:1 aspect and is not anamorphically enhanced. Similarly to Bloodstone there is a lot of noise, positive and negative artefacts and grain however it is still 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. In common with the prior movies there is also telecine wobbling during the opening and closing credits. Given the age of the source material this is a satisfactory presentation overall.
A Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track encoded at 192 Kb/s is the only offering and is also 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. The background music is appropriately done and enhances the desired mood.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu was still and without music.
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 behind the scenes look at the making of Subspecies III mostly concentrates on the makeup process and the difficulties this caused the actors. There is no duplication with the Subspecies II behind the scenes featurette. There is a bit of self deprecating humour thrown in but I'm not sure if the sequence where Michael Della Femina espouses his climbing achievements (of which there was very little) was intentionally tongue-in-cheek or not. Video quality in this featurette is very soft with a real VHS "quality" about it.
1.33:1 aspect with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio at 192 Kb/s.
This version is from a five disc box-set and looks identical to the stand alone DVD of Subspecies III. 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 the stand-alone DVD of Bloodlust appears to be quite difficult to source, however it is available in various packages in Region 1 and Region 2. Note also that there are references to this movie being presented in a 1.85:1 aspect on Region 1 sites, however I believe that the original aspect is actually 1.33:1.
Subspecies III: Bloodlust is not quite as good as the first movie but is still a lot of fun. As in the prior movies the performance of Hove as Radu is excellent with the rest of the cast adequate. Highly recommended for all lovers of the genre however you should watch the first two Subspecies movies first as it is a direct continuation of the story.
The video quality is good. The audio quality is good. The extras are good.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910 and Panasonic BD-35, using HDMI output|
|Display||Panasonic 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 Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-3808 pre-out to Elektra Theatron 7 channel amp|
|Speakers||B&W LCR600 centre and 603s3 mains, Niles in ceiling surrounds, SVS PC-Ultra Sub|