New Horror Releases: Vampyres (2016) - Reviewed

Feast or famine? Pain or pleasure? Men beware. Can eroticism make a return to horror? Will genre fans shower in the ritualistic glory of this sexy redo? We sink our fangs into the modern rebirth of Vampyres, releasing on streaming services and DVD on October 18th.

Artsploitation Films, the modern kings of arthouse horror and exploitation offer up a remake of the 1974 cult film, Vampyres. The original film holds cult status that is further revered in this man eating, throat slitting love note to the original. With a minuscule budget, this update looks cheap but still capitalizes on some eerie visuals and steamy sexual moments between its female leads. Bathed in flesh chewing gore and an excellent score that harkens back to an earlier era, this is a middling effort that recaptures a vital era in cinema but fails to fully encapsulate itself in the excesses it should have aimed for. Rooted in the confines of a basic plot, this could have used more development in the writing stages. By adding more character development and backstory for our main vamp antagonists, the movie falters under the guise that pretty boobs and shock will carry the entire film. What seems like gore porn light could have capitalized with more stylistic editing and less flattened cinematography. 

Kicking off with a blood soaked beginning that sets up the erotic mood of the retelling, this new version is still a prime example of what Artsploitation does best. Sopped in blood, sadomasochistic violence, and sexually devious scenery, Vampyres is still a tasty little morsel that pays tribute to its predecessor as it attempts to modernize this tale of female evil. While it's not going to win any awards for originality, the movie satisfies many tropes that horror fans like myself are looking for. There's tons of nudity. There's some brooding scenes of torture. And there's a cavernous venue that supplies a few good kills.

We could have had Wendy's. 

Considering the dirty, nearly pornographic grit of the original film, I'm going to hold back from giving this a high mark. No, it's not the worst thing I've seen this year and its little nods and tributes are a fun tease. However, I think with a little more care, Vampyres (2016) falls into the 'could have been great' category. This English language version of the film is a  mediocre release as the Halloween season begins. A truncated and confused ending only adds to my mild frustration with this release. If you're into naked vampire chicks making out and need a quick fix of death, check it out. Just don't expect a new classic.

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