Friday, February 25, 2011

Bonnie and Clyde vs Dracula and Forgetting a Key Fanged Character: A Movie Review

Director/writer: Timothy Friend.

When vampires start to become involved in the pulp world of the 30’s, with some good ol’ gangbuster action, there are only a few good choices producers can make to represent an era. Here, Bonnie and Clyde vs. Dracula provides the formula. In the solution, what the film delivers is an oddball mix of character development and weird science.

The idea seems sound. The gangster couple's exploits stirred the public imagination in a time that's been polarized as highly criminal. Certain gangsters ran amok. To include the undead implies that the influence of the mafia is indeed eternal. No matter how hard the law tries, they cannot be put down.

For most of the film, Bonnie (Tiffany Shepis) and Clyde (Trent Haaga) are simply hiding out from the law. In the shack they are in, they are slowly just learning about what's happening nearby. They don't even know that Doctor Loveless (Allen Lowman) has found Dracula's remains. The good doctor has hopes of prolonging his life with Dracula’s help. Hopefully, he will not become a vampire himself. If that is not enough, there is a subplot where his relationship with his sister Annabelle (Jennifer Friend) is explored. With that, the tale overextends itself like the reach of Nosferatu's hand.

To bounce between these separate narratives ruins the flow. For most of the middle act, the tale drags. Audiences are anxious for the two legends to meet. When they do, the results happen too fast and one will have to wonder if this film should simply be labeled Bonnie and Clyde meets Dracula instead.

At least the subplot with Annabelle's caged life carries the film. Loveless treats her like slime. Friend provides an interesting performance that comes close to outshining Shepis' own. The two characters are polar opposites and they are the true stars of the film. Everyone else seems less than what a gangster should be. Haaga and Shepis do share a good chemistry, but the character of Clyde is more of a bumbling buffoon, who is wrapped around Bonnie's finger more than once.

At the mansion, Loveless is like Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe, without either Charles Adler or Chris Latta's voice to make him truly inspiring. There has to be an in-joke there since he does carry a staff with a cobra head attached to it. And the character of Dracula does not even get enough screen time to merit commentary.

If this film were only more balanced, then it would certainly get more attention from the law. Just where are they in all this mess?

6 out of 10.

*this title will release through Indican Pictures on DVD April 2011.

More details on this picture can be found at the Indican website (distributor):

Bonnie and Clyde vs Dracula at Indican

The film's homepage is here:

Bonnie and Clyde vs Dracula's Official Website

In these films, Dracula gets a bigger role:

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