Monday, March 05, 2012

Which Genre Loses Out in Death Hunter? Not the Monsters it Seems: A Movie Review

Director/Writer: Dustin Rikert.

Cast: Sam McConkey, Paulino Hemmer, Mike Lawler, Shari Wiedmann, and Rich Williams.

If there is ever a movie which is reminiscent of the schlock in theatres from the late 70's to mid 80's, then Death Hunter: Werewolves vs. Vampires is it. The script's underlying silliness is too obvious. If treated as a horror comedy, then the laughs have some merit.

Watching this film is like watching some of the silliness from the television series "Freddy's Nightmare" (1988-90), when Freddy is no longer scary, or Re-Animator (1985), where Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale) goads Herbert West on. Although the actors are trying to be serious, the end result is very mixed. The blood and guts spilled are low budget, and the acting uneven. At least Sotreum (Paulino Hemmer) is interesting as a suave antagonistic vampire.

Intentional or not, this movie is more like a dark action adventure comic book fantasy in the same vein as "Van Helsing" or "Blade." Even the Underworld franchise falls in the same vein. And that's the route Death Hunter moves in.

John Croix (Sam McConkey) is this film’s reluctant hero, and he is afflicted with Lycanthropy. The mysterious Seamus (Rich Williams) was too late to save him, but at least he somehow managed to stop the curse from fully manifesting. In what he can do for the young man is akin to many other comic book heroes who have either a sidekick or mentor watching their back, like in the "Incredible Hulk." Croix has some control over his transformation.

With his newfound abilities, he can go rescue his wife. Even though this film will most likely never get a sequel, the adventures of John Croix are just beginning. This series has potential in comic book form, but as a series of movies, that is cost-prohibitive. After all, in a world populated with vampires and werewolves, other monsters like golems and zombies must surely be lurking about.

Overall: 6 out of 10 (only if treated as a horror comedy).

Release details on Death Hunter at MTI Home Video:

Death Hunter at MTI Home Video

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