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Vampires and Other Stereotypes   B-

Brimstone Productions / ei Independent Cinema

Year Released: 1994
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Kevin J. Lindenmuth
Writer: Kevin J. Lindenmuth
Cast: Bill White, Wendy Bednarz, Ed Hubbard, Rick Poli, Anna Dipace, Suzanne Scott, Mick McCleery.

Review by Michael Scrutchin

When Kevin Lindenmuth's name is associated with a movie, you can usually bet that it puts a cool or unusual spin on one or more familiar horror film subjects. You see, Lindenmuth may not have much money to make his movies, but they almost always have fresh ideas, good stories, and interesting characters. Sure, they are extremely low-budget and look and sound so, but I think that may be part of their charm. After having viewed several of Lindenmuth's other films (Addicted to Murder 2 being my favorite so far), I finally got a chance to check out his first major feature: the gruesomely delightful Vampires and Other Stereotypes.

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Four teenagers unwittingly open a gateway to hell and are forced to fight for their lives against wise-cracking demons, icky insect-like creatures, and mutant rats while they try to a find a way out of this "netherworld" they've become trapped in. Sure, it's familiar territory, but since it's coming from Kevin Lindenmuth there are some twists you might not expect. While Lindenmuth doesn't break any new ground here, he makes this an enjoyable and often creative excursion for fans of cheesy B-movies.

In the beginning of the film, Ivan (Bill White) is about to go out on patrol with his partner when his fortune-telling girlfriend tells him that he'll meet the girl of his dreams today. So Ivan and his partner Harry (Ed Hubbard) head out to a warehouse where a sacrificial ritual had been taking place. They save some poor sap's life, kill a demon, start interrogating the near-victim -- and, then, of course, those pesky teenagers (three gals and a guy) show up and accidentally open the gateway to hell. One of the gals (Wendy Benarz) is the girl that Ivan's girlfriend was telling him about; I bet they'll always remember the night they met (if they survive, of course).

I liked the cast of Vampires and Other Stereotypes -- all the actors gave it their best, even if some of them failed miserably. Ed Hubbard, as the dreadfully serious tough-guy Harry, has a memorable screen presence and turned in what is probably the best performance. But it's the less-than-stellar performances -- and the laughably bad line readings by various members of the cast -- that make this movie even more fun to watch.

The bargain-basement special effects don't always work (most of the demons look like contestants from a Halloween costume contest), but there's a severed hand run amok a la Evil Dead 2 that looks pretty neat and provokes a few chuckles here and there. In fact, a lot of the humor here reminded me of Evil Dead 2. This movie lacks the furious intensity and energetic pacing of Sam Raimi's horror-comedy -- but, then again, it's unfair to expect the extremely low-budget Vampires and Other Stereotypes to rival such a classic of the genre.

I liked Vampires and Other Stereotypes for the 87 minutes of easily digestible entertainment it provided. The curveballs that Lindenmuth attempts to surprise us with aren't too shocking, but they might make you smile and think, Clever bastard. Those of you who might like Vampires and Other Stereotypes probably know who you are. So round up a few friends, grab a case of beer, and enjoy.

Review published 10.06.2000.

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