Radu has returned home from exile, for what he believes is rightfully his...the blood stone. His brother, Stephan, disgusted by his vampire heritage, must now face his brother to restore the order from the chaos unleashed.
Full Moon Entertainment (now Features) has created some of the greatest B-rated films from my childhood: Arcade, Shrunken Heads and even the Puppet Master films. Yeah, they don't have the best production value, or even an all-star cast. But, they've created some fantastic memories from visiting the local Blockbuster after school to watching these bad, but good films with my dad. The most memorable of course being Subspecies.
Radu, Radu, Radu. It's as if I was watching some teenager complain he can't use the car because daddy said no. In this case, the car is the bloodstone and Radu is centuries old. The whole film is pretty much sibling rivalry between two vampire brothers arguing who's going to get their father's inheritance. When I was a kid, I didn't notice this. No, when I was a kid, all I noticed was this vampire slaying those who got in his way and his fingers that turned into little minions when cut off.
What makes this a film to set the DVR for, or pick up used where ever you drag yourself to purchase DVD's? The claymation minions! Well, that and a good story to follow. How many good vampire films can you name off the top of your head from the past decade? 20 years? Oh, and that stand the test of time? Yeah, viewers haven't really been graced with many solid vampire films since Near Dark. John Carpenter's Vampires is one of the few. Subspecies not only is a solid film, but has sequels that are equally as good, if not better.
The make-up and special effects are definitely dated, even for the time it was made. Claymation was a thing of the past. Filmmakers were moving to CGI, slowly, but surely. Even the use of blood was on its way to being replaced, unfortunately, by CGI. Full Moon wasn't ready to give up either of those yet. The acting, albeit cheesy, is actually quite bearable. It's all in the delivery. Fans of Phantasm will notice Angus Scrimm playing Radu's father, King Vladislav. Anders Hove gives Radu this voice that will always stay with you. Strep throat never sounded more haunting. Think Marlon Brando from The Godfather.
Subspecies still holds up 23 years later and has even been so lucky to receive the high definition remastered treatment. It isn't great, or even something you should be kicking yourself for not seeing already. What do you expect from a B-rated horror film from the early nineties? Worth a few viewings.
Rotten Tomatoes: 6.3/10
Come for the story. Stay for the finger minions.