Film: Blood Ties
Director: Jim McBride
Writer: Richard Alan Shapiro
Starring: Patrick Bauchau, Robert Burr and Geoffrey Cascio
This film starts with a couple sleeping in their bed. Three men enter the room. They are led by Bo Hopkins. The other two are played by Gregory Scott Cummins and Robert Miano. We see a young man wake up and he is played by Jason London. Hopkins has the other two men drive wooden stakes in their hearts and then sets them on fire. London gets up and comes down to check on his parents and he is thrown into the room. He is shot with a crossbow and left for dead in the burning room. He does escape through a window. This all happens in Texas.
We then shift to Long Beach, California. We meet Harley Venton who works for a newspaper. He talks to his editor and then heads for court. There we meet a prosecuting attorney, played by Kim Johnston Ulrich. There is a young man on trial. The jury comes back. Before they can read their decision, a man comes into the court room played by Patrick Bauchau. He says a few things and the jury comes back that they cannot reach a verdict and it is a ruled a mistrial. The court room goes crazy.
The young man hangs out with a group of similar aged individuals. They call themselves the Shrike. They are made up of Geoffrey Cascio, Richard Giorla, Robia LaMorte, Regan Patno, Joseph D. Reitman and Jamy Woodbury. They all ride motorcycles.
We then see that London is hitchhiking away from Texas and what happened there.
Venton is seeing Ulrich. He brings her to a party that is being thrown by the Carpathian Americans society, which Venton’s family is from. We see that Bauchau is there and part of the society. Along with him on the ruling body of the organization is also Robert Burr. Ulrich is surprised to see that the judge from the case earlier in the day is also there.
This is when we learn that everyone in this organization believes to be vampires. Now from what is gathered though, this is not the same in the respect of what we think of as vampires. They do drink blood, but they are not hurt by sunlight and they do lead somewhat normal lives. We see Bauchau dancing with his beautiful half-sister as well; she is played by Michelle Johnson.
London then bursts into the party. He tells them about what happened to his parents. There is then a talk amongst the elder members. Bauchau, Burr and Venton are all a part of this. It appears that these vampire hunters have been after this society for generations. Venton wants to stop doing what they have in the past and to let the law handle this while the older members want to handle it their way. Venton does anger the older members because he is seeing someone who is not of their race as well.
Venton goes home with Ulrich and they are close to making love when he leaves. He does talk to her on the phone when he’s home and we see Johnson climb in through the window. They end up making love with Venton biting her neck.
Venton and the rest of the Carpathians are trying to find who killed London’s parents. Venton fills him in about who he is and about being vampires. London seems to take it pretty well. He also starts to hang out with the Shrikes. Venton also tries to handle this complicated relationship with Ulrich.
It is then that on television, members of the vampire hunters are on a talk show. There is Dave Florek and Grace Zabriskie who are actually on the show while Hopkins, Cummins and Miano are in the crowd. Venton and Ulrich are also there. What will happen? Will Venton convince his family to let the law take care of this or will they do it the old way? Will the vampire hunters kill all of the vampires?
I didn’t know anything about this film coming in, but this was quite interesting to me. This seems to be based on somewhat of a true story. It sounds like there actually might be a group like this still in existence and possible even believe they are vampires. I do like that they do not think they are Dracula or vampires we know from the films, that they live somewhat normal lives. They do just drink blood and think that they are faster and stronger than normal people. This group actually has a lot of power if the film is true as well. What is even better for me is that the crock-pots in this film are the vampire hunters. They really believe a lot of the horror film rules for vampires, ignoring that they can go out in the sun. They are the ones killing people and wanting to eradicate the ‘vampires’. Johnson and Ulrich are pretty easy on the eyes as well. I have to say though that the best acting job in the film was from a young London.
The acting though for the most part is not that great, it is actually mediocre. The filmmaker is also telling this story from the perspective of the Carpathians, so it is biased in their favor. This also might be why the vampire hunters are shown so negatively in the film as well. The film was also boring and was kind of tough for me to really connect with.
Now with that said, I would only recommend this film if you are interested in a realistic vampire film. The vampires are not your normal horror film version, but normal people with an abnormal fetish. The acting is pretty mediocre for the most part, but London is pretty good. Johnson and Ulrich are nice to look at on the screen. The film though itself is boring, but it does have a good concept. This is nowhere near the best vampire film out there, but it is interesting to see vampires that could be walking our streets like normal people.
My Rating: 5 out of 10