Joe Vampire (2012) Review
Directed by Sean Donohue & Mike Niche
Starring Mike Christopher, Erin Cline, Mike Duffau, Slake Counts,
Anthony Wayne, Joel D. Wynkoop, Ashley Lynn Caputo & Krystal Pixie Adams
During the American Civil War, wounded soldier Joe (Mike Christopher) is one of the last men standing after a big battle. As he wonders helplessly through a field of corpses, bloody and slowly dying a vampire appears out of nowhere and bites him, rescuing him from the jaws of death but damning him to an eternal life of blood thirst and darkness...
Present day and Joe gets rudely awakened from his makeshift coffin in his apartment by his asshole landlord Larry (Joel D. Wynkoop) beating on his front door late at night looking for rent money. Later that night after a feed of synthetic blood bags from his fridge Joe goes to a bar for a drink and starts chatting to a hot chick called Melissa (Erin Cline). When he starts hitting on her she politely shows him her wedding ring and turns him down. Soon after that Melissa leaves and a drunk asshole from the bar follows her home, pulls her down an alley and tries to rape her. Joe to the rescue!
Melissa and Joe quickly flee the scene and go somewhere quiet and peaceful to talk about what the hell just happened. When he tries to explain what he is to her Melissa doesn't believe him at first but he eventually convinces her. Once she realizes what he is she wants nothing more than to be a vampire just like him. He tells her to go home and spend time with her family and think about it first but that doesn't change her mind. He has now fallen for her and can't refuse her request and just as he's about to turn her, a blast from his past shows up and ruins everything. We soon find out that Joe isn't the only vamp in town and the others are far more dangerous than he is...
Mike Christopher is a cult favorite among hardcore horror fans, especially those who frequent horror conventions. He's starred in dozens of movies but is better known and forever will be known as the "Hare Krishna Zombie" in George A Romero's original 1978 classic Dawn Of The Dead. I've seen him in a few movies but this is the first time i've seen him in a lead role and I have to hand it to the guy, he did an awesome job. I'd definitely like to see him in more roles like this. Drake played by Mike Duffau was great as the 'most annoying bad guy, but in the best way possible' that i've seen in ages - like a cheesy Bond villain with fangs! Slake Counts (what an awesomely appropriate name!)
played an awesome head vamp and Erin Cline played the Melissa character really well, and she's hot which always helps - i'll definitely be looking out for more of her in the future. Good performances from everyone else involved and it was awesome to see appearances from two of my favorite up-and-coming scream queens Ashley Lynn Caputo and Krystal Pixie Adams.
The cinematography from Mike Niche looked as good as any Hollywood horror production, the team of Sean Donohue and Mike Niche co-directing worked really well.To me this looked and felt like a low-budget Taxi Driver of vampire movies, ya I know that was attempted before with Graveyard Shift but that sucked.
Donohue and Niche also wrote the script along with Mike Lees and they did a fine job on it, with no needlessly dragged out dialogue the film moves along at a nice pace and keeps you interested in the characters and entertained at the same time. Some really funny humor thrown in helped a lot as well, lines like "Don't vampires have long flowing hair? - Only the douchey ones" and "Some of them even sparkle" brought a huge grin to this Twilight hater's face. Obviously this film won't satisfy everyone's taste buds - anyone looking for Dracula Untold, Van Helsing or Blade should look elsewhere, Twilight fans, well they should just get a life. Joe Vampire doesn't suck and he definitely doesn't sparkle...
Also on the same disc are 2 short films that are well worth checking out - in 'Agrizoophobia' a couple and their friend go on a camping trip that goes horribly wrong and in 'Secret Family Recipe' a married couple have some guests for a dinner they wont forget, gives a whole new meaning to 'meat' the neighbors! I'll definitely be checking out the rest of Mike Niche's films and Sean Donohue has a new film coming soon which he co-directed with Chris Woods of The Sleaze Box, I can't wait to see it! I reviewed Sean Donohue's last movie Die Die Delta Pi a while back, check out that review here -
Check below for the trailer and where you can get Vampire Joe on DVD.