Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

The synopsis for this movie ‘Brotherhood of Blood’ uses the term ‘claustrophobic’ amongst it description, and man... they didn’t tell no lie. It’s like this movie had all of two sets and both of those were closets. Walk-in closets mind you, but closets nonetheless. This wasn’t a good closeted claustrophobic feeling either, but instead a ‘cheap, we can’t afford all those fancy sets or silly lights’, closeted claustrophobic feeling. Now I happen to be a firm believer that cheap doesn’t mean bad because in the right hands, given the right the story and armed with the right actors, even the cheapest movie can entertain, just like a movie with millions behind it can easily suck ass. However bad does mean bad and ‘Brotherhood of Blood’ is pretty damn bad.

Our little vampire movie opens in one tight closet, the home of the vampires which is stuffed to the brim full of people. One of these people is vampire hunter Carrie Rieger (Victoria Pratt) who is chained to the floor while another dude named Thomas (William Snow) is roped to a chair. They both are being abused by a vampire named Fork (Wes Ramsey) who used to be Carrie’s vampire hunting lover back in the day, but as you know, things do happen.

Our movie jumps back and forth in a fractured narrative style between basically yesterday and today as we learn that Carrie was lying to Thomas about being a doctor with a cure for vampirism, and needing to find Thomas’ little brother who is quickly becoming a vampire, with Carrie trying to trick Thomas into revealing this brothers whereabouts so she can stake his ass. Also looking for little brother is Pashek (Sid Haig) the king of the vampires as little brother apparently holds some kind of apocalyptic secret to the whereabouts of one Vlad Kossell who is like the king murderer of vampires and humans alike from way back in the day.

There’s another closet across town which is the lair for our broke vampire hunters who fund their little operation by rolling the vampires they kill. This organization is led by a cat name Keaton played by Sean’s little boy Jason Connery who has an accent in this movie. I’ve seen Jason Connery in a few movies but this is the first time I’ve heard him with an accent so I’m wondering if he really has one or if he was just faking an American accent in those previous films. If this movie were better I wouldn’t be sitting around thinking about stupid stuff like that. This closet is important because it introduces us to another vampire who is killing the vampire hunters named Stanis (Ken Foree), who apparently just wants the help of the vampire hunters as he knows a really big secret. They would probably believe him more if he hadn’t just slaughtered a whole closet full of them and wasn’t trying to kill the remaining ones at every possible chance. Anyway, it’s up to Carrie to find and stop the amazingly incredibly evil Vlad Kossell and avoid fulfilling the ‘prophecy’, giving us possibly the lamest, most easily foreshadowed twist in the history of movies on the planet earth.

There were high hopes for this movie as none other than Sam Raimi himself personally selected this movie for his very own Ghosthouse label under the Lionsgate banner. Yes, the name Lionsgate and Direct-to-DVD horror movies aren’t necessarily two great tastes that taste great together, but we’re talking local homeboy hero Sam Raimi here who used to do just this kind of thing before Spiderman made him an A-lister. Oh well. Aside from the aforementioned problems such as the sets seeming like they were the available bedrooms of cast members, the story that supported this tale was incredibly weak and derivative, lacked any kind of imagination, gave us very little back story to attach us in anyway to the vampire hunters, who I assume were supposed to be our heroes, and added absolutely nothing new the vampire lexicon and it might even prompt you to dust off your copy of ‘Blade II’ to see the whole super vampire angle handled somewhat properly. Not helping the poor set design and unimaginative story is the sub par acting, though horror veterans Sid Haig and Ken Foree did what they could with what little they had to work with. Headliner Victoria Pratt certainly has the attitude and the physical nature to excel in a role like the one she was given, and we did appreciate that fact that she was wearing some incredibly tight nipple restricting tank tops, but writer / directors Nicholas Roesch and Peter Scheerer failed to exploit the best of what they had to work with and instead have crafted a film that feels cheap, is a horror film with very little fright factor, is poorly paced and sometimes so badly lit you can’t see what the hell is supposed to going on. Maybe I was supposed to use my imagination in those scenes, but instead I was wondering about Jason Connery’s accent.

I want every movie I watch to be good and as such it gives absolutely no joy in crapping on what I know was a lot of hard work by what I’m sure are a lot of good folks, but damn, ‘Brotherhood of Blood’ just wasn’t any good people. It has some decent gore, Sid Haig, Ken Foree, and Victoria Pratt’s nipples, but that’s just not enough to make up for what ended up being a complete waste of my precious time. Not that I would have been doing anything else of value with that time.

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