Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Director Glenn Standring’s film ‘Perfect Creature’ was akin to a drag race car entering the Paris to Drakar Rally or sprinter Carl Lewis in the 10,000 meter run. I mean this thing started off like a house afire but simply ran out of gas and ideas and just sputtered to the finish line. But when ‘Perfect Creature’ was good it was very good. But when it came time for the payoff it was very mediocre.

As our film opens Police Captain Lilly (Saffron Burrows) narrates some basics about this alternate reality we are about to experience. It would appear that 300 years prior, the alchemist went wild creating mutations of diseases that created an especially virulent form influenza. Out of the Alchemist meddling though was born a new species of man, the Nosferatu, who were genetically, physically and mentally superior to the homo-sapien in every way and essentially became man’s savior as their blood provided much needed healing medicines. Though early on these new creatures were met with derision and hatred, hunted and killed, eventually they learned to co-exist with these beings who will be known as The Brothers and will essentially become a religion unto themselves in this world, as millions populate the church and freely give their blood to sustain The Brothers. Lilly also informs us that there has peace between The Brothers and humans for three hundred years, until today.

This world that The Brothers and the humans live in looks like something out of Oliver Twist, only with a sky littered by dirigibles and homes carrying grainy black and white televisions. One of The Brothers, Edgar (Leo Gregory) has gone completely bonkers and has taken to drinking the blood directly from humans and killing them, the first Brother to ever take a human life. Edgar is being hunted by his blood brother, Brother Silus (Dougray Scott), who is attempting to stop him before the humans find out there is a

murderous brother on the loose. He fails in this task and eventually he has to team with the human police force, led by Lilly, to bring the rouge Edgar to justice. Eventually they manage to capture Edgar but he nearly kills Lilly in the process were Brother Silus not there in the ready with his own blood to save her. It seems Edgar has performed some genetic experiments on himself which along with turning him into a complete murderous lunatic, has opened his eyes to the silliness of serving creatures inferior to him in every conceivable way. And though they might have Edgar imprisoned now, he will get out and he has a plan to kill every single living human on the planet, unless his brother, now unwisely and unacceptably falling in love with the beautiful Lilly, can stop him.

"If a white man kills, that white man is a murderer. If a black man kills, then all blacks are murderers." This is what Brother Silus tells Lilly as he explains to her why it is so important that Edgar’s transgressions stay out of the press. I was impressed. He’s laying knowledge on Lilly and on us. One of the things that sets ‘Perfect Creature’ apart during it’s first half was the smart and intelligent dialog. The thing however that set ‘Perfect Creature’ on its road to what was looking like cinematic greatness was its amazing atmosphere, the imagination, innovation and execution of this alternate reality that the filmmakers thrust us into and the ability of the actors involved to totally immerse themselves within this alternate universe and make us believe that their world is as real as the world we live in now. I really can’t say enough of how director Standring and his crew seemed to have complete control of this imaginary world and his ability to execute his vision. Then it all just kind of fell apart.

I don’t know if the studio had the editors cut out chunks of the movie to end it quicker, or they just ran out ideas, or they ran out of loot or whatever, but what had started out as a very stylish, unique alternate vision of a fairly standard horror movie subject, degraded into a standard rescue the damsel in distress horror movie. All of the goodness that I enjoyed in the first half of this film disintegrated into a paint by numbers thriller using pretty much every standard action cliché in the book to achieve its eventual and predictable end. The only thing it was missing was an opportunity to clip a red or green wire while the bomb counted down to 0:00. One moment your on the edge of your seat engrossed in the narrative and visuals, the next moment your leaning back in your seat with your cheek in you hand waiting for the credits to roll and that was disappointing.

‘Perfect Creature’ is a tale of two movies. One creative and inventive, the other tired and predictable. The first half of the film though justifies suffering through the disappointing second half and here’s hoping that writer / director Standring has shown enough promise as an artisan to get another chance to craft a film because of the early promise that this one presented.

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