Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Vampires have been around as long as people have, we all know this, but thanks to a synthetic blood substitute which negates their need to hunt us regular folk down, we can now all co-exist.  Yay.  You could call this synthetic blood substitute 'True Blood', but we're not going to call it that.  Unfortunately at this time in Romania, where this movie is set, even though it was shot in Bulgaria, there are some funky looking mutated bat-like vampires who are killing vampires and humans alike.  You could call these giant flying bat creatures 'Reapers', like they called them in 'Blade 2'… or not.  Regardless the name of this SyFy Channel original is called 'True Bloodthirst', changed from its original and
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in jail for murdering vampires, to reassemble his vampire murdering crew so they can hunt these things down.  I also could mention that these specialized vampire hunters don't do anything all that special, outside of having bad attitudes and shooting at the vampires when they pass by, something anybody with a gun could do, but we won't mention that either.

Simple enough.  Eventually the vampire murderers make a trip to the vampire disco, because if I know one thing from watching movies it's that vamps do like to shake their booty's.  The hunters are at the disco so they can join forces with the super smooth, pasty white vampire prince Nikolai (Ben Lambert) who has an interest in stopping these giant bats since his brother has been turned into one, and with Harker being a vampire murderer and Nikolai being a human murderer, there is some tension between two.  Tensions which are made worse since Harker's sister Celeste (Heida Reed), also an experienced vampire murderer, seems to be feeling Nikolai's vampire vibe a little bit.  

Naturally everything isn't all that it seems, there is a wicked reason why these vampire bats exist that has nothing to do with the natural order of vampire evolution, if such a thing exists, and a conspiracy at the highest levels is the order of the day.  But I'm betting that this is nothing that can't be resolved by blowing stuff up.  I'm betting.

If you ever get a chance you need to run over and visit my main man Kevin Bachelder at Tuning in to Sci-Fi as he specializes, in all things SyFy.  I mention this because he has a podcast featuring an interview with the director of this movie, about his movie, Todor Chapkanov and it is quite illuminating as he lays down some of the trials and tribs of bringing a SyFy channel original to life.  I don't know if this knowledge is going to heighten your enjoyment of 'True Bloodthirst', but there it is.

Personally speaking, I liked 'True Bloodthirst'.  Kind of.  In a way.  I mean it's no Monsterwolf, that being my personal favorite of the Chapkanov directed SyFy originals, but it is scads better than say something like his 'Swamp Volcano'.  Allow us, if you will, to talk about some of the good points of this movie, such as the giant reaper bats.  As far as SyFy CGI creatures go, these were well done.  They were dumb as dirt, even dumber than real bats, so say if you're flying down a corridor and people are mowing you down in this corridor, at some point the giant bats behind you should figure that this is not a sound approach.  Never happened.  Another good thing about this movie were the performances… by anybody not named Andrew Lee Potts.  Not to say that Andrew was gawdawful in this movie or anything, and I understand that the kid probably was a little tired of playing that wimpy schlub on Primeval for the last five years and wanted to display his hidden badass, but there's just not a lot about Mr. Potts that screams Hardcore Vampire Slayer.  No matter how many leather jackets they put on him.  Plus every once in a while his natural accent would take over his 'American' character.  We're still trying to figure out why he just couldn't be a Brit, but I imagine that's neither here nor there at this point.  Still, the performances put forth by Ben Lambert, Neil Jackson and particularly Roark Chritchlow, a veteran at playing slimy authority figures, and had no problem hanging on to his fake Romanian accent throughout the film.  Not that I'd know an authentic Romanian accent if I heard one. 

Naturally we still have to deal with the same problems that pop up in these SyFy originals we insist on watching, such as a narrative that makes less and less sense the longer it goes on, we'd appreciate it if the Consortium of  Vampire Filmmakers could get together and agree on a standard on what vampires can and cannot do, and while the movie had plenty of action there were still times, mainly due to pacing issues, where we kind of drifted off and forgot we were supposed to be watching this movie.

But we can deal with the occasional loss of focus here and there since 'True Bloodthirst'… awful title… had enough going on to keep us marginally entertained.
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better title of 'Vampyre Nation' with 'True Bloodthirst' being about as derivative a title as derivatives get, a title that will do little but piss off those legions of 'True Blood' fanatics who stand around the water cooler every Monday morning dissecting the episode they saw the night before, but whaddayagonnado? 

Well we can't have giant bats going around eating the taxpaying citizens of Bucharest, be they human or vampire, so Chief of Police Kovacs (Roark Chritchlow) puts his top cop American Detective Derricks (Neil Jackson) on the case.  How an American was allowed to become a top cop in Romania is beyond me.  Why a British actor is pretending to be an American who is a Romanian detective is also beyond me but I think this is the 'near future' so anything is possible. 

Regardless, Derrick's needs some backup to hunt these vampire bats, or whatever they are since he doesn't know yet, so he fishes noted vampire murderer Johnny Harker (Andrew Lee Potts) out of jail, who I think is
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