Awhile ago, I bought John Carpenter’s Vampires on a whim, and was glad I did. It turned out to be a decent film. While I was in the video store the other day, I noticed Vampires: Los Muertos. Having never heard of this seemingly straight-to-video sequel, I was a little wary, but figured I’d give it a shot anyway.
The characters were pretty simple. Even so, most of the bit actors, aside from the 4 main characters, were incredibly forced, and couldn’t even form flowing sentences. If this was done on purpose, it’s an odd thing to try, but it worked in one way. It made the main characters seem almost like they knew what they were doing in comparison.
Jon Bon Jovi, more known for his band then his acting, shuffled through his performance, acting just enough so you know he’s trying, and that’s about it. There were definitely no stand-out performances here.
The plot was semi-interesting. Vampires: Los Muertos did pick up where the first film left off, albeit with a different lead character. There were references to what happened in the first film, always a good thing for a sequel. They didn’t try to rehash the first film, but rather took some hints from it and went out on their own. It kept the viewer entertained, but didn’t seem to achieve the same fine line between cheesy and outright dumb that the first film did. A lot of movies seem to aim for that fine line, but most never achieve it. Sadly, this film falls among the latter.
Another big difference in Vampires: Los Muertos is their use of the bad guy (or girl, in this case). The first film had the master vampire exuding evil, so you knew it was a real challenge trying to stop him. This film, the vampire seems more of a rabid dog that’s kind of annoying, not evil, and needs to be put down. Takes a bit of the excitement out of it. You always know the good guys are gonna win, it’s just a matter of time. The first film, you weren’t sure.
The special effects were decent. To kill the vampires, they need to chop off their head, drag them into sunlight and stake them, then their bodies burst into flame. The first film made this seem very innovative, and used a bunch of different stunts and tricks to get the vampires into the sunlight. This film was much more bland, and seemed to overemphasize the flames of the bodies.
All in all, Vampires: Los Muertos is one of those sequels that was just thrown together. While they did take a little more time on the plot then most quick sequels, they should have spent a little more time coaching their actors.
Without that, this film degenerates into a possible rental, and that’s about it. It’s not something you’ll want to buy, and you’ll probably just forget most of it after you watch it.
If you’ve never seen the original, check out John Carpenter’s Vampires instead. If you love that one, then this one might be worth it for you. But don’t count on it.
And Jon? Stick to singing.