Starring Denice Duff, James Horan, Jillian McWhirter, Frank Bruynbroek, Marilyn O’Connor, Geoffrey Lewis, Julie Michaels, John Mese, Scott Spearman
Directed by Denice Duff
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
Song of the Vampire is a classic tale of a supernatural being searching for the reincarnation of his lost lover. I’m not sure where this type of story originates from, but I’m most familiar with it from the 1932 film The Mummy and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I’m a huge fan of both of these films, so to say that Song of the Vampire had a lot to live up to is an understatement. But since Song of the Vampire is such a low-budget film, holding it up against two of my all-time favorites would be dooming it to a pit of comparison and utter disappointment. On its own, Song of the Vampire is an average vampire tale that could have been better with a tighter focus.
The most interesting aspect of the film is the idea that in addition to the vampire, Jonathan Travers (James Horan), hunting down Caroline (Denice Duff), her abusive ex-husband, Marty (Frank Bruynbroek), is fresh out of jail and on her trail, too. One pursuer is a supernatural entity that feeds on life, hoping to reconnect with his lost love and be with her forever. The other is a truly evil man with nothing but malice in his heart, completely obsessed with Caroline and literally willing to do anything to have her life back under his control. Both men share a clarity of purpose, and they’re both willing to do horrific things on their way to Caroline. Since this is a romantic vampire tale, Jonathan is clearly intended as the heroic male, but I couldn’t really get into rooting for him. Caroline never asked for either man’s undying, obsessive love, so instead I hoped that she would transcend both of their desires and end the film as a powerful character living on her own.
It’s a shame, too, because other than that, Caroline’s aunt is a great character who fills a Van Helsing-style role in the story. She’s not a scholar or an experienced vampire hunter, but she is a student of the supernatural who dabbles with it regularly. She’s daring, too, going so far as to track the vampire to a cave during the day with the intent of driving a wooden stake through his heart. Auntie don’t mess around! I loved her, so it really tore me apart to see her team up with the ex-husband without any qualms.
At times atmospheric and alluring, at others amateurish and dull, Song of the Vampire remains interesting for fans of Denice Duff, romantic vampire films and B-Movies. There’s also a surprising amount of effective comedy. I wish it were more fun, but I liked it for what it was. My biggest takeaway is that Denice Duff should have continued directing; she shows a lot of promise, and female perspectives on the horror genre are always welcome and refreshing.
Next time I get around to a Full Moon movie I’ll be watching David DeCoteau’s Prison of the Dead! See ya then!