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Bloodstone – Subspecies 2  (1993)

Dir. Ted Nicolaou  – 83 Minutes

Starring – Anders Hove, Denise Duff, Kevin Spirtas, Melanie Shatner, Pamela Gordon, Michael Denish, Ion Haiduc.

Full Moon Productions

UK Distribution – 88 Films

Following immediately on from the first Subspecies, Radu (Anders Hove) is brought back to life (well undead) with a little help from his little demon friends. Radu is peeved and sets out for revenge and kills his half brother Stephan then sets looking for Michelle (now played by Denise Duff). It is though almost dawn so Radu beds down for the day.

The next evening Michelle awakes and finds Stephan dead and takes the bloodstone from his skeletal fingers and escapes as quick as she can to Bucharest where she phones her sister Rebecca (Melanie Shatner – yes it’s his daughter) and tells her to come save her as she has been bitten (by Radu in first film). Radu follows Michelle to Bucharest intent on retrieving the bloodstone and making Michelle his companion.

The film starts off really well by getting rid of Stephan straight away , he was the weakest link in the first film and this now allows the focus to fall on the fantastic Anders Hove and his majestic OTT performance as the evil , but flawed vampire Radu , son of the now deceased Vampire King.

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The setting of Bucharest is wonderful and the use of shadows to portray Radu’s movement and presence really adds to the gothic feel. This is much more of a real traditional vampire tale, there are injections of humour especially from local Policeman Lt. Marin (Ion Haiduc) but the whole feel of the film is a beautiful lavish Victorian vampire tale set in early 90’s post communist Romania.

Denise Duff is superb as Michelle, she gives a fantastic performance as Michelle who is fighting her urges and desires as she is slowly turning into a vampire. After leaving the hotel she finds a home in the costume department of the local opera house and so has some lovely gypsy style costumes to wear and finds a beautiful glass coffin to sleep in.

Radu also comes across at first as the evil vampire but later as he has a reunion with his evil skeletal witch of a mother, he starts to act and feel more *human* , he admits his love for Michelle and also calls his mother “Mummy”. Radu explains that he is lonely and wants love and companionship , his mother says “kill her”. Fantastic parenting skills there.

All the cast act and interact superbly, Melanie Shatner is great as Rebecca and Michael Denish gives a humour filled performance as the slightly forgetful , palinka loving Professor Nicolai Popescu.

A real treat and a proper vampire film, no sparkle and teens here. Its the dark shadows of Bucharest and the longing for love and companionship from a creature that could live forever.

A sadly often  overlooked vampire film, but a true classic of the genre. Watch them in order if you can but this stands fine alone too.  Fang you Full Moon and 88 Films for this beautifully sharp, crisp and bloody release  8/10.

Subspecies 2 : Bloodstone is released on DVD & BluRay by 88 Films in the UK on March 18th .

Extras: Cast and Crew Interviews / Killer Montage / Videozone / Trailer

Visit 88 films great site for information on their current and upcoming releases – www.88films.co.uk

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