25 June 2016 | lost-in-limbo
"Looks like the vampire killer number 9".
I went into "Vampire At Midnight" hoping it would be a nice little treat, but I came away thinking that this late-night b-horror, didn't come together. I can see why it's not particularly well known, or even a cult-film. After a promising beginning, it stalls and like others have mentioned, becomes quite bland, a little slow and dull. It was just a little too chilled and relaxed. Still in parts, it does work because of some unorthodox touches and script's witty style. Like the story playing up the idea; is the killer a vampire or not? (He uses a hidden switchblade, not his teeth, but still drinks from their bloody throats).
Jason Williams in the lead role as the homicide detective on the case gives a likable performance for a mundane character. On the other side of the coin, Gustav Vintas' seductively dry performance as the killer is quite exemplary. Going for that European touch, which worked for me, but the vampire traits were rather different then the norm. Old school sensibilities within changing times and surroundings.
I think where it does lose somewhat its momentum, is when the killer takes a liking to the detective's beautiful neighbour (played vibrantly by Lesley Milne) who's an aspiring pianist. It's a bit of a stretch on how the paths cross, but it's obviously there to move the story along and add some suspense, which I don't think is all that effective or interesting. I just think there is something more there, but it only scrapes the surface. Making our killer quite a shallow shell despite Vintas' best. While I'm not much of a fan of where the story headed towards the back-end, I still got to hand it to them about the closing which does pack a killer punch.
For its low-budget, its visuals and lighting are particularly well-made. The L.A backdrop is hypnotic and added to the smokey and seedy atmospherics. Too bad I find some of the scenes repetitive and plodding, which took away its attempts of building tension, leaving the attacks as mean-spirited. The support cast were capable with the likes of Jeanie Moore, Esther Alise and Robert Rando.
"Leave this vampire thing alone".