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Slayer Review

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[Slayer]
Plot:A military intelligence colonel sends a squad of men to a Latin American country to help villages.While there,they stumble upon a nest of vampires who have been hiding out in nearby caves for many years.

Cast: Casper Van Dien, Jennifer O'Dell, Merritt Bailey, Ski Carr, Lynda Carter, Alexis Cruz, Pablo Espinosa, Eddie J. Fernandez, Joyce Giraud, Kevin Grevioux, Toby Holguin, Jim Morse, Ray Park, Tony Plana, Daniel Puello, Danny Trejo.

My Thoughts:Not bad for something the sci-fi channel produced.

Review:Rather than beginning this review by rehashing on how absolutely awful 98% of SCI-FI's original pictures are, I'm going to begin this review with something positive. "Slayer", which is a SCI-FI original picture, was actually pretty good. The film is a vampire pic which boasts a jungle setting similar to that of "Predator". The pic's cast includes cameos by genre vet Danny Trejo and Wonder Woman herself Lynda Carter, and is headed up by Casper Van Dien who always seems to find his way into films like this, and Kevin Grevioux who many of you may remember as the lycan Raze from "Underworld". Van Dien plays Hawk who along with his second in command Grieves (Grevioux), leads a U.S. peace keeper army doing work inside a Latin American country. Problems arise however when they are attacked by villagers who have somehow become vampires. To make matters worse, the vampires are seemingly growing in number, and it's getting harder and harder for Carter's character, Colonel Jessica Weaver to keep a lid on the situation as their numbers grow and the bloodshed gets worse. "Slayer" as a vampire movie certainly isn't scary, but then again vampire movies stopped being scary ages ago. What makes it a satisfactory watch is the spins it puts on the vampire mythology and the way it uses the vampires in it's story. See, this isn't your average vampires out for blood, a band of slayers are formed to stop them..fighting ensues..etc etc. style of movie. In this movie, the villagers became vampires through a fountain of youth of sorts, which granted them eternal life but the disease of vampirism was the unknown side effect to that gift. Also these vampires are focused on attacking and turning the prime members of Van Dien's unit so they can use their military knowledge and tactics to their advantage..in a larger scale scheme to spread their numbers out across the land. Van Dien, who isn't exactly the best actor out there, does a pretty good job as Hawk, who ironically enough..still has a little bit of ill will towards his ex wife who is also involved in the military, and later finds herself in the middle of the war between the vampires and Van Dien's unit. "Slayer" also nearly trumps "From Dusk Till Dawn" as the bloodiest vampire movie I've ever seen. There's plenty of blood splatter, spraying, spilling, you name it..this movie is pratically blood-soaked, which along with the great creature fx used for the vampires, adds the strong horror element this movie needed to go alongside it's pretty unique and strong story. "Slayer" also doesn't slack off on the action part of the deal, as there are alot of human/vampire confrontations in the picture which contain lots of staking, neck biting, and decapitations. Grevioux as Grieves does an excellent job playing Van Dien's best friend and second command in the pic, before he's turned and becomes the leader of the vampire clan. He pulls double duty in this movie as a good guy first and then turns baddie later on. I preferred him as the bad guy personally as his acting was better in the villain role, and his large frame made him a pretty menacing on-screen villain. "Slayer" does have a few weak spots however. Danny Trejo's cameo while it does add some comedy to the pic, it's much too short. Also some of the dialogue gets a bit too cheesy at times, and the main vampire who makes a pretty cool appearance at the end to face off against Hawk, is dispatched of way too easily. Still despite those minor issues, "Slayer" is one of the best B vampire films I have seen in some time. Certainly better than all of the direct-to-dvd follow up's to "From Dusk Till Dawn" and "John Carpenters Vampires".

Pros:Decent acting, a much appreciated new spin on the vampire mythology, loads of blood and some decent action scenes.

Cons:The dialogue is spotty in some parts, the main vampire is destroyed way too easy near the end of the picture.

Overall:Certainly not a waste of time like most of the sci-fi channel's original pictures. I'd recommend catching this during a SCI-FI Channel encore or picking it up on dvd when it comes out later this year.





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