Tuesday, October 30, 2007

cold hearts

For the moment, Blogger isn't letting me post images, so there's a slight delay in getting today's comics pages up. In the meantime, last night's movie was "Cold Hearts," a medium-low-budget, New Jersey lensed vampire movie from 1999. I sort of wanted to dig this flick, there were certainly some interesting ideas behind it, but the whole package just never really pays off. The scenario is cool, though- on the Jersey shore, a bunch of vampires live out a actually fairly boring existence. The protagonists, Viki (Marisa Ryan) and her friends Alicia (Amy Jo Johnson aka the Pink Power Ranger) and Darius (John Huertas), spend most of their nights hanging out on the boardwalk, avoiding a gang of rival vampires, led by Charles (Christopher Wiehl). They occasionally attack people for blood (in one scene, they take out a whole paddy wagon full of victims while the cops aren't looking) but mostly get their supply from a local paramedic. The conflict between Niki and Charles is exacerbated when nice guy frat boy Seth (Robert Floyd) shows up in town and develops eyes for Niki.

Aside from the interesting set-up, and a twist at the end (Seth turns out to be a werewolf. Ha! I ruined for you. Happy Halloween.), there's something really tired about "Cold Hearts," tired, tiring, tiresome...Most of the material here has been covered before in "The Lost Boys" (which seems to be a heavy, heavy, too heavy influence) and on the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series, and with much better dialogue. The dialogue, in fact, is a major stumbling point, as actors (and I've seen some of the actors in this do decent work in other things) stumble over awkwardly written lines. It all feels very written, but the scenario itself calls for realism.

That said, "Cold Heart" is a great looking movie. The lighting and camerawork are very effective. And though the film is largely comprised of scenes of characters wallowing in despair over their meaningless afterlives, there are a few effective sequences, or at least conceptually effective. A scene where the evil vampires attack a waterpark doesn't totally work, but the idea is cool, and the staging at least competent. Even so, there's no real reason to watch "Cold Hearts" unless you're really desperate for a movie that's a lot like "the Lost Boys" but not really as good (and "Lost Boys" isn't that great a film to begin with)...

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