Another fresh twist on the vampire theme
Stephen C. Beck | Maryland Hts., Missouri USA | 09/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Excuse me -- not "vampire"! That's an ugly word, a slur. These folks preferred to be called "Carpathian -Americans," thankyouverymuch.And most of what you've heard about ... Carpathians ... is untrue. Wild, exaggerated, ugly tales. (Except the thing about liking the taste of blood. That's true. But that was long ago. They're civilized now. Didn't _your_ ethnic ancestors do some pretty gross things hundreds of years ago?)"Blood Ties" looks at an extended clan of, uh, Carpathian-Americans as just another group of immigrants, living in Long Beach, CA. There's the first generation -- conservative, with strong ties to the old country and the old ways. The second generation -- assimilationist, more "American" in their thinking. And the young third generation -- rediscovering their heritage, militantly proud of it, and a little bit spoiled.These immigrants, however, are also victims of prejudice and hate ... which turns deadly ... There are "vampire hunters" abroad, and they are the bad guys.Suspenseful, sexy, sometimes humorous and maybe even thought-provoking. I don' t think this was exactly a big-budget movie, but it was very entertaining. I wish it could have become a TV series. And I loved the "Carpathian" music -- especially the tune that plays at the beginning and ending. I wish I could get a recording of it."
Pretty Good as vampire movies go
Wulfgirl | Sacramento, California | 04/11/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Let's face it, if you're a fan of the genre, you know that most vampire movies suck (no pun intended). This one doesn't. It's actually pretty good, especially if you like a view that's sympathetic to the vampires. The vampires in this movie are a subspecies of humans, with their own society and laws. Sounds sort of like Kindred, The Embraced, doesn't it? It even has the stylish old-world vampires at odds with the younger, rebel vampires. It also has the beautiful blonde human reporter who's in love with one of the vampires. The movie has some good twists, attractive women, cool settings...and it's entertaining."
"Only Revenge Is Sweeter Than Blood"
Stephen C. Beck | 05/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Blood Ties" begins in Anchor, Texas, where three S.C.A.V. (Southern Coalition Against Vampirism) members murder a teen's parents and shoot the young man (Cody Puckett, played by Jason London) with a crossbow before setting the house on fire. Luckily he escapes--or rather, the Amish-looking trio allow him to get away so they can follow him to "the others".Wounded, 17-year-old Cody seeks the rich, corrupted Uncle Eli Chelarin (Patrick Bauchau) in Long Beach, California. Here Cody meets a few other relatives: Butcherbird "Butch" Vlad (Salvator Xuereb), Eli's rebellious nephew and the apparent leader of the Shrikes (the young troublemakers of the family, which Cody becomes a part of); Harry Martin, aka Harlevon Martinesque (uncertain spelling; played by Harley Venton), another one of Eli's nephews, as well as a reporter for the 'Long Beach Post-Gazette' and Cody's "guardian"; and Celia (Michelle Johnson), Eli's younger halfsister and lover. She's also Harry's occasional lover, which, by the way, if you hadn't noticed, makes her his half-aunt. Grossed out? Then you may not want to watch this one, because there's more incest involving cousins. Nothing graphic though.In the movie, Harry is one of the leading characters who is trying to track down these "vampire" hunters before they can hurt anyone else. His semi-assistant is D.A. Amy Lauren (Kim Johnston Ulrich), who had tried to put Butch in jail at the beginning of "Blood Ties", but failed because of Eli's monetary charm. Amy's more of a blond-haired-blue-eyed sexual distraction for Harry, though, than any real help.Although "Blood Ties" is essentially a vampire/horror movie, it doesn't rely on fangs or other vampire myths at all. It's more of a tongue-in-cheek soap opera drama with a hint of vampirism that's more racially charged than scary. This is noticeable in how the word "vampire" is considered a derogatory term, even though that's what they are; "Carpathian" is the appropriate term. Another example of racial undertones in this movie is when the redheaded Western Regional S.C.A.V. member (Grace Zabriskie) spouts off how terrible it is to have to sit with "one of them" on the bus or be with one in the same room. She continues by saying the "vampires" sole purpose is to steal other people's spouses, jobs, parking spaces, etc. Concerning "vampires" it sounds absurd, I know, but realize there's more to this movie than just cursory blood and guts, although the violence is quite tame and nonexistent compared to today's standards. There is some bloodletting, but no graphic vein-ripping, limb-tearing scenes here.Sure, it's pretty cheesy at times too, i.e., the choreographed dancing of the Shrikes, but "Blood Ties" wasn't meant to be a serious film. It had aired back in May of 1991 on Fox as a pilot, but apparently it didn't take as a series. I remember watching it back then and pretty much fell in love with it at first viewing since it combines my two favorite genres (horror and comedy) and spotlights "vampires" (my favorite type of monster). I simply can't wait for the DVD version to come out this June!"
I Love This Movie!
vivalvis | Fort Lauderdale, Florida United States | 08/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the few vampire movies I could watch again and again. It's not very gory but it's very entertaining nonetheless. It stars Jason London, and he plays his role as that of vampire-who-doesn'-t know-he's-a-vampire very well. Blood Ties has its very funny moments as well (I'm not sure they were supposed to be that funny...). Get this movie today. Happy watching!"