Posts Tagged ‘Daybreakers’


daybreakers-vampire-movieLike “True Blood” “Daybreakers” is set in a world where vampires live among humans, but unlike the popular HBO show these vampires don’t have a blood substitute to keep them alive and friendly. In fact, in the world created by the writer / director team of the Spierig Brothers (Michael and Peter) humans are on the verge of extinction having literally been sucked dry and now the vamps must come up with a new source of food to ensure their survival.

Hematologist Ethan Hawke is charged with creating the cure for vampire hunger by his bosses at Bromley Marks, the world’s leading blood handler and humans-as-food storage facility. Ethan can best be described as a reluctant vampire and knows that the “last breath of humanity in the vampires will disappear as soon as the blood does.” To that end he searches for a cure and when he meets a group of human rebels a different kind of solution to the problem may be at hand.

As has become popular on “True Blood” and in movies like “Twilight” in “Daybreakers” many old vampire myths have flown the coop. For example Ethan Hawke’s character smokes. Perhaps because he is eternal he doesn’t have to worry about lung cancer, but since he is already dead, were does he get the breath to inhale and exhale? You never saw Dracula with a smoke in his hand…

Luckily, when the movie isn’t playing fast and loose with vampire lore, it is an entertaining a vampire tale that plays up its b-movie thrills.

Ripe with cool lines—“Life’s a bitch,” says Hawke’s world weary vampire, “and then you don’t die”—cool new vampire mythology—vamps who feed on themselves become mutants—and cool ideas—blood becomes a commodity like oil—“Daybreakers” is the best night stalker film to come along since last year’s “Let the Right One In.” (Sorry Twi-Hards!)

Hawke, with his sunken cheeks and rough hewn good looks is well cast as Edward, the disinclined vampire, but his character becomes much more fun in the last half of the film (SPOILER ALERT) when he morphs into Ethan Hawke, Vampire Slayer.

The film, for all its effective spooky vampiric atmosphere in the first hour, builds towards a bloody climax that can only be described as juicy. People (and vampires) don’t just die as much as they explode, spraying a cloud of moist viscera in every direction. This is one movie I was glad wasn’t in 3-D.

“Daybreakers” doesn’t have enough bite to become a modern vampire classic like “Nosferatu the Vampyre” or “Let the Right One In,” it’s too down and dirty for that, but it is great b-movie fun in the tradition of “Innocent Blood” or “Near Dark.”

Bloodsuckers return to dominate the box office In Focus by Richard Crouse FOR METRO CANADA January 08, 2010

daybreakers-vampire-movieWho knew there were so many fang bangers out there? The success of HBO’s True Blood and the Twilight franchise is proof that vampires have risen from the dead, driven a stake through the very heart of popular culture and won over new fans in unprecedented numbers.

Never before have bloodsuckers done such boffo box office, but how can this newfound popularity be called a comeback when the vampires never went away?

No amount of garlic, it seems, can keep vampires out of the theatre. This weekend Daybreakers, a film about a world where vamps outnumber humans, joins the list of vampire films which dates back to the 1900s.

In the 101 years since audiences first sunk their teeth into a vampire movie — 1909’s Vampire of the Coast — vamps have come in all shapes and sizes. There’s The Vampire Effect, a Chinese martial arts vampire movie (guest starring Jackie Chan), Thomas Dolby’s vampire musical comedy Rockula and the self explanatory Gayracula to name just a few.

ven stranger than any of those is Dracula Blows his Cool, a 1979 German comedy featuring the Count as the proprietor of a disco in his ancestral castle. It’s quite awful, but worth a rental (if you can find it) to hear the disco “hit” Rock Me Dracula (Suck! Suck!).

More traditional is another German film made the same year. Roger Ebert called Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre, “the most evocative series of images centered around the idea of the vampire” since 1922’s Nosferatu.

It cannot be said that this is a particularly scary movie, but Herzog’s emphasis on slowly building tension and atmosphere rather than simply smearing the screen with blood is disquieting and decidedly eerie.

A little more rock’em sock’em is The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, the 1974 collaboration between Britain’s Hammer Studios and the Hong Kong based Shaw Brothers Studio. Peter Cushing is vampire hunter Prof. Van Helsing who battles Dracula and six disciples in a remote Chinese village. It’s weird and wacky, but as one critic said it gets by “on sheer novelty alone.”

So many vampires, so little time. How have vampires survived when other film fads are dead and buried? Adaptability. Just as every generation has placed a hero on the pop charts, cinematic vampires have shapeshifted over the years, bending to the times.

How else can you explain Dracula Blows His Cool’s disco dancing Drac?