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Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter

Blu-ray review


Phil Caracas

Murielle Varhelyi

Maria Moulton

Directed by:

Lee Demarbre

The tagline for Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter is "the power of Christ impales you", and that line should tell you whether or not you'll enjoy this film.

As the title implies, Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter is about Jesus Christ's quest to eradicate vampires in Ottawa, Ontario.  The bloodsuckers have apparently been around a long time, but have become particularly troublesome in recent months because they've been rounding up lesbians.

Why, you ask, are the vampires rounding up lesbians?  Apparently, if you graft the skin of a lesbian onto a vampire, the vampire can then walk around in daylight.  No, I'm not making this up.  Oh, it also has a musical sequence.

In case you hadn't figured it out, Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter is a B-movie, through and through.  It was shot on 16MM film, and they had no audio on set, so all the dialogue was dubbed in (badly) using ADR processes later on.

In 2008, someone decided to dust off the original negative and create a high definition transfer of this film.  Surprisingly enough, it looks fantastic for something that was shot on 16MM film with a crappy little handheld camera.  The problems with this transfer are obviously from the original negative (e.g. damage during cutting, framing issues).

Audio is pretty lacklustre, living up to the original stereo mix that was created for the film.  It sounds awful, but that's how it's supposed to sound. 

Special features are fairly limited, including a 15 minute retrospective with some of the cast and crew filmed nine years after the movie was finished.

One part Evil Dead and two parts 70's Kung Fu film, JCVH is actually a pretty entertaining film.  It does have a hard time sustaining it's 85 minute run time, but the creators knew to hold some of the fun back for the big finish.  They have a surprising amount of stunts, but not very much in the way of special effects.  That doesn't stop them from staging a blow out ending that involves a fog machine and a mirror (again, not making this up).

Oh, they also seem to think you won't look at anything except what they will you to look at on screen, so keep an eye out for stray crew members, guts made of what looks like toilet paper tubes and cotton balls, fabric intenstines used as a weapon, and an airline pilot mysteriously changing gender from one cut to another.

For fans of bad movies, it doesn't get much better than this.  Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter is destined to become a classic along the lines of Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space.

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