The Devil’s Gravestone

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“Blade-ette, but a good deal more chatty and cheaper.”

devilsgravestoneJaq (LaMont) has devoted her life to hunting and killing the vampires who stalk the night in the metropolis of ‘Roach City’. She became this way after her husband, Cale (Red Star), was turned by one of the most notorious of serial vampires, and the first victim of his blood-lust was their young son. He vanished, and Jaq has spent the years since trying to track him down, taking out any fangster who gets in the way. She is visited by a local detective, Dick (Nemmers), who gives her some surprising news: Cale stabbed himself to death in a local cemetery. However, the body vanishes from the morgue, and it soon becomes clear that that’s not the only strange thing going on, as a woman who was sexually assaulted nearby has gone from zero to heavily pregnant in a few days.

After a brisk and fairly promising start, this becomes increasingly bogged-down in exposition and talk, rather than action. It does have some interesting ideas, putting new twists on old ideas, such as the concept that vampires perpetually need blood, because they “burn” it off constantly, a result of their superhuman strength and speed consuming so much energy. However, there isn’t enough time to do much with these concepts, which are instead espoused – typically by a character I nicknamed Dr. Exposition (James) – then never mentioned or of significance again. If he had been laying the groundwork for a series, it might have made sense, but in a standalone movie like this, it bring things to a grinding halt. It’s the last thing the film needs, because the extremely-low budget approach across the board, from video definition through sound (a lot of the dialogue seems post-synched) to special effects, then becomes all the more obvious.

Once that happens, it becomes a chore to get through. I kept finding my attention drifting elsewhere – checking my email, picking my toenails, the sort of pastimes you do when you’re vaguely bored, yet not disinterested enough to seek out aggressively something more entertaining. More than once, I realized something semi-important had happened while I was distracted, and would have to rewind to the point where I’d lost interest. That’s never a good sign, and the final “apocalyptic” showdown left me thoroughly unimpressed, with all the initial potential having evaporated.

Dir: Jay Mackenzie Roach
Star: Elle LaMont, Joe Nemmers, Grant James, Niko Red Star

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