Vampirela was for the longest time my white whale something that for years and years seemed just about impossible to find.From the days of VHS tapes to the early  dial-up internet and primitive peer to pear sharing programs (remember WinMX) all the way up to the almighty Russian piracy sites. You could find a cover or a clip or a throwaway line about how bad it is but that was all. Now that technology has finally caught up with the elusive film (even here in Balkans) it is time for better or for the worst to watch the damned thing!

vampirella-rudy-nebresVampirella by one of my all- time favorite artist: Rudy Nebres

First we start with a bit of a history. Vampirella started her life as a comicbook character created by legendary Forrest J. Ackerman in 1969 for Warren’s Publishing company of Horror Magazines (Eerie and Creepy) fame.  Warren fell on some hard times and as we learned watching many B-movies, that’s noting a sexy girl can’t fix– especially if she’s also a vampire. Now, some really talented artist worked on Vampirella and fair share of the comic was a visual treat but even the original 70’s version didn’t have the most impressive writing. We’ll get back to that in a moment.

mv5bztyxzdyzmtmtndm4nc00owjjltkwy2mtmdnmzdrinjcwymixxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjexode1mdc-_v1_Strangely the actual costume in the movie doesn’t look anything like this.

We start our story, 30 centuries ago on a planet Drakulon ( actually footage from Not of This Earth, another Corman production) And yes that’s her actual origin story, since redconed because no one can make the idea of space vampires work. The ruler of the futuristic vampiric world (cheap Christopher Lee knock-off , strange because Christopher Lee himself wasn’t that expensive in the early 90’s) wearing plastic vampire teeth explains to his daughter how in the old days vampires would drain one another to drink (that actually doesn’t make any sense) and now they are technologically superior and they use Drakonic organic blood rivers and streams. There’s so much wrong with that idea that I can’t even begin to explain it.

Of course they cut straight to the person who disobeyed  the rule and drank from other vampires. He is also called Vlad just to make thing super clear. Just when they were about to execute him his compatriots break in and he kills the ruler. Desperate,  the princess Ella vows to avenge her father (thus becoming Vampirella, cleaver ha?) but renegades are already gone in their spaceship Gone to the little blue planet called… EARTH! (Yeah I guess you saw that coming, we did too.)

Couple of thousand years later we see some gang members torturing a poor ugly nerd. Mysterious female figure show up from the dark and saves him.

That boy is none other that Akerman (the above mentioned author of Ella) himself. He helps her to find the location of  one of the Vlad‘s minions Thraxx (now Dr. Traxx) using the magic of internet  and even gives her some clothes so she doesn’t receive too much attention when she goes out.

movpod-just-watch-it-mp4_000819125Seriously, this is the best you’ve got- I’ve seen cosplayers with 10x better costumes!

In the meantime we see the operation of the P.U.R.G.E. organization strikeforce, offing some vampires in Mexico I believe. That’s mostly interesting just because they wear black garbage bags and sunglasses I guess to protect them from the sun, but mostly because they’re idiots.

movpod-just-watch-it-mp4_000893625Garbage bag- never leave home without it!

And good ol’ condom-head  is still confused why no one thinks he’s dangerous dude! Vampirella tracks down Dr. Traxx and shows him her best Kung Fu moves (not too good). He apparently changed his ways but ends up impaled all the same. Ella manages to follow that up by the worst vampire transformation in the modern history of cinema (going back to the ’50s).

Impalement followed by a fantastic human to bat transformation, just incredible!

P.U.R.G.E.’s  are torturing one of the condom- heads, fetish looking even without his suit using holly water.He admits that Vlad is operating out of L.A. of all places. And that’s not all- the dude had 3000 years to conquer the freakin’ world and he wasted it all to o pursue a music career.Man, he really is something! Vampirella is also there to see him perform- she doesn’t seem all that impressed.

He shouldn’t leave his day job of world domination for this!

She surprises Vlad but Hellsings surprise them both. They lock them both up but Vlad easily escapes and kills the guards. Young Adam Van Helsing being the only one left teams up with Vampirella to take Vlad down once and for all. They also use the opportunity to exchange their origin stories and we get horrible flashback of  Ella stranded on Mars (which explains her being so late to get to Earth).

movpod-just-watch-it-mp4_002476750“I’m telling you , there’s a half- naked chick over there!”

Unfortunately Adam returns to his home for a bit and gets smacked in the head by couple of porno looking vampire blonds. Vampirella does the only responsible thing,organizes an exchange with P.U.R.G.E., condom- head vampire for young Van Helsing. It all goes wrong as those thing tend to go and both Vampirella and Adam end up captured. Then Vlad tries to make her drink Adam’s blood to finally turn her evil but that doesn’t really work out for him. She does drink his blood but with his blessing and then she turns her new found strength to defeat the Vlad’s empire. He was just inches away of completing his evil plan involving satellites and vampirization of the whole humanity.

 

After the credits roll a sequel was promised  with a ultra- goth name of Death’s Dark Avenger. We’re still waiting for that one, even thou it will probably never happen but with Corman prodaction you just never know. In the meantime you can enjoy this song.

 

Verdict: Vampirella movie actually had some potential, even as a B movie but for that to work you would have to go all in with the Hard R and do not skimp on nudity and gore. Even Talisa Soto (Mortal Kombat, Licence to Kill) was not a bad choice, even though she definitely needed to gain a few pounds so she can fill the iconic skimpy suit properly. Unfortunately Wynorski and Corman decided to go straight for camp, and managed to extract all the worst parts of a comic and  the effects well, they look like Corman hand drew them on film himself! That is even a real possibility given how historically cheap he could be.

One of the redeeming values of this movie is of course Roger Daltrey (of The Who fame) who’s performance is so over the top that you have no choice but be entertained by it.

 

 

 

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