Plot: The US Federal Marshals have captured quite an interesting bounty, a man who is all by accounts a vampire. He has all the signs, fangs and all, not to mention a strange book that the Marshals can’t decipher. In an effort to find out what information the book holds, the Marshals call in a Catholic priest, Noah (Cory Ahre). This is not your typical man of the cloth however, instead he is a little more colorful and doesn’t always act like his profession would dictate. When he first told the prison is a vampire, he dismisses the claims, but the book seems to back up that idea. As it turns out, it is The Bloodsucker’s Handbook, a tome filled with stories and history about the captive, making it seem like the vampire claim could be true. Noah soon begins a dialogue with the prisoner, who reveals himself to be Dr. Condu (Jeremy Herrera) and insists that the Marshals were right and he is indeed a vampire. Soon, Noah finds himself lost in a realm of dark, surreal atmosphere. Who is Dr. Condu and will Noah survive a trip through the world of this clever prisoner?
Entertainment Value: Also known as Enchiridion, Bloodsucker’s Handbook had some reshoots, was recut, and finally renamed, but at last we have this quirky vampire flick in our greedy little hands. The result is a weird, surreal movie that makes some bold choices and is never afraid to take a risk. The premise seems simple at first, as a priest and a vampire engage in a conversation, but soon things spiral into madness and you never know what to expect. This has elements of horror, but is more surreal than anything else, kind of a no budget, David Lynch inspired picture. The movie uses a lot of stop motion animation, in some scenes everything is stop motion, while some of the time, it is stop motion characters interacting with the live action elements. I love this choice and while the animation isn’t all that dynamic, it makes things all the more surreal and it fits with the movie’s vibe. All of this off the wall happens, but the tone is deadpan serious and that only escalates the sense of confusion. I mean that in a good way too, as I really liked the surreal elements and how unpredictable this was. This might be a hard sell to some horror fans, since the vampire angle is only one piece of the puzzle, but anyone into bizarre, surreal cinema shouldn’t miss this one.
No nakedness. There’s some minor blood, but barely enough to rack up the single point it has been awarded. But as the movie doesn’t focus on the horror aspect, it makes sense that the blood is minimal. Plus, the other shit that happens is so out there, you won’t even notice the lack of crimson. As far as dialogue, this one has a dog detective that talks like he’s in an old school film noir. Even so, the movie doesn’t always excel in terms of verbal entertainment, as it relies more on atmosphere and visuals. And just general “what the fuck” moments, which are always fun. So not a lot of memorable lines here, but hey, talking dog detective still counts. Where Bloodsucker’s Handbook really delivers is overall insanity, as it is just a stream of surreal moments and things that make you wonder the hell could be going on. Some of the bright spots include pretentious performance art, an old man licking a toad, a pterodactyl on the dance floor, a primate bookkeeper, and of course, the dog detective we all love. The atmosphere is weird and unpredictable, the stop motion is bizarre but awesome, and this is just one of those movies you need to see to believe.
Overall Insanity: 10/10