Plot: Hildegard (Matthew Marston) and his brother Beauregard (Samuel Hunt) have served as soldiers in the Civil War, but they return not as mere men, but as powerful vampires. The plan is to farm the land for one season, grow profitable crops to raise quick cash, then deed the farmland to whoever will help them, a chance for everyone involved to benefit. But the land happens to be under the iron fist of Stokes (John Savage), a ruthless plantation owner who wants to own the entire area and isn’t pleased that vampires have reclaimed a piece of that land. Soon however, some freed slaves join with the brothers to work the land, but of course, Stokes has no plan to just let them take the land from under his grasp. Who will win out in this battle of wealthy businessman against vampire farmers?
Entertainment Value: I love the premise here, throwing some vampires into the Civil War era, but this one takes a more serious approach than I hoped. Also known as Dead South, Vampire Wars has some horror elements, but it plays out more like a slow drama than a vampire fueled horror movie. This would be fine, but the material is thin, the cast is passable at best, and the production values aren’t good enough to maintain a serious period piece atmosphere. I did appreciate the effort, but I just found this to be overly serious and quite slow, with sustained periods of just dull exposition. I admire that the filmmakers wanted to make a serious period piece about vampires, but this just feels lifeless and worst of all, uninteresting. The few splashes of horror liven things up, as does the performance of Elizabeth McLaughlin, who seems to know the movie is bad and dials up the melodrama. John Savage is also watchable as the villain, but the rest of the cast is dead serious and it is just a dull affair. I wanted to like this one, but Vampire Wars is more likely to put you to sleep than entertain you.
No nakedness. There’s some romance at times, but no sleaze. A little blood does flow, but not as much as you might expect from a vampire flick. Some bites, a few gun and stab wounds, but that’s about it. Just enough to spark one point, though that is all this one racks up. I did appreciate the pretty bad ass full body burn, however. As for action, the war scenes provide some gun battles, but they’re not staged that well and you can tell the resources were quite limited. But at least the filmmakers made some effort with the costumes and set design elements, to give it a little period flavor. Mmm, period favor, now that’s what a vampire likes. The dialogue is basic, but forgettable, so no cool lines sneak through. On the craziness end of things, we have vampires fighting for equal rights and work conditions, but that’s about it.
Overall Insanity: 1/10