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Some Subtext Subsists In Subspecies

I am become glutton for punishment, destroyer of horrible movie series. SUBSPECIES Here we have a bit of set up before the movie gets rolling, where we see our Antagonist Vampire, Radu (though, since he’s a vampire and loves red sauce (blood, y’all) I don’t know why they didn’t name him Ragu) who is being a petulant 1,000-year-old teenager to his father in Castle Vladislas, which I think is a set from a Nickelodeon kids’ show. Ragu is definitely a bad vampire, we can tell, because he looks like a melting version of The Crow and has these extra long fingers that are clearly very hard to maneuver.

Cut to some cute girls coming to a village in Transylvania to study superstition. Like me, they were clearly anthropology majors, because they are obviously making up jobs to keep their parents off their backs. One day whilst traipsing in the woods, they meet Stefan, who I’m pretty sure is played by David Byrne’s younger brother, and he tells them he is also a student, but his field of study is nocturnal emissions creatures. Then Stefan saves the girls from Ragu, at which point we learn the real twist of the film — Stefan and Ragu are bros! They have the same vampire dad, who banged a mean sorceress and got Ragu and a mortal woman and got Stefan.
Ragu wants to eat the girls and he also wants this thing called the Bloodstone, which, real talk, looks like a magic butt plug that gives those in possession of it power. However, Stefan has fallen in love with Michelle at first sight, because of course, but he doesn’t want to damn her. Naturally Ragu starts off vampiring the other girls first, which effectively destroys the girls’ summer plans. Then he captures Michelle and a friend and chains them up to a wall. Fortunately for Michelle, Ragu didn’t think to check the structural integrity of the walls or handcuffs, so she escapes. Unfortunately for Stefan, Ragu nips Michelle before Stefan is able to murder big brother, which is a beautiful scene to witness. To save her, Stefan turns Michelle into a lady of the evening (no, not that kind) and, wait? What? Suddenly that’s the end.
Morals of the story: Don’t major in the liberal arts and blended families are hard.
FILM-TO-SUBSPECIES EQUIVALENT: Love child of Ron Perlman and a bear
So, I guess Full Moon planned on a series when they began Subspecies because Bloodstone opens up exactly where Subspecies left me confused: With our young lovers, now dually vampired, in vampire love.
Ragu has some stop-motion minions who retrieve his head and put him back together again, so that’s good for him and bad for Stefan and Michelle, who, instead of sneaking away in the safety of night, decide to go to bed right fucking beside the corpse of the vampire goblin monster who just spent the evening trying to kill them. You know, it’s really unfair that these people, these people who had love come so easily to them, totally don’t respect or nurture it, and just basically throw it in the face of the opposition, and I say that as a totally-happy-with-my-situation, perpetually-single, fat-and-in-my-30s single parent, not at all like some sort of bitter old cat lady.
While the lovars sleep, Ragu stabs and kills Stefan dead and since he doesn’t have minions, he stays that way. However, Ragu can’t get the Bloodstone from Stefan’s regular-length finger bones because the sun rises, so he flees. When Michelle wakes later, she finds herself a common law widow, takes the Bloodstone, and runs far, far away … to Bucharest. She calls her sister, Becky, who travels to Romania and meets up with one of the Menendez brothers, who is playing A Bland U.S. Embassy Agent. They begin searching for Michelle, who is suffering from bloodlust and frequenting a hard-rock club that is so metal it has “Metal rules” spray painted in English on its exterior. Then there’s some exposition — who cares? — and eventually Becky gets offered as a blood sacrifice to Michelle, who is losing her religion real fast y’all, bitch is hungry, but human Michelle fakes everyone out and instead of feasting on her sibling, she stabs Ragu with a magical dagger, lights Ragu’s mother (who has appeared to help her son) ablaze and tries to flee with Becky except, of course, THE SUN.
Now, because it worked so well the first time for her, Michelle decides to stay in the catacombs with the corpses of the vampire who already managed to reanimate himself once, and his charbroiled mother. And that is how Michelle is captured by Ragu’s mother and toted off into oblivion.
When the third Subspecies film begins, we learn that not only does Ragu have rage and entitlement issues, but he also lives in a basement with his mom. I don’t see why he can’t figure out why Michelle doesn’t want to chill with him. Dude, you’re a thousand years old. Buy your own basement labyrinth.
Ragu’s mom is really pissed Michelle killed her son, so she uses her blood to reanimate our villain. Why does this vampire not die? I don’t understand why this is, and no one seems to want to address it satisfactorily for me. Ragu revives, and he and Mumsy and Michelle head back to Castle Vladislas (which, by the way, makes me start singing “Good King Wenceslas” every time it’s said) where Ragu agrees to teach Michelle what he knows if she’ll obey him, because she’s really proven her worth by having had a hand in killing him twice.
Meanwhile Becky and A Bland U.S. Embassy Agent are searching for Michelle. Deadly hijinks ensue resulting in an extra-pissed off Mumsy who finally snaps and attacks Michelle because no three-day-old vampire vixen is good enough for her Ragu. In an act of love, Ragu goes full reverse-Oedipus and kills his mother to impress Michelle.
Michelle responds by trying to kill Ragu again. This time, she uses silver bullets, which I thought were for werewolves, but honestly, what do I know, I watch some really shitty movies. As they go to escape, Ragu follows and tries to barter the Bloodstone into his rectal possession. Becky tosses that fucker into the sun, and Ragu, drunk with desire, chases after it and bursts into flames, and falls to his impaled death, and maybe, just maybe, third time is really a charm and there will be no more Ragu.
FILM-TO-SUBSPECIES EQUIVALENT: 2/3 werewolf, 1/3 old work boot
Well there are absolutely zero journals in this movie, but I guess calling it “We Came Up With This Plotline After the Success of ‘Interview with the Vampire’” was probably too honest a title.
In this episode of “Poofy-Haired Vampires and the Women Who Love Them” we say fuck a bunch of Ragu et al., and meet Zachary, a vampire who hunts vampires. Zachary has a lot of emotional baggage and a sword, and he’s hunting Ash, who wears long overcoats and Meat Loaf’s shirts and loves music. Ash apparently made Serena, who then made Zachary, and Zachary got all up in arms with eternal life and killed Serena and vowed to off all the other vamps, too. When Ash meets Sofia, an American pianist, he tries to woo her but comes off extra creepy (see aforementioned attire). Zachary decides to protect Sofia, which only makes her more attractive to Ash, so he manipulates her into performing at his joint, Club Muse, and then just keeps her as his appetizer/slave.
So Zachary tries to save Sofia but he’s too late — she’s been turned, as they say in vamp circles — so he grabs her and tries to flee from Ash. Ash of course follows, because Eastern European men cannot get enough of American women, as this series shows us, and Zachary and Ash battle for Sofia’s life. Spoiler alert: Zachary wins!
Of course, in a classic Subspecies moment, the sun immediately rises and Zachary and Sofia have to hide in the nearest dark space, causing the film to just come to an abrupt halt. The vampires of this series are absolutely terrible at time management and coffin placement.
FILM-TO-SUBSPECIES EQUIVALENT: Appalachian version of Louis from ‘Interview with the Vampire‘
So the fourth one? We’re right back to the end of the third film. Like, the end of the third film is actually shown again as the beginning of this film. This is a standard Full Moon series thing, I suppose, as I noticed similar moves when I tortured myself watching all the Puppet Master movies.
Guess I spoke too soon, because it appears that melted and impaled Ragu is, AGAIN, not dead.Things you can’t get rid of: AIDS and Ragu. However, Michelle and her peeps do flee the castle, only to wreck, and everyone else dies, because Michelle is just having a really shitty few weeks. It’s then that we meet Anna, who comes upon the wreck and calls Romanian 911 for assistance. Anna does what anyone calmly sitting alone on the side of a mountain with a bunch of dead people would do, which is go through their bags, where she finds Michelle and inadvertently almost burns her to death in the sun. Anna takes Michelle to a nearby hospital, where she meets the secret vampire Dr. Nicolescu, who offers to help her.
Meanwhile, we learn that again, timing, when Ragu heads over to Ash and Serena’s house (clearly before Zachary was made and, uh, offed her) and informs them he’s moving in, so basically, he moves out of his mom’s basement and into his son’s. I wish someone would tell him he’ll never be happy until he can be on his own. No one does, though, so he keeps chasing after Michelle, who has a terrible time deciding what to do with herself, the Bloodstone and her future plans. In the end, however, she chooses to, you guess it, escape from the hospital, try to get her freedom from Ragu, pretend not to hate him and then, again, kill him.
This time, allegedly, the killing sticks, and Anna helps Michelle escape the clutches of Ash and Serena, who are not at all appreciative that Michelle has rectified their crummy living situation but instead are Bloodstone-thirsty. Fortunately, though, the sun rises and runs them off, and our series closes with Michelle half-heartedly saying that the Buttstone yielded its secrets to her and Ragu turned to dust. I am left feeling strangely bereft, as I will never know what those secrets were, and feel damned now, myself, to wander the earth never fully knowing all the details of Michelle’s eternal life.
FILM-TO-SUBSPECIES EQUIVALENT: The firstborn of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez


2 Comments on Some Subtext Subsists In Subspecies

  1. I’m not really getting the Michael Watson / David Byrne thing, please elaborate!

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