TROUBLE CITY

MAN, ETHAN HAWKE BITES

Movie NewsMicah RobinsonComment

I really miss the days when monster flicks could be just that without a completely scientific or rational grounding of a fantastic premise. Far too often these days, you can’t enjoy a vampire or zombie film without some background nonsense about hemoglobin, genetics, and plagues. It was a fresh idea at one time for about five minutes when vampirism and all of its blood-related minutiae was first used as metaphor for AIDS. Now it’s just a bummer to see potentially planet-threatening problems resolved in a laboratory with rather implausible-looking researchers. Sometimes, a bloodsucker should just be a bloodsucker, and there’s nothing you can do about it but stake the bastard.

The onslaught continues with news of Daybreakers, a futuristic vampire film courtesy of Lionsgate that will star Ethan Hawke. In the film, he plays a researcher in the year 2017, which sees the world overrun with vampires (courtesy of a plague. Who could see that coming?) that have feasted upon humans to the point of near extinction. Hawke must work with a covert group of vamps to correct this extinction-level event, and rather than blowing up asteroids with nukes or drilling to the Earth’s core, they seek out a potentially life-saving discovery for humans (which would also end the vampire plague, I assume). Sounds positively Sci-Fi Channel.

Part of the problem is that the Sci-Fi Channel and direct-to-video outlets have gone much more interesting places with this half-fantastic/half-real premise with a fraction of the budget. I was just talking with Nick about one of the more interesting Sci-Fi Channel flicks I had seen in the past year called Bloodsuckers, which evoked Firefly somewhat in following a crew of humans and vamps in space that functioned as lowly sanitation/extermination workers wiping out the scummiest rogue vampire breeds. I mean, blue-collar vampires in space in the future? That was interesting. Or maybe even the direct-to-video Bokeem Woodbine/Adrian Paul noir The Breed which had human and vampire cops solving a murder mystery in a stylized world that was a cross between 1930s Russia and 1984. See? Interesting. Daybreakers? Not so much.