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BLACK WATER VAMPIRE
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Evan Tramel

Starring:
Bill Oberst Jr.
Danielle Lozeau
Andrea Monier
Anthony Fanelli
Robin Steffen

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Following a series of bizarre vampire-looking murders that take place every ten years, a wannabe crew of ragtag documentarians venture off deep into the woods of a small town to discover the truth.
Is it good movie?
I won't go into the dilemma of the glut of found footage movies we seem to be inundated with these days. Honestly, I don't mind them when they're done effectively so I'm not exactly on the hate train. I'm one of those people who did in fact enjoy the Blair Witch Project back in the day.

Speaking of which, we've definitely got some real similarities here. Crew of misfit filmmakers (the intrepid female lead, the friendly producer, the mean sound girl,and the wildcard cameraman)? Check. Interviews with weirdo townsfolk while trying to uncover the truth? Check. People who are completely unable to navigate while in the woods? Check. Random tent attacks at night? Yep. Crew member disappearances? Uh-huh. Weird symbols showing up out of nowhere? Affirmative. A scary "final" location? Yeah.

The fact of the matter here is that this film was really, really similar to the Blair Witch project that way. However, there are a few differences worth noting, mostly on the positive side. First of all, the camera work here is certainly better than Blair Witch. Things are steadier and that helps tremendously. Secondly, there's a whole subplot involving the would-be potential killer Raymond Banks (played by veteran Bill Oberst, Jr). Though the timing of it makes zero sense based on his age (according to the story), this guy adds a great sense of schizophrenic dread. His performance here is far and away the best and most interesting part of the whole film.

Another big difference is that there does seem to be a payoff for this whole thing if you're looking for monster action. Without going too deeply into the whys and hows of everything, you do get to see the creature quite often. He's a demonic looking beast and his presence can certainly provide some quality jolts and jumps.

Still though, it's hard to say that Black Water Vampire really does anything to truly stand out. It certainly managed to keep my attention for the most part through its runtime, but it didn't really provide anything overly new or really noteworthy. Our cast is passable (with the exception of Oberst), but after a simple initial watch, this is just too familiar.
Video / Audio
Video: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
The Extras
The only feature here is a brief 4 minute behind the scenes featurette where the cast is interviewed very briefly. They're asked who they play and what they do in the film. The characters all have the same names as their real-life counterparts. That's pretty much it. They also talk about flubbing scenes and the outdoors.
Last Call
Want a movie that's a lot like Blair Witch with a few added monster scenes? This one's for you. Otherwise, watch it someday at 3am when nothing else is on.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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