Reviewed by: Jamey Hughton
Tommy Tiny Lister
What's it about
After several nightclub murders, Las Vegas police discover that a clan of hungry vampires is on the loose with a plot to breed legions of the undead. Meanwhile, various other characters (including a group of dumb kids and Shaft himself) are on the road to Sin City to become potential vampire fodder.
Is it good movie?
VEGAS VAMPIRES is directed by Fred Williamson, who starred in a number of 1970s blaxploitation flicks and played football for the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs. Many folks will recognize him from his part in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, as a lucky survivor who teams up to slay vampires with Tom Savini. I guess Williamson isnít finished with the vampire kick and has now made this sorry excuse for horror camp.
Tommy ďTinyĒ Lister plays a cop but canít hold a gun properly (nor can he act his way out a soggy paper bag). Other people youíll recognize, such as Glenn Plummer, Daniel Baldwin (my third favorite Baldwin) and several rappers, blankly wander through the film; to call this ensemble cast wooden would be entirely too generous. It feels as though they just finished the first read-through of the script and jumped in front of camera. Williamson himself appears and drags along friend and fellow blaxploitation icon Richard Roundtree, but even their supposedly witty and referential roles amount to zilch. None of this would matter if the film were fun and campy as it seems intended to be, but itís merely boring.
For a film shot on location in Vegas, VEGAS VAMPIRES captures practically none of the cityís allure. The effects are utterly cheeseball and worth a snicker or two, I suppose, and scenes of crappy music and dialogue take precedence over any action and gore. Even when the film introduces a nun who disrobes and becomes an ass-kicking heroine, I still wasnít having a good time. The script has been slapped together by four writers, and they arenít even trying. Thereís no imagination, creativity or even affection evident here.
Video / Audio
Bad sets, bad acting, miserable writing and filmmaking... welcome to VEGAS VAMPIRES. I can completely see what Williamson was gunning for here - a B-movie throwback - but while it may have been a fun movie to shoot, it sure as hell isnít a fun one to watch.