Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

Scott Charles Stewart's PRIEST

Scott Charles Stewart's PRIEST

Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald

Paul Bettany

How can you possibly resist a gritty and bloody post-apocalyptic alternate-history vampire movie starring Paul Bettany, Christopher Plummer, Karl Urban, and Brad (“Wormtongue”) Dourif?

Christopher Plummer

Especially when the final hand-to-hand encounter takes place on a retro-future locomotive highballing it across the desert to deliver a deadly cargo of gooey ceiling-hanging vampires to a church-run human metropolis reminiscent of Blade Runner, Dark City, and the Harkonnen home world Giedi Prime?

Add in Karl Urban’s hat and you have a real winner in my Hall of Popcorn Movies.

Karl Urban and Hat

Paul Bettany holds things together. He has mastered the icy blue eyed stare better than anyone else and can deliver a ridiculous over the top line of dialog without blinking. Where Christopher Plummer excels in chewing the scenery, Bettany imbues his character with quiet determination as he stolidly and with bloody efficiency tracks down his kidnapped niece while channeling John Wayne in The Searchers.  

Brad Dourif

What’s not to like, especially when the vampires themselves are among the creepiest and nastiest to grace the screen since Klaus Kinski’s Nosferatu?

Finally, here’s something interesting: I rented this Blu-ray disc from Netflix. It appears to be an original edition where the special features including Director Commentary and Deleted Scenes have not been stripped out to produce a “rental-only” disc. Are things improving at Netflix?

Review copyright (c) 2011 by Dennis D. McDonald

Jonathan English's IRONCLAD

Peter Greenaway's NIGHTWATCHING

Peter Greenaway's NIGHTWATCHING