17th Nov2021

‘Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat’ Blu-ray Review (Vestron Video)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: David Carradine, Bruce Campbell, Dana Ashbrook, Max Caulfield, Morgan Brittany, Jim Metzler, Deborah Foreman, M. Emmet Walsh, John Ireland, John Hancock | Written by Anthony Hickox, John Burgess | Directed by Anthony Hickox

Horror from the 80s can have a certain charm. They can be cheesy, funny, and most importantly fun. Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat is a good example of just how fun, if cheesy, eighties horror can be.

When a group of vampires settle in a lonely American Town they wear sun cream and drink synthetic blood to survive. With some of the vampires not happy with the situation and the machine that processes the synthetic blood not working they soon need help from the living. When they arrive, as well as a descendant of Van Helsing, a tensions boil over in the small town.

For fans of cult movies, the case of Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat will catch their eye straight away. With David Carradine playing Count Mardulak, Bruce Campbell the descendant of Van Helsing, Dana Ashbrook, and Max Caulfield playing one of the more rebellious vampires, this is sure to catch fans attention.

These names of course are the ones that stood out the most to me, but the cast as a whole is impressive. Sure, it isn’t one that would provide Oscar worthy performances, but the cast understood the cheesiness of what they were a part of and play their parts well.

What makes Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat fun is that it was obviously written to be a comedy and is very light hearted. With little jokes added in to lighten the mood, some of the best include the vampires as bats. The effects do leave a little to be desired, but also add to the charm for the audience.

For fans of horror another plus point will be that the film is directed by Anthony Hickox who directed the Waxwork movies and Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat does share that same feeling of fun that is very evident in Waxwork. A lot of times comedy can go wrong with horror, but it is fair to say that with this movie, they blend well. With at least one decapitation in the movie too, it doesn’t pull back on the gore to make things funny, rather it uses it to create funny moments.

With this being a Collector’s Edition fans will of course have some expectation of some great special features. Here there is a commentary track with the director and director of photography; another track that is more based on the soundtrack; and various interviews about the film.

This is the first time I’ve actually seen Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat and I’m happy to have finally seen it. A funny film with plenty of charm, this is a good chance to either watch the film again, or discover an 80s vampire flick that you may have missed out on in the 80s. Entertaining and funny, this release is well worth buying.

****½  4.5/5

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat Collector’s Edition is available on Blu-ray now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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