VAMPS: Sunset Society vs. Bloodrunners

A metal head and a hip hop icon each runs a vampire club. Who throws the better horror party?

SUNSET SOCIETY (2018)

Rolfe Kanefsky, one of my favorite directors of sexy, trashy, comic horror, does collaborative duties on this heavy metal vampire horror starring the late Lemme of Motorhead, with appearances by members of Guns n Roses and LA Guns and Ron Jeremy, and even a cameo by Steve-O of Jackass.

This is a little rougher than Kanefsky’s films, so I’m not sure how much “collaborative” effort he put into it, because it doesn’t quite feel like one of his films. However, this is an undeniably watchable piece of horror sleaze that does an astounding job of appearing like it was made in the 80s more than those films that actually are trying to come across as such. I have a sneaking suspicion (always wanted to say that) it looks so genuine because the extras in the film are probably groupies of the bands from the actual 80s that simply got stuck in that decade as many are apt to do (yours truly excluded…like, totally).

Begin your horror movie with animation propelling the story and then use animation to segue between scenes throughout and you’ve already got me hooked. Lemme makes an awesome cartoon. He runs a club that lures partiers for vampires to feed on. One of his vamps is tired of being a vamp and wants to become human again. Another is a blood addict making risky moves that could expose the vampires, and one of the victims he turned longs to die.

But the biggest problem is that someone has made a snuff video exposing the vampires and is selling it on the street, so Lemme puts some vamps on the case, including camptastic Brian Cranston lookalike Robert Donavan. Others stealing the show include a guy whose body gets possessed by a vamp, as well as the leading vampire woman.

There’s plenty of cheesy vampire feeding, one vamp gets his gnarly teeth sanded off, a muscle stud vamp bursts out of a woman, and Ron Jeremy gets his dick burned by a Star of David. Plus the Cranston clone rocks out to Ratt’s “Round and Round.”

BLOODRUNNERS (2017)

What a striking contrast in these similarly themed films. Bloodrunners is more polished with a tighter script, yet the first hour is agonizingly boring, before the vamp fun finally kicks in.

Ice-T is the bandleader at a club during 1933 prohibition. He also happens to be a vampire leader. Unfortunately, most of the film is more of a drama about a bunch of corrupt cops extorting money from the club owner.

Vamp action count during this time? One scene of a vamp biting a woman at a whorehouse, and a fight between cops and vamps…that’s handled with guns! Yawn.

I can’t fathom why the filmmakers would pack all the interesting stuff, both character and vamp focused, into the last half hour. We finally learn several interesting things about the main cop that make him more human, and the vampire action that hits finally shows that the higher budget and more polished look pays off, with some good gore, cool shifty movement vamps, and smoking staked vamp effects.

It’s no From Dusk Till Dawn, but if only we had gotten more of this vampire battle action throughout the film, this could have at least landed itself on the SyFy channel.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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