Kerr Smith (Final Destination)
Brendan Fehr (Roswell)
Izabella Miko (The Cape)
Johnathon Schaech (Legends of Tomorrow)
Phina Oruche (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Simon Rex (Scary Movie 3,4 & 5)
A.J. Buckley (CSI: NY)
While driving a delivery car across desolate desert badlands backroads self-absorbed twentysomething slacker Sean (amiable Kerr Smith) winds up running into both scruffy vampire hunter Nick (an excellent, charismatically ragtag turn by Brendan Fehr) and a deadly bunch of age-old itinerant bloodsuckers led by the smoothly malevolent Kit (the terrific Jonathan Schaech, who’s wonderfully wicked in a juicy full-blown nasty villain part). Opening with the arresting image of beautiful blonde babe Izabella Miko washing blood off her bare breasts in the shower, culminating with an exciting explosive climax, with a handy helping of graphic gore, raucous roaring rock music and rousing vehicular action sandwiched in between, this delightfully down’n’dirty low-budget Grade B exploitation horror flick sizes up as a tasty trashy treat. Writer/director J.S. (“The Slayer,” “Shadowzone”) Cardone elicits sound performances from the entire cast (veteran late, great character actress Carrie Snodgress in particular contributes a lively last reel cameo as a feisty old battle axe), keeps the unflagging pace fast’n’furious throughout, and, most importantly, delivers the unapologetically lowdown sleazy goods with a winning dearth of pretense and a hugely satisfying surplus of rip-snorting panache.
Moreover, there’s a marvelously positive and optimistic statement about the redemption of Generation X in this movie: Sean starts out as strictly interested in achieving his own immediate goals in life, but by meeting Nick and joining forces with him to fight the vampires he overcomes his initial selfishness and thus redeems himself in the process. Cardone persuasively makes the point that the allegedly “lost” and hopeless Generation X has a latent capacity to amount to something; all they need is the right stimulus to spark them into action. Since I’m often perceived as a member of this “lost” generation, I found this message to be both very refreshing and extremely heartening. It’s nice to know that there are a few filmmakers out there like Mr. Cardone who haven’t totally written us off as a lost cause. A splendidly scuzzy and snappy dilly that’s one of my favorite fright features of the early 21st century which even comes complete with some pertinent social commentary about modern youth.