I’m impressed by the gore noir look of the movie, set in a world about 20 years from now, once vampires have completely taken over the world. They don’t just outnumber humans… it’s gotten to the point where humans are basically extinct except for giant private blood farms. It’s reached the point of crisis, so Edward (Ethan Hawke) works with a research time to develop a blood substitute that can keep the vampire population alive. Those that starve, unable to find real blood, become monsters, crazed and powerful. The last pockets of humans have been driven completely underground. It looks like everyone’s going extinct at the same time, with no hope.
Until, of course, hope comes walking in the door in the form of a crossbow-weilding former vampire named Elvis, played with visible relish by Willem Dafoe. Now, the thing I thought they got most wrong in “Undead” was their hypothetically-iconic lead character, a zombie-killing farmer. I thought they tried too hard, and the result seemed like a hollow echo. They almost lapse into self-parody with Dafoe’s character, but he’s having so much fun that it’s hard to fault the way he plays it. And yes… I said “former vampire.” Elvis was cured by something, and he offers Edward a chance to research him and try to recreate the events.
The film I would compare it to most directly is Kurt Wimmer’s “Equilibrium,” a very familiar genre exercise in some regards, but one that is stylish and makes good use of both practical and CG gore. It’s not particularly scary, but instead emphasizes the more-insidious horror of a society crumbling under the weight of its own hubris. As an exercise in world-building, it’s even more proof that the Spierig Brothers are ready for their giant whatever-it’s-going-to-be, their outsized effects picture/franchise adventure whatever. Someone needs to go ahead and hire them. They pull off such an audacious ending that any pacing concerns seem less important, delivering enough red meat to send audiences out happy.
I really want to see this movies! The actors are some of my favorite and it will be interesting to see them in roles of vampires!
What do you think of the movie? Will you go see it?