This is a low-budget vampire film featuring the conflicted, modern sort of
vampire. He really wants to be a decent guy and share a life with his beloved,
but he can't always fight the hunger.
Thirty five years ago he was buried in the Mexican desert under a silver
cross. An American tourist with a metal detector digs up the cross and ... the
vamp is back, and ready for revenge against those who buried him alive. Before
getting down to some serious revenge, he's pretty darned hungry after not having
eaten for 35 years, so he gobbles down some tourists. Next stop after
lunch - to visit his old girlfriend. Only two problems. (1) When he saw her last
they were 17. He still looks the same, but she's 52 now. (2) When the old gal
sees him she has a stroke.
The aftermath of the stroke introduces the other main character, a student
from the United States who is the niece of the stroke victim. She soon arrives
in Mexico with two of her friends in tow, and the vamp soon recognizes that
she's the living reincarnation of the young woman her aunt once was. From there,
the film becomes kind of an offbeat seduction story, with the vampire in eternal
conflict about whether to cherish the niece of his true love or to eat her for a
The vamp doesn't seem to have any control over which of his victims die for
good and which join him in the realm of the undead. They seem to break about
50-50, so he starts building up a little army of sub-vampires, although he's
actually a loner and doesn't want to have anything to do with his satellite
vamps. Since he tries to attack only those people he doesn't care for, and all
of the sub-vampires are his own victims, it turns out that he really doesn't
want to hang out with the others.
The film is not as bad as it probably sounds to you from that description.
The writer actually spent some time creating complex and credible characters,
and the vampire is portrayed as a person who was very much beloved in the
village until he was attacked by some unknown force in the jungle, so the film
plays out as sort of a doomed romance among a bunch of average people, one of
whom can't control his bloodlust.
It is competently photographed, has some attractive nudity, some likeable
characters, and a little comic relief to go with the basic story. On the other
hand, it has the typical problems found in low budget productions: piecemeal
effects, boilerplate dialogue, and hit-and-miss line delivery. Ultimately, it's
one of those so-so films that is not good enough to seek out, but won't get you
looking for the remote if you happen to stumble on it and get involved in the
Typical slasher film involving a mysterious axe-wielding murderer and a house
full of horny, partying students. It begins with a prologue "ten years earlier"
which pretty much identifies the killer, as such prefaces invariably do, but
this script keeps one ace in the hole. The guy who must be the killer (based
upon the prologue) can't be the killer because he is among the terrified victims
who see the hooded slasher in action.
As it turns out, there is a logical explanation. When the kid from the first
scene was in the loony bin, he enlisted a fellow nutcase to assist in his
current murder spree. The actual killer has no motive. He just likes killing.
The guy who does have the motive told him who to kill. They are the Martin and
Lewis of mass murder.
The duel killer scenario does lead to one good scene. Two of the students
manage to momentarily overpower the gigantic slasher, but are having trouble
holding him down, and they enlist their terrified colleague to grab the
slasher's axe and lend a hand. At this point the audience doesn't realize that
the kids have actually asked the killer's Svengali for assistance. The lad
raises the axe, ostensibly to save the day. The axe drops. Silence. Blackness.
Then the scene comes back up to reveal that he's driven the axe into one of the
kids, not into the hooded maniac. He then helps the gigantic madman to his feet,
like an athlete lending a hand to a fallen colleague. That was pretty much the
only moment which distinguished this from any other movie where the slasher
takes apart a bunch of horny youngsters with a bladed instrument.
Given that it most of the film takes place at a summer pool party filled with
drunken, fornicating university students, there could have and should have been
a lot more nudity. There must be close to a dozen scenes where people have sex
with their clothes on. Oh, those kids today. They are so modest! The only nudity
came from a "boo" moment, when two of the film's stars look for a friend.
Something scares the woman as she peeks into a room, and the sound effects warn
us of a scare - but it turns out to be a topless extra and her boyfriend. Big
That scene is in this
(VERY short) film clip. (Sample below)
I really can't find any reason to recommend the film, but there is really
nothing wrong with it. The performances, photography and direction are
technically competent. It meets the genre gore requirements, and has a few
effective jump scares. The only problem is that it's the same old familiar
characters and situations we have seen in about a gazillion other films, except
that there is an unexpected tag team of killers.
This Aussie film follows another familiar horror formula. The normal set-up
is: on a stormy night illuminated by lightning, the car of the yuppie couple
breaks down on the side of the road and they have to take refuge in the
dilapidated old mansion/castle/farmhouse, where they encounter either sadists or
supernatural forces. Storm Warning's only minor variation on that theme comes
from the fact that the handsome and well scrubbed young couple (Aussie Robert
Taylor and Frenchwoman Nadia Fares) is out sailing instead of driving, and their
boat breaks down when they get lost in a serpentine mangrove swamp. The
farmhouse where they seek refuge turns out to be populated by the usual angry
inbred half-wits who appear in just about every American horror film these days.
You'd think that this family consisted of the official movie cliché version of
hygiene-challenged West Virginians, except that they are differentiated by their
Their house was quite an imaginative creation. It look like a combination of
a haunted mansion, the filthy lair of a murderous madman, and the sets for the
Cabinet of Dr Caligari. The film's creators deliberately took the style
of this hoise over-the-top to make it walk the borderline between horrifyingly grotesque and
hilariously macabre. That particular sense of crazed elan lifted the film above the routine and giving the locale a surreal
quality that a more credible outlaw lair would have lacked.
The yuppies are tortured for the next hour or so by three fellows who are
obviously the product of many generations of brother-sister intermarriage, but
the yokels make the mistake of leaving the yuppies in the barn with a bunch of
tools and fishing gear, whereupon the city folks make like MacGyver and devise
some assorted weapons and Rube Goldberg contraptions to snare the unwitting
The film had exhausted the appeal of the bizarre set design and was
absolutely running on empty until the yuppies started to fight back, and then
the filmmakers came up with enough creative ideas to lift Storm Warning to a
level above the genre norm. The deaths of the three rednecks are some of the
grisliest, nastiest, bloodiest, ugliest gore I've ever seen on screen. One of
them, for example, gets suspended from the ceiling in a web of fishing lines and big barbed hooks
which rip the flesh from his face, gouge his eyes ... well, you get the idea.
Another one goes to meet his maker through the fan blades of a large swamp boat.
And the third ... well, he tries to rape Nadia, and he gets an appropriate
punishment that will make every man in the audience cringe.
Overall, it's a film that is well worth the while of genre fans, despite the
hackneyed premise and characters. The locale and the last act give it enough
demented energy to stand above the pack.
Unfortunately, there is very little nudity. In
this brief film clip, Nadia
Fares, who had not done any nudity in more than a decade, flashes her butt at
the yokels in order to spare her man a beating or worse.
Here's the collage:
Just for fun, here's Nadia more than a decade ago.
She was a major babe!