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October 2017

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Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (1990)

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (1990) is a great Vampire-Western-Comedy starring David Carradine as Count Mardulak (Dracula) and Bruce Campbell as Robert Van Helsing (Professor Abraham Van Helsing's great grandson).

The move was never released to theaters because the studio went out of business but it has just been released on DVD. The director's commentary is mostly complaints about how the video release pan-and-scan butchered the wide screen original. It was shot is extra wide screen and should look great on a high def TV.

The special effects are stop action animation and the soundtrack is lush and orchestral. It was shot in Moab UT and the landscape is fantastic.

There are several plot lines.

The major plot line is about how Count Mardulak has brought the last of the vampires to a small town into the desert to try to live without drinking human blood. They are trying to manufacture synthetic blood so they won't have to kill humans. But there is a problem with the manufacturing process. So they have invited the designer of the process, David Harrison, to come fix it. He is arriving with his wife, Sarah, and two daughters, Juliet and Grewdolyn, but the vampire in charge of the plant, Shane, is an old rival for his wife's affections.

At the same time one of the vampires who is supposed to watch the road into town, Mort Bisby, has killed an obnoxious tourist. This was witnessed by a young couple camping nearby who come into town to report the murder. Not realizing that the whole town is populated by vampires.

And Robert Van Helsing arrives in town to fulfill his families destiny and kill Dracula. But he falls in love with the beautiful Vampire waitress at the dinner, Sandy White.

And the second oldest Vampire in town, a Puritan named Ethan Jefferson, has developed wooden bullets that can kill Vampires and is planing a coup.

People complain about the bad writing and bad acting but it is that kind of movie. There is lot of camp humor and old fashioned Western gun fights but very little actual horror. It was just my kind of Vampire movie! I highly recommend it.

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