Death Force / Vampire Hookers

Production Year: 1978 / 1978
Release Date: 09/10/2013
Studio: Vinegar Syndrome
Collection Number: 174

It's been a busy year for Vinegar Syndrome, when they're not pushing out double features they're rewarding eager fans with films thought to be long gone.  Death Force / Vampire Hookers is their most recent Drive-in Double Feature release; a double bill featuring two films from director Cirio H. Santiago.  First up is Death Force, a mish-mash of kung-fu and vigilante justice with a dash of blaxploitation thrown in for good measure.  Doug Russell (James Iglehart) and his two partners (McGee; Leon Kennedy and Morelli; Carmen Argenziano) have just made a pretty big score overseas.  Things seem to be going pretty good for Russell when his two friends get greedy and decide to take him out.  Butchered and left at sea Russell's nearly lifeless body washes up on an island inhabited by two abandoned Samurai soldiers.

The two men patch Doug up and begin training him in the ways of the Samurai, as the wronged man gains his strength and hones his new knowledge he begins to prepare himself for his destiny, reuniting with his wife and child and taking out the men who did him wrong.  Death Force is a great vigilante flick.  It's high in camp, low in budget, and has some truly awesome fight scenes (the barbershop brawl is superb!)  James Iglehart does a great job with his role, he's easy to get behind; you want him to succeed, to see the bad men get their comeuppance

The next film featured in the set is Vampire Hookers, a camp-filled horror/comedy about a pack of vampiric hookers, their poem-spewing undead master, and a few naval sailors who unwittingly get mixed up with the blood sucking group.

The story is pretty simple, Tom (Bruce Fairbairn) and Terry (Trey Wilson) have been stationed overseas, looking for a bit of action they hit the foreign town.  While the American duo expect to find a bit of sexy-fun-time they're ultimately let down thanks to a few thieves and a big transvestite.  Eventually a know-it-all cabbie (Leo Martinez) leads them to a cemetery with an extravagant crypt full of scantily clad women.  Little do they know not all is as it seems, the hookers are actually a harem of vampire women lead by the great Richmond Reed (Carradine.)

The film's main antagonist is portrayed by John Carradine, surprisingly (/sarcasm) this isn't the first time the actor has found himself playing someone who's a bit "long in the tooth."  Corny analogies aside, Carradine is pretty familiar with vampires, in fact he's played Dracula on a few occasions in some of the lesser known Universal Monster related sequels.  While I would have much preferred Lugosi in those Universal roles,  I found Carradines performance in Vampire Hookers a bit easier to take in.

I'm not going to pull any punches, Vampire Hookers is a bad movie.  You can probably get some enjoyment out of it if you (like myself) dig the occasional bad movie.  Most of it's humor is adolesent, the rest is genuinely unintentional.  Of the two films featured in this set Death Force wins hands down.  That's not to say Vampire Hookers isn't a fun watch, just know what you're getting into before you press play.

Death Force suffers from a few ages issues in the PQ/AQ department.  While the picture is fine a majority of the time occasionally it's age really shows, especially in the beginning.  The audio is a bit better, but there's a slight hiss throughout the film.  Vampire Hookers has issues in the same departments.  Though neither of these films look "pristine," this is probably the best both will ever look.

The only extra this time around is a trailer for Vampire Hookers.  Other than that the disc is pretty bare.

I recommend this DVD solely for Death Force.  As a fan of revenge flicks it's simply an easy movie to get behind and while it has a few issues, it's a good watch if you're a fan of the sub-genre.  Vampire Hookers is a bit of a different story, while I enjoyed myself it's not something I would recommend...Though it would make an excellent addition to a B Movie marathon, if you're ever so inclined.

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