Well, you can’t fault this film for not being ambitious. The storyline shoots for the stars, even though things like budget, acting, lighting, directing, and effects kind of bog it down. I want to support all kinds of horror films here, but I think the main problem with DEATHHUNTER: WEREWOLVES & VAMPIRES is that it tries way too hard to be a badass monster movie, but doesn’t really have the know-how to pull it off.
Apart from the lead actor, John Croix (pronounced “Cross” and played by Sam McConkey) lines are delivered pretty woodenly, which may help them ward off vampires if sharpened, but doesn’t do well at making me like this film. The story is a bit convoluted as well—as John and his wife are separated by a vampire king, then John is bitten by a werewolf, given an antidote by an old man in leather pants which gives John all the power of the wolfman, but none of the hairyness. An hour into the film, a quartet of teens are introduced just to be picked off, and it all wraps up in a bow of cheese by the end. There’s a death scene that is so drawn out it makes Yoda’s death in EMPIRE seem abrupt by comparison. Humor drops like anvils in this one producing more groans than laughs and every vamp and wolf cliché is used and reused.
Though there are a few positives here. As I said, the filmmakers were ambitious. Effects wise, they go for a lot. Wolfmen. Lycans. Bats. Vampire teeth. Gun shot bursts. Animated vamp deaths. Prosthetic blood and gore. Beheadings. There are a ton of effects shots in this film. But the best effects (such as a smiling lycan getting ready to pounce on its prey), though competent for the budget they are on, are used and reused numerous times in the film. And obvious green screen effects give the film an even more cheesier look.
I’m usually pretty positive with reviews here, even for films that aren’t so hot. But DEATHHUNTER: WEREWOLVES VS VAMPIRES is a sliver above what one would usually see in a Skinimax after dark film…without the major reason why we watch those films. With those films, we put up with the shoddy acting, horrible lighting and directing, and bad attempts to thread a story because eventually there’s some boobage coming along. Here it’s just a highlight reel for amateur effects shots. My advice to the makers of DEATHHUNTER; aim lower. If you don’t have the money to make BLADE, then don’t make BLADE. Sometimes smaller horror is better. Though the ambition is there, the skill, talent, and most importantly, the duckets just aren’t there in DEATHHUNTER.