I’m not a huge fan of vampire films but every once in awhile, there is one that will catch my attention and demand that I watch it. Case in point, the newest film from Dan Lantz called Bloodrunners. As soon as I heard about this prohibition set vampire film starring Ice-T as the villain, I knew I had to check it out for myself. Was it worth the watch or did it leave me feeling drained?
Bloodrunners is the latest film from director Dan Lantz (Bloodlust Zombies 2011) from a script by Michael McFadden. The film stars McFadden (Corporate Red 2017), Ice-T (Leprechaun in the Hood 2000), Chris Boylan, Airen DeLaMater (Apparition 2015), Peter Patrikios (Whisper 2017), Julie Ek (Knightmare 2014), John Groody, Jack Hoffman (Whisper 2017), Kerry McGann (Banshee!!! 2008), Dan McGlaughlin (ZK: Elephant’s Graveyard 2015), Kelly Buterbaugh, Dan Doherty, Tammy Jean (Apocalypse Kiss 2014), and Tina Marie Connell. The story follows a corrupt cop who seeks to rid his town of the crew of vampires that run the local speakeasy.
I was pleasantly surprised with Bloodrunners. What I expected was an enjoyable, albeit cheesy, vampire flick. What I got was a thoroughly enjoyable prohibition era gangster film where the gangsters just so happened to be vampires. If you took the vampires out of the film, it still would be a solid flick that was shot extremely well. I was expecting a bloodbath and while it certainly has its moments, it keeps the gore to a minimum.
Beyond the vampires, I thought the story, while being a fairly standard good versus evil tale, was quite good and everyone had proper motivation for their actions. I also thought it was a nice touch connecting Malone’s past to the present. It gave him a reason to fight and went a long way in explaining while he was the way he was, which made him much more sympathetic.
The cast is made up of mostly actors who haven’t really got their chance to shine before and they all did a great job. I was especially impressed with Michael McFadden. Not only did he write the film but he played the lead role, Jack Malone. I loved his performance. He played Malone as a gruff yet lovable asshole with a deadpan sense of humor. Why in the hell haven’t I seen this guy before? I also thought Ice-T was enjoyable as the lead villain but he wasn’t really given enough to do. The film is shot extremely well and the costumes looked great. The characters, including the villains and the batshit crazy, hellfire and brimstone preacher, were all likable, which rarely happens… usually there’s one character that you just can’t stand.
I do, however, have a few minor complaints. As I stated previously, Ice-T is grossly underused and the final battle between Ice-T’s villain and McFadden’s hero never comes. What we get instead is pretty laughable and felt like a waste of makeup effects and CGI. There is a moment where McFadden destroys a supply of blood and a vampire tells him he will pay for wasting the blood. Right after this, the vampire stakes a woman they were in the process of draining blood from, therefore wasting her blood.
Ice-T wearing his diamond earring was very out of place. I don’t think men wore earrings in prohibition times. Either way, it didn’t feel right. There was was also an extreme over reliance on slow motion during the action scenes. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
Bloodrunners is a fun and enjoyable vampire period piece. It has a solid story, excellent acting, just enough blood and a little bit of T&A. If you are in the mood for a vampire film that offers something a little different than your average vamp flick, then I highly recommend you check out Bloodrunners when it hits DVD and Blu-Ray March 7th. You can pre-order your copy here.