Sunday, July 17, 2011

'Blood Sucking Babes from Burbank'... sucks

Bloodsucking Babes from Burbank (2005)
Starring: Heidi Brucker, Danilo Mancinelli, Danny Kitz, Mira Rayson, Jacqueline Anzalone, Yasmine Vine, Danielle Kreinik, Christina Caporale, and Burke Morgan
Director: Kirk Bowman
Rating: Two of Ten Stars

Samantha (Brucker) and other archeology students conduct a search for a witch's cursed jewelry box that was reported to be lost in the Burbank Mountains two centuries ago. When her boyfriend, Gary (Kitz), takes the box to spite her because she won't "put out", he unleashes a curse that starts turning innocent women into cannibalistic monsters who hunger for man-meat, preferably the fleshy part on the neck and arms.

Given my questionable tastes in entertainment, a title like "Blood Sucking Babes from Burbank" attracts me like a bear to honey (or, perhaps more accurately, like flies to a cow paddy). Unfortunately, this film doesn't live up to the promise of the title.

It may have babes and they do engage in some blood-sucking, but a film like this needs to be either concentrated comedy or full of horror-driven violence and mayhem. There is precious little comedy here, the violence is nonsensical and very, very fake, and the mayhem is non-existent. The film is a letdown in just about every possible way.

The problems with the movie stem first and foremost from its weak script. It's full of too many characters and they're all badly motivated. There's also plenty of standard bad low-budget movie padding sequences of characters driving around, walking around, and having pointless conversations that repeat plot points that have already been explained.

The padding is particularly aggravating in this film, because if the scriptwriter (who is also the film's director and producer) had written a couple of scenes that gave more details about Angela's Cursed Jewel Box or more on the history that two of the film's more interesting characters--Zack and Felicity, a young couple who are trying to find the box and destroy it, played by Danilo Mancinelli and Mira Rayson--the overall film would have been stronger. (I'm sure I understand why the attack scenes--the ones where a sexy babe transforms into a monster cannibal with badly made fangs in her mouth and starts ripping the flesh from the body of the nearest male--are as static and uninteresting as they are: The film's amateur cast and crew were obviously not up for shooting fight scenes.

However, all it would have taken would have been some comment from Zack or Felicity about how men are paralyzed by the gaze of a woman under the curse to make the attacks seem a bit more believable; NO ONE would stand there and allow themselves to be killed the way the victims do in this movie, unless some force was acting upon them. The men being killed don't even utter a sound, aside from some mewling noises in most cases.

What it lacked in violence and logic, the film could still have made up for with humor, but it mostly fails to do that as well. The only funny bits in the film revolve around a pair of cannibalistic Valley Girls (Jacqueline Anzalone and Yasmine Vine) who sit around discussing Roman sex toys while munching on a gardener they killed after being cursed. Everything else is played absolutely straight... and played badly, because the film has a cast of mostly amateur actors who are working with tinny dialogue and a weak script.

And that's really too bad. A movie with a title like "Bloodsucking Babes from Burbank" should have been something I got a huge kick out of. As it is, the best thing I can say about it is that it did keep me watching to the end (even if the "twist ending" ended up knocking the film from a low 4 rating down to a low 3 rating, due to the fact that it was first completely unmotivated and ill-considered in the light of everything that had gone before it, and it features one final example of a strangely passive victim).