Jessie Lilley
Buddy Barnett
Brad Linaweaver

November 2009     Web Edition     Issue #3

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The Vampire Hunters Club

reviewed by J. Neil Schulman

PRESENTED BY: Irena Belle Films and Doodle Barnett Productions | 2001

STARRING: Everybody Who Was in Town at the Time

You ever read fan fiction or see a fan film?

For decades Star Trek fans wrote their own stories about Star Trek characters, then built basement sets of the Enterprise bridge and used newly available visual effects software to make their own Star Trek fan movies. Theyíd show them at science-fiction and other multimedia conventions. One of the most clever, the feature-length Star Trek: Of Gods and Men using many of the various TV seriesí actors, got around the barrier of Paramountís copyrights and trademarks by giving away free DVDs bundled with another indie film, InAlienable, starring Richard Hatch, Walter Koenig, Alan Ruck, and many other well-known actors.

The Vampire Hunters Club might better be titled the Campy Vampire Hunters Club because while itís a fan film itís not a heroic recreation of classic monster movies; itís a loving campy send-up with a minimal plot designed to embed as many iconic actors and fan icons as can be crammed in.

Forry Ackerman brings an element of science fiction to the club by wearing an original costume based on the 1939 Things to Come and sneaking off to watch showings of the silent-era Metropolis.

Movie star John Agar plays with a giant spider prop, reminding us of his role in the Universal monster classic, Tarantula.

Sergeant-of-Arms William Smith is the tough guy of the Vampire Hunters Club because he fought Clint Eastwood in Every Which Way But Loose.

What would a cult movie be without Brinke Stevens and Mary Woronov?

Irena Belle Films and Doodle Barnett Productions did everything right because they even include Conrad Brooks from the Ed Wood films.

But my favorites include a bevy of sexy vamps recruited by the Master Vampire, himself, Dracula Ė played to the hilt as a TV cult leader by Daniel Roebuck, known from everything from Matlock to The Fugitive to The Man in the High Castle.

I donít know how much money was spent on this turn-of-the-21st century VCR production, but whatever was spent was put to best-use-possible, achieving serviceable lighting, sound, and sets. At 35 minutes this was never going to be a commercial film so whoever financed this was giving a gift to their fellow fans.

Brad Linaweaver wonít likely plug his cameo as the talking werewolf advertising Draculaís TV cult, so keep an eye out!