The Vampire Hunter (1988)

Posted by Mrs Giggles on June 21, 2019 in 3 Oogies, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: Monsters

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The Vampire Hunter (1988)
The Vampire Hunter (1988)

Main cast: John Bolger (Charles Poole), Page Hannah (Maura Warren), Robert Lansing (Ernest Chariot). Jack Koenig (Jack Avery), and Sylvia Short (Mrs Haggerty)
Director: Michael Gornick

The Vampire Hunter is exactly what it says on the box: it’s about a guy who takes down vampires. Ernest Chariot is the “scourge of the undead”, but he is tired and now wants to retire. However, there are always sad women who need his help, and Maura Warren shows up just as Chariot is about to depart to Vienna for some R&R and a meeting with one Sigmund Freud. Maura claims that her brother is acting weird – he’s unable to stand sunlight and avoids churches as well as religious symbols. Hmm, what could the problem be?

She asks him to come to her place and inspect her brother, but he’s not willing to postpone his vacation. His young friend, Jack Avery, is besotted with the beautiful lady, however, so he decides to go help Maura despite Chariot’s warning. When Jack doesn’t come back, our hero realizes that he has to forgo his trip after all. Will he live long enough to actually get his vacation, though?

The two male leads are certainly having fun here. John Bolger plays the vampire Charles Poole with adorable, bombastic aplomb – his bad guy is almost old school in some ways, but he still manages to inject some brooding emo angst into Charles that will likely make some people go, “You know, this fang face is actually kind of sexy…” Ernest Chariot may be getting on with the years, but he can kick rear ends plus he has a dry wit that is just adorable.

There is also plenty of possibly unintentional, possibly not homoerotic overtones here, such as Charles insisting that he will “eat” Chariot “up” and how he keeps crawling over the man’s body like he’s about to get onto Chariot’s saddle and go wild.

Page Hannah’s Maura Warren is the weakest link here, but it’s not the actress’s fault as she hasn’t much to work with. Still, Maura gets to do things in the climactic moment, so I guess she’s not too bad as a character.

Still, this episode can’t shake off the impression that it is likely meant to be the pilot of a TV series or something, only to have the funding cut short and the folks behind it deciding to just film a quick wrap-up and toss it into the Monsters series. Guy meets old vampire enemy, they fight… so what, right? There is nothing new or inventive here, so the whole episode feels like a tired kind of retread. Were not for the solid if campy performances by the cast, this episode would have been an average filler episode.

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