Perfect Creature is a highly original retelling of the vampire myth set in an alternate version of the 1960s and 70s, as science fiction and horror coalesce in a suspenseful, elegant action film about race, serial killings and the capacity of human beings to hope.
The vampire myth is given a stylish 1960s treatment, where a human cop partners with a vampire cop to stop a vamp bent on creating a war between the two "separate but equal" races.
I thought this was a really good film.
The world of the film - an alternate world where vampires are like priests who look after humanity and whom humanity respects - is original and feels very solid.
When watching the film, it really is like stepping into another world. The production values are superb for what would be a low budget Hollywood movie and there are some terrific action sequences, but it is more of a sci-fi thriller than a straight out action movie for me.
This film has a lot of ideas in it, something most Hollywood films don't; the role of religion within a state for example.
Recommended. As the author of THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY, whose definitions often turn conventional wisdom on its head, Bierce may find the alternate reality portrayed here for his Victorian years preferable to that era as he actually lived it. The idea that people would go to church simply to donate blood toward the substantiation of their big-as-life guardian angels (aka The Brotherhood) doubtless would make more sense to him than any theory of the transubstantiation of an unseen being's blood. The thought that the division between science and religion never occurred would meet with Bierce's conditional approval (though he might find the attendant risks inherent in the Brotherhood's under-the-table genetic experimentation--unchecked by outside religious scruples--troubling). But the Old Gringo probably would be first in line for a ride on a steam dirigible!
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The body of noted American author (An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge) Ambrose Bierce, born June 24, 1842, recently was discovered in total cryogenic hibernation at the back of a Central American warehouse. Bierce is expected to be fully defrosted by late 2049 or early 2050. Based on my 85 previously posted IMDb comments and background in Bierce studies, the author's guardians have commissioned me to review a periodically updated list of films to help guide his future leisure pursuits, with the provision that my comments also be made available to the general public. Perfect Creature is based on a screenplay by New Zealand film maker Glenn Standring (who also directed the movie). The movie opens with a note that says the story takes place in "a world not unlike our own," so it can be assumed that it takes place on another planet or in some alternate reality. It was filmed in New Zealand, but most viewers say that the setting reminds them of 1940s Europe with some 19th century Dickens thrown in á la Steampunk. In the movie, the setting is Jamestown, a slum district of some bigger, unnamed city. Steampunk is a term used to describe fiction/fantasy movies in which the world runs on steam power as in the 19th century but may have elements of 20th century technology, e.g., televisions, dirigibles, cellphone-like communication devices, etc., or conversely be styled like the 18th century or time periods long before the steam engine was invented. Like traditional vampires, they sport fangs, drink human blood, are long-lived, and have superhuman strength and speed. It is the structure of their society that makes them very different from traditional vampires. Some 300 years earlier, the vampires organized themselves into "the Brotherhood" (they are referred to as "Brothers", not as "vampires"), gained control of (or possibly merged with) the Church, live the ascetic life of monks, and provide spiritual leadership to humans. In return, parishioners tithe their blood, which the Brothers always drink out of glasses, never taking blood directly from a donor. The Brothers are also the scientists of society. Their previous research into genetic science has allowed them to discover a genetic mutation which, when combined with a certain virus, changes human babies into Brothers. In the years since the discovery, however, all genetic science has been banned. If a spontaneous birth of a vampire occurs, the new Brother is immediately taken from the mother and raised in the Church. Finally, and most tragically, there are no female vampires. Silas instructs Detective Jones to inform the press about the water and about the Brotherhood's plan to burn Jamestown to the ground. He then goes after Lilly. When Edgar and Lilly sense Silas approaching, Edgar goes looking for him while Lilly tries to free herself from the handcuffs. In doing so, she attracts the attention of an infected woman who attacks her. In their tussle, the pipe breaks and Lilly is freed. She kills the woman then goes looking for Silas. Meanwhile, Silas has heard her screams, but before he can reach her, he is attacked from behind by Edgar. The force of the attack causes them both to plummet to the ground. With Silas knocked out, Edgar tries to force some of his blood into Silas' mouth, but Silas regains consciousness in time to prevent himself from drinking any of it. Silas and Edgar viciously fight each other until Edgar manages to impale Silas on a steam pipe. Silas quickly escapes, so Edgar picks up a steampump and threatens to burn off Silas' face. A hissing is heard, but it quickly becomes apparent that it is Edgar being injected. Lilly has managed to catch up with them, grab a steampump, and plunge it into Edgar's back. Edgar falls to the ground, dead. As Silas leads Lilly away. He stops in front of a building and tells her there is something precious inside that she must take and keep secret. He then kisses her and runs off. Lilly goes inside to find a dead woman and a Brother protecting a newborn baby girl. When the baby cries, Lilly can see the tiny fangs protruding from her gums. The Brother explains that the baby is a miracle, a "perfect creature," the first female vampire created accidentally from the virus that Edgar created. Lilly takes the baby into her arms and kisses her. In the final scene, Silas stands on the ledge of a building watching Lilly and the baby through a window. In a voiceover, he reveals that he's been branded a heretic by the Brotherhood and that they are now hunting him. 646f9e108c
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