Movie: Vamps: Deadly Dreamgirls

Movie: Vamps: Deadly Dreamgirls
Year: 1995
Director: Mark Burchett
Critic rating: 3
Rating: NR
Genre: Horror
Format: plain

A zero-budget flick out of Cincinnati that's shot-on-video but looks at times as though it was shot through six layers of Vaseline, Vamps: Deadly Dreamgirls suffers from most of the usual micro-budget failures: rough acting, bad direction and horrendous sound. But what makes Vamps a step above the rest is a unique storyline that actually manages a few surprises. It's also interesting to note that this is the debut of softcore favorite Amber Newman, as it was shot back in Ohio before she moved to Hollywood and became the clothing-impaired actress so well known and loved.

Vamps starts off with the promising, but inherently ill-thought-out idea of a strip club owned and operated by female vampires who lure patrons to their deaths. While certainly it would be easy to get men into a private dance and then take a big sip off their jugulars, wouldn't local police notice the missing patrons? A digression for sure, but a problem that made viewing a little tough right from the get-go. Alas, this was released a year before From Dusk Til Dawn, and no one seemed to mind said logical conclusion there either. Regardless, set against this strip club is the story of a priest who rekindles an old high school romance with Heather (Jennifer Huss, a new dancer at the club who never seems to ever get naked. (Before you ask, the priest is brought to the club by his prank-loving best friend who loves to test his collared bud).

The blossoming romance is tough for the man of the cloth, who curiously also has a strong affinity for z-grade horror movies. His faith tested, there's also the whole matter of Heather possibly be indoctrinated into the vampire clan at the strip club, lead by natural redhead Jenny Wallace in what should have been a genre-star-making-turn. While Amber Newman is all for Heather's transformation, sister vamp Stacey Sparks isn't so sure she wants to do such a thing to her new friend as Stacey's character hasn't taken to her new life so well.

This kind of attention to detail, character and story elevates Vamps above most of the sexpoitation flicks that it shares shelf-space with, but it does not elevate it enough for recommendation to casual viewers. The sub-par shooting, direction, sound, and acting will scare most away, and that's too bad as there is a good amount of effort being put here to make this not just another forgettable horror/skin movie. Also stars Susan Foreman as one of the non-vamp strippers in the club.

Also, the Special Edition Unrated DVD and VHS of this movie features the eye-popping ten-minute music video I'm Ready For My Closeup Ms. Deville starring a bearing-it-all Jenny Wallace!

  • Format: Color, Special Edition, NTSC
  • Studio: Ventura Distribution
  • DVD Release Date: October 24, 2000
  • Production Company: B+ Productions
  • Run Time: 90 minutes

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