Friday, November 18, 2016

Vampirella, or why I don't write for a living

What with all the Marvel movies ranking in the dough, it's just damn funny that people are looking at comic books as inspiration nowadays. Back in the 90's you'd be darn lucky if the movie had even the same title.

Vampirella was the 1969 creation of Forrest J. Ackerman for his Warren Publishing. There had been movie talks as early as 1977 with none other than Hammer Studios in talks, but the studio's money issues derailed that project. Jim Wynorski stepped in around 1996 with backing from Showtime and directed...something certainly. If he can screw around with the character, why can't I?

First, this would be made circa 1978, with Hammer Studios.

We open with a text crawl to set things up. To wit, the planet Drackulon is in peril. Famine, draught, and plague stricken every corner of the once lush world. A scientist, Dracula (unseen by us), is blamed for the disaster. Despite his protests that he tried to correct the problem the High Council blasts him into the void, where his disembodied spirit will surely never hurt anyone ever again.

To the more pressing matters, the rulers are stumped. A young woman, Vampirella (Barbara Carrera), finds a crashed alien ship. The pilots were sadly ripped apart by the starving natives. Sickened, she moves into the ship and spends weeks mastering it until she finally blasts off into space. She crash lands on Earth.

Dr. Conrad Van Helsing (Christopher Lee) and his son Adam (Robert Stewart) are driving through the countryside towards a funeral home. Conrad's brother died in a plane crash, but that's not the reason they're traveling. No, for you see they have reason to believe a vampire was involved as several passengers were drained of blood. After Adam helps his blind father stake his brother, they go on a hunt near the crash sight.

Vampirella was found at the sight, but she didn't crash the plane. Some dark force took control of her ship and crashed it into the airplane. Thrown clear, she is taken into a remote hospital in the mountains. The doctors are curious, her strange dress aside, as her blood seems wholly unique and not human in the slightest. This is good though, as the hospital is actually a front for the Cult of Chaos. Such a unique specimen will be the perfect sacrifice. The head doctor (Vincent Price) argues anyway, although his head nurse (Britt Ekland) seems to think the doctor may be focusing too much on the patient.

The dark force appears. It is a servant of Chaos, summoned by a misshapen brute roaming the hospital's dungeons. It turns out that the brute is the actual head doctor. One of his patients was mangled in an accident and switched his mind with the doctor. The brute summoned an avenger, He got Vampirella.

Not a terrible deal, as once she's fed (she marvels that this humanoids are filled with water and so eager to feed her), she's more than capable of fighting her way out. She's tempted to just leave, but the brute pleads for her help. Conrad and Adam are kidnapped as they search the area. The nurse intends to simply let them kill Vampirella and then sacrifice them before killing the doctor and taking over the cult herself. Conrad, despite his blindness, sees Vampirella only as an enemy while Adam sees her as innocent. There is a big fight, the brute slays the doctor before dying, Chaos takes the nurse. Vampirella says her goodbye to Adam before flying off into the night sky with her wings (which have finally healed)

Maybe not the best set up, but with full Hammer technicolor it might have been good.  

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