Subspecies II: Bloodstone (UK - BD RB)
Our Marcus heads back to hang out with the 80s rock video vampires again...
We rejoin Subspecies right after the closing events of the first film. A beheaded Radu (Anders Hove) is re-headed by his little stop motion finger monsters and then the entire film turns into a hunt for Michelle (Denice Duff) as she flees from the castle and heads to Bucharest with the Bloodstone in hand.
The first Subspecies sequel feels like a slicker film but it's only really because it's got some forward drive and a simple plot of 'catch the girl'. Yeah, it throws in some drama as Michelle isn't entirely all human any more but even that doesn't rescue the film from being more low budget silliness with fake fangs and a white painted face.
The presentation for Subspecies II is much warmer and much sharper affair than the original film was on Blu-ray. Colours are much better throughout, black levels much deeper and the haziness of the first film is all but gone. Subspecies II feels very much like a film of the 90s and other than the make up and costumes of the characters, had left the 80s looks of the original behind (for the most part).
Additionally, even the terrible effects don't quite seem so terrible in this sequel. The stop motion mini monsters look way better this time out and can even look pretty good with the power 1080p behind them (I said pretty good - not great).
Again, there are improvements over the original Subspecies Blu-ray here. This is a much stronger track thanks largely to the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio overhaul. Dialogue is much clearer and balanced, the sound effects much more noticeable and even make use of the rear speakers in effective ways from time to time. Shockingly, even the score is tons more effective despite its terrible synthy elements.
The commentary track with director Ted Nicolou, Anders Hove and Denice Duff is quite fun. The trio very much enjoy each others company and spend most of the track pinpointing elements of the film and then expanding on them with stories from the shoot and the limited budget.
The 'Cast and Crew Interviews' (08:38 HD) is the same three from the commentary and the exact same interviews from the first Subspecies Blu-ray extras. The 'Killer Montage' (01:45) is also the same thing from the previous disc.
Videozone (20:01 SD) is thankfully something new, well kind of, it's a small featurette from the old Full Moon magazine video archives but it's nostalgically fun.
Lastly there's the film's trailer (01:44 SD) and as always the Full Moon Trailer Park which consists of the same seven trailers.
I'm all Subspecies'd out. I've never been the biggest fan of 90s B-movie horror and these two silly vampire flicks haven't done a whole lot to make me think I've missed out avoiding the straight to video nasties of 20 years ago. This sequel is a marked improvement, presentation wise over the first film but most of the extras are the same, so it's really only the commentary that's the big sell here.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over
Release Date: 18th March 2013
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 English, DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 English
Extras: Commentary, Interviews, Vidzone, Killer Montage, Trailers
Easter Egg: No
Director: Ted Nicolaou
Cast: Anders Hove, Denice Duff, Kevin Spirtas
Length: 86 minutes
Follow our updates
OTHER INTERESTING STUFF
Trance US - BD RA Hellboy II: The Golden Army US - BD Shrek the Third US - BD Unleashed: Unrated US - DVD R1 Interceptor, The UK - DVD R2
Beyond, The UK - BD RB Wrong Turn AU - DVD R4 Lifeforce US - BD RA Gremlins: Special Edition/Gremlins 2: The New Batch US - DVD R1 Child's Play: 20th Anniversary Edition US - DVD R1