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Case Number 11694

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Perfect Creature

Fox // 2006 // 87 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 16th, 2007

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson hates to say it, but he was disappointed. When he first heard of this release he was hoping for the much-anticipated feature-film chronicling the life of Balki Bartokomous.

The Charge

"Humans and vampires, living together! Mass hysteria!"

Opening Statement

You got to give at least one thing to writer/director Glenn Standring: he actually did something new in the emaciated vampire genre.

Facts of the Case

In this alternate reality, vampires and humanity coexist peacefully. The vampires are called The Brotherhood and task themselves with protecting human beings through genetic research and allowing the occasional vamp blood Slurpee, which has healing properties. In their vampire fort, the Brothers are the keepers of science and wisdom and in effect have created a religion for the humans to follow. It's altruism with fangs.

The stud Brother is Silus (Dougray Scott, Mission Impossible II), well-liked and well-known around the Brotherhood and next in line to assume the role as leader. Unfortunately, the Brotherhood is facing a crisis as Silus's nutty brother Edgar, hopped up on some genetic serum, is terrorizing and murdering humans.

Silus pairs up with plucky cop Lilly (Saffron Burrows, Deep Blue Sea) to track down Edgar and squelch his killing spree before a schism rips through the once healthy human-vampire relationship.

The Evidence

This sucker earns a recommendation because of its uniqueness. How many vampire movies have I succumbed to during my tenure at DVD Verdict? Enough to fill the lifetime of one of the undead at least. Is there any other horror genre besides "zombie" and "creepy-ass little Japanese girl" that has been so thoroughly used up as the vampire movie? I think not.

So right out of the gate, big props to the creative minds behind Perfect Creature who won me over with a novel concept: vampires and human living peacefully together. In fact, the vamps serve and protect the humans. This alternate approach just feels unique and when you combine it with the bizarre world that Glenn Standring created (more on that later) the result is a fresh take on material that desperately needed it.

Now before I get too smoochy I will say that Perfect Creature isn't perfect. The vampire mythology, specifically the religion angle Standring's got going, is compelling, but the history isn't fleshed out. What's up with the vampire church? How expansive is the religion? Does it mirror Christianity and other world religions in its practices and doctrines? Fertile narrative soil there, but not capitalized on.
The film is marketed as an action-thriller, but the action is limited. There's one fight scene at the end and it's a confrontation that had been building up for most of the runtime, but the result is disappointing: brother goes out like a punk! The final scene alludes to some seriously bodacious #$%@ going down, but unless we get a sequel it looks like we'll be left wanting for vamp-on-vamp mayhem. Really, a better description for this film would be "supernatural mystery." Lilly and Silus burn through most of the film poking around for clues and unraveling the secret behind the Edgar and his hyper-violence. This element of the film tends to lag, but the payoff is satisfactory and Burrows and Scott exude a nice chemistry.

Which is a handy segue back to what the film does right. Acting is top-shelf with Scott leading the way. His character is cold and detached, but he goes through an evolution in the film and reveals the potential to be true bad-ass some day, which we'll never get to see. Playing off him, Leo Gregory as Edgar brings impressive physicality and malice to his role and emerges as a memorable—if shafted at the end—villain. The film boasts an awesome look and I would entertain an argument that the production design is the best part of Perfect Creature. CGI and real environments are mixed together to create a mish-mash of eras, not unlike Dark City. Dirigibles fly overhead the murky city, while the Brotherhood's colossal HQ stands at the center. This is a fine-looking production.

And it's a fine-looking DVD. A clean, detailed 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and a 5.1 digital mix are your tech specs and I have no complaints. The slick picture quality more than adequately transmits Standring's vision. Two short featurettes are it for extras: an 11-minute making-of documentary and an eight-minute piece on designing the film.

Closing Statement

I've got a few nitpicks, but Perfect Creature deserves a viewing, especially by those sick of the status quo of vampire movies.

The Verdict

Grab a Turbo-chug of A-positive and settle in for this one.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 90
Audio: 90
Extras: 80
Acting: 85
Story: 80
Judgment: 83

Perp Profile

Studio: Fox
Video Formats:
• 2.35:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
• English
• French
• Spanish
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Horror
• Mystery
• Thriller

Distinguishing Marks

• Making-of Documentary
• Designing the Film Featurette
• Trailers


• IMDb

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