The road to Purgatory is paved with good intentions, and Count Mardulak (David Carradine) wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s seeking atonement for centuries of human carnage, which is why he’s instructed Purgatory’s vampire residents to slather on SPF 100 sunblock, pursue daytime activities…and drink only synthetic blood. But some vampires don’t agree with Mardulak — they want the real thing — and if that means wooden bullets flying in a vampire civil war, so be it! This wild horror-comedy also stars Bruce Campbell, Maxwell Caulfield, M. Emmet Walsh, and John Ireland.
What We Thought:
The Vestron Video Collector’s Series is full of fun cult-classics and the latest in the series is Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat. This 1989 horror/western/comedy was a flop, but with cast members like David Carradine and Bruce Campbell, it grew a cult following.
It’s about a small western town whose population consists of vampires. They wear sunscreen and hats and keep to themselves. They no longer want to kill humans so they build a fake blood factory to stay alive. The only problem is the factory isn’t functioning properly and they need to bring in a human to fix it. The human has a past with the vampire running the factory and brings his wife and two daughters with him. Of course they don’t know vampires are real and his hiring was a trap in the first place.
A different visiting human is killed and his friends want answers. Bruce Campbell’s character comes to town looking for someone and half the vampires turn on each other. It all breaks into chaos. One side wants to go back to killing humans and use wooden bullets to kill the other vampires. Of course they fight back and it leads to a showdown.
Is Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat good? No, not really. Is it a campy romp you’ll have fun laughing at? Of course. Campbell always gets laughs and the mix of genres adds to its ridiculousness. The film looks good in this Blu-ray release and it comes with a slew of bonus features. It was released a couple of weeks back, but I didn’t get my copy until a few days ago. I popped it in pretty quickly because I hadn’t seen it in years. If you are expecting greatness you’ll be disappointed, but if you love random Bruce Campbell movies you’ll totally dig it.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
- AUDIO COMMENTARY with Director Anthony Hickox and Director of Photography Levie Isaacks
- ISOLATED SCORE SELECTIONS AND AUDIO INTERVIEWS with Music Historian Randall Larson and Producer Jefferson Richard
- “Wild Weird West” — An Interview with Director Anthony Hickox
- “Bloodsuckers from Purgatory” — An Interview with Special Makeup Effects Creator Tony Gardner
- “Memories of Moab” — An Interview with Actor Bruce Campbell
- “A Vampire Reformed” — An Interview with Actor David Carradine
- “A True Character” — An Interview with Actor M. Emmet Walsh
- Theatrical Trailer
- Still Gallery
David Carradine Stretch, Death Race 2000, Kill Bill Vols. 1 & 2
Maxwell Caulfield Grease 2, TV’s “The Colbys,” A Prince for Christmas
Morgan Brittany Gypsy, Gable and Lombard, TV’s “Dallas”
Bruce Campbell The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, TV’s “Ash vs Evil Dead”
Jim Metzler TV’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “North & South” series, River’s Edge
John Ireland Waxwork II: Lost in Time, The Graveyard Story, Spartacus
M. Emmet Walsh Blade Runner, Knives Out, TV’s “Sneaky Pete”