Bad Movies Done Right – Metamorphosis

Every week Robert Saucedo shines a spotlight on a movie either so bad it’s good or just downright terrible. Today: When it comes to bad vampire movies, there doesn’t necessarily only need to be one.

In the last few years, as a vampire craze has swept the nation’s supply of teenage girls, there’s been a steady increase in the number of bad vampire movies that have been released straight-to-DVD.

It’s hard to blame the Twilight saga for the increased existence of terrible flicks about pasty-faced pretty boys (and girls) who suck blood. There have always been bad vampire movies and books to catch the attention of teenage girls. If Twilight hadn’t come along, it would have just been another vampire story that grabbed hold of adolescent females’ uncannily short attention span.

The curse of bad vampire movies is as eternal as the legend of Dracula himself. Like death and taxes, there’s a certainty about the quality of your average vampire flick that is pretty indisputable.

Looking at the DVD cover for Metamorphosis, Jenö Hodi’s 2007 vampire movie that has just recently been released on DVD in America, it’s pretty obvious that you haven’t encountered the next Let the Right One In.

A sharp-toothed Christopher Lambert greets you from the DVD’s cover art — inviting you to part ways with an hour and a half of your time in exchange for perhaps a few scares and a little nudity.

What lies beneath the DVD art, though, is far more interesting that anything you could imagine — in the way that watching time-lapse footage of road kill decomposing is interesting.

Metamorphosis is a terrible, terrible movie. Its plot is almost completely indecipherable — mixing in historical pastiches, vampire baloney, religious mumbo-jumbo and a fair-share of dead teenagers to pique your average horror fan’s interest.

Corey Servier stars as Keith, an American tourist traveling around Hungary in search of the legend of Elizabeth Bathory. Despite his frat boy appearance, he is actually a historical writer working on a book about the seemingly bloodthirsty Bathory. Lucky for him, he encounters Elizabeth, a relative of Bathory played by Irena A. Hoffman.  Elizabeth, in addition to being a fountain of information about Keith’s favorite subject, is a genuine, bloodsucking vampire — but the good kind who falls in love with humans and vows to protect them.

Before Keith can prep his tape recorder for an interview, though, he and his friends are thrown into a zany metaphysical journey through life and death when they must battle for their souls against a truly evil vampire named Constantine Thurzo (played by Christopher Lambert).

Lambert, who previously played an immortal in the Highlander series, hams it up as best he can for the role of Thurzo, a Vigo the Carpathian-looking bloodsucker who prowls the dark corridors of Bathroy’s castle — picking off unlucky tourists one by one.

While Lambert gives it his all and tries his best to win audiences over with a mixture of camp and genuine hammery, the movie never quite reaches the tone that Lambert sets — leaving the film stuck in that weird cross-section of bad movies and fun bad movies.

Jennifer Higham and Charlie Hollway play the two tourist friends of Keith and both seem to be competing head to head to see who can deliver bad dialogue in the worst possible way. The movie’s supporting cast is the defective life preserver that acts as a final taunt before audience members drown in a sea of over-the-top vampire buffoonery.

The movie struggles in its attempt to mix in the vampire legend with a twist that, while obvious enough to spot a mile away, I’ll avoid spoiling in this review. Let’s just say the final product of the movie is a confusing jumble that fails in nearly everything it tries to accomplish. Bad acting and even worst dialogue are the stakes in the chest for this vampire turkey.

I can’t say I can recommend Metamorphosis to anybody. The movie is a mess in nearly every direction — I doubt even the most hard-core of vampire fanatics could find something to gush over in the film. I will say this — watching the movie is probably better than getting a stake driven through your heart. Probably.

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