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May 21, 2011

Movie Review: Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter (2001, Blu-ray)

Religion is really a loaded subject to tackle for any filmmaker. It's hard enough presenting even the topic of religion in a manner that's not going to offend. The story of Jesus has been given some different takes throughout the years. Martin Scorcese, Mel Gibson, Norman Jewison and Lee Demarbre have all put their vision of God's only son on celluloid. I know what you’re thinking "who's Lee Demarbre??". Demarbre is the director of the cult hit, Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter that's now available on Blu-ray courtesy of MVD Visual.

Buy Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter [Blu-ray] or Special Edition DVD or Watch it Instantly

From the title Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter your probably expecting it to be ridiculous and horribly sacrilegious. Well, the premise is pretty crazy but amazingly it doesn't put down the church all that much. Jesus (Phil Caracas) is summoned by a few of his devoted followers to battle lesbian vampires who are sucking all the locals dry. The church doesn't help much either. The Church seems to be skittish because they don't agree with their "lifestyles". Now it's up to Yahweh to find his own way - which is kicking all sorts of ass.

Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter works well as a comedy. The movie’s just way too cheesy to be scary. One thing that's really cool about it is it's an indie movie that's actually shot on film (Unfortunately a lost art-form). Some of the funnier gags involve a talking Virgin Mary, Jesus stealing from the collection plate to get money for some stakes and some frequent musical numbers that are kind of catchy. If your hungering for splatter, "Jesus" has a little, but nothing to keep gore freaks content. Pacing is a minor issue too - even at 85 minutes. Most of the jokes do hit their mark even if they’re not all that hilarious. If you grew up Catholic like myself you may get a few more chuckles.

This 16mm transfer is good, not great. There appears to be some redness on the print that occasionally flashes on the right of the screen. The color overall is very good for a 16mm film. Sound is is ok but tends to exhibit some scratchiness from time to time. In the extra department you do get a commentary and a reunion video with the cast. It takes place at a bowling alley where some of the cast and crew recall the production.

Although the title is more clever than the film itself, Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter has enough laughs and craziness for a one time view. HAPPY RAPTURE!!

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