Derrick Kinnison made his Halloween Horrors series debut back in 2016. In the years since first joining our series, Derrick has become easily one of this series’ biggest supporters, if not its biggest! Not only has his wife, Michelle, also become a regular to our series, but Derrick has helped connect us to writers who have contributed to our series in the past!
For his 4th year as part of this series, Derrick sets his sights on a cult classic from the early 1990’s: Full Moon’s Subspecies. While his appreciation for the film (and its subsequent sequels) undoubtedly shines through, what is also undeniable is Derrick’s appreciation for this event, as well as the knucklehead running it. Trust me, my friend…. I appreciate the heck out of you as well!
Now, let’s all take a taste from the Bloodstone as Derrick presents us with another Halloween Horror! (Seriously, these people are licking rocks!)
“I am your first born. The bloodstone is my birthright.”
The year was 1988 when a dedicated film company was created, and produced horror movies to the fans with ambition and originality. Full Moon Features was set to become the horror producer of the next generation. In my own opinion, Full Moon and Charles Band would create some of – if not most of – the greatest horror movies produced since their arrival.
Movies such as: Puppet Master, Dollman, Demonic Toys, Doctor Mordrid. These are only to name a few, as there are many, many more. Yet, there is one in particular that I have chosen. One that when I first viewed, became an instant favorite within the vampire realm of others – not to mention the sequels that it spawned directly after.
The movie that I am writing about is none other than . . . SUBSPECIES. A different kind of vampire story and quite unique in its own way. Radu, (played by Anders Hove) the bloodsucking (and even more so, drooling) vampire, takes notice of his victims and slowly begins picking them off one-by-one, making his way towards his true prize, the lovely Michelle Morgan (played by Laura Mae Tate) with whom he wants to share the splendors of eternity… as well as the Bloodstone, the relic he forcefully claimed by destroying King Vladislas, (his father) for.
This lurking and, quite frankly, somewhat terrifying vampire prowls about with elongated fingers that he can detach from his hands, creating minions of Subspecies to do his own bidding. A rather unique feature in the vampiric lore of this movie, it is just another reason as to why this vampire story is among one of my favorites!
Subspecies follows three college students (Mara, Michelle, and Lillian) as they begin a study in Romanian culture and superstition in a small village. Upon arriving they are soon befriended by Stefan, a student studying nocturnal animals. It is soon revealed that the nearby Castle Vladislas has been caught in a power struggle between the vampire brothers, Stefan and Radu. Radu, being the evil one, only wants one thing at this point, and that is to take his rightful place upon the throne… as well as the Bloodstone.
Within this power struggle is the attempt of Radu’s capture by his father, King Vladislas. Vladislas soon realizes that Radu is far more powerful, summoning his fledglings by breaking away his fingers. Thus, from out of his bloody joints, Radu creates his Subspecies to do his bidding and help him escape his capture! He then kills his father and finally takes possession of the Bloodstone, a relic that is said to drip the blood of the saints. Soon after, Stefan attempts to destroy his brother, but soon realizes that he is no match and, in the attempt to save Michelle from Radu, he fails by having his head severed. Now, Radu can claim his next prize: Michelle, who he wishes to spend an eternity with.
This film, just as any other Full Moon feature, sticks with the essence of horror and pays close attention to the details in which horror is represented: the story, the gore, and the cheese-ball factor that is usually found in these titles. To some degree, most horror fans would wish that some of their favorite horror films would show up in the Oscars to be judged on their unique story, but as for me . . . no, because once this happens, then the very idea of this film becomes too criticized and picked apart by those who only pretend to be fans of particular genres they enjoy. Not that this already happens… which brings me to why I have come to love what Dustin has done with his page, Horror & Sons and given people like us fans to participate in the Halloween Horrors every year.
And so, Subspecies… Just the very title excites the horror miser in me, as it is around this time of year (and typically throughout the rest) that this is just another film that is watched quite often and gets me in the mood for the Halloween horror season, when I can pop in the movie and become enthralled by the very essence of its formidable horror exploding before me. I watch as Radu emerges onto screen and confronts a horror legend, Angus Scrimm. Radu himself begging for the power of the stone and immediately denied, only to have thought that the evil vampire could be imprisoned. Once he breaks away joints from his fingers and the monsters are created from the bloody appendages, one can only be amazed and find that child-like fascination of horror overwhelming, especially when each night leads up to one of the GREATEST holidays!
Subspecies, Bloodstone: Subspecies II, Bloodlust: Subspecies III, Vampire Journals, (which is only a spin off to the series) and finally, Subspecies 4: Bloodstorm. For me, all of these make up a great series in Vampire horror, especially when one can sit down and immerse themselves into this great binge watch of a fanatical horror fest, a bloody thirst quencher, (not to mention a constant supply of blood drool) and overall the very idea of horror itself!
In closing, I just want to finish this off by once again thanking the ringleader of this group of horror freaks! Thanks once again, Dustin, for another year of Halloween Horrors 2019! And thanks to everyone who took a few moments out of their day to read this little review about my choice this year and again, why this particular film means so much to me . . . .