Director Ted Nicolaou and Anders Hove return for the second installment in the Bloodstone series, Bloodstone: Subspecies 2 and it would continue right where the first film left off. The movie also happens to be the better of the first two and the best out of the four altogether if one were to watch the entire saga. Though it is just one chapter in a four film narrative, it manages to stand out from the pack thanks to some strong writing courtesy of Nicolaou and Charles Band, the creative force behind Full Moon.
Though it had seemed that Radu was dead, his Subspecies bring him back to life by reattaching his head and pulling the stake from his heart. From there, things would move fairly quickly as he kills his brother and reclaims the Bloodstone, only to lose it to Michelle who escapes his grasp. It is a game of cat and mouse soon enough though as Radu chases Michelle down, hoping to gain that which he believes is his with Michelle’s sister, a forgetful old professor and an embassy official trying to thwart the vampire’s plans.
During all of this, it is in this picture that Radu shows some growth as a character where in the first film he simply played the stock vampire, the classic monster used to torment the protagonists. Here, Radu is front and center and the movie revolves more around him than anyone else. It focuses upon his need to be loved, something his mother who is new to the film, tells him is unnecessary and yet he cannot seem to get Michelle off of his mind and strangely enough, whether it is by compulsion or simple fascination, she in turn is drawn to him. While the vampire still remains a visual treat, being both obscene and disgusting in nature, he is also a little humorous at times, as black as it might be. One also has to give credit to the makeup department for creating such a visceral and truly different vampire in Radu. He is definitely what makes this series of films as good as they are, the creature looking far different than most popular vampires like Dracula or even Max Schreck’s Count Orlock. The fact that he cannot pass for human, yet has human emotions is a fascinating picture painted throughout this movie and one cannot help but like the character despite his foul deeds.
Additionally starring Denice Duff as Michelle who would also continue on past this film for the rest of the franchise, she would turn in a top-notch performance, fighting against the bloodlust that would ravage her body until she would finally succumb to it and to Radu towards the end. As for the rest of the cast, while they would do an adequate job filling out the rest of the film, it was Hove and Duff who would make it all worthwhile.
If there was one thing lacking in this movie, it was the lack of the gothic atmosphere which so permeated the last one. While the audience would gain Radu’s witch-mother, they would lose that Hammer-like feel, Nicolau and cinematographer Vlad Paunescu forgoing one thing to enhance another, that being the stronger script and focus upon Radu. As it is, it all managed to work out as Bloodstone: Subspecies 2 turned out to be one of the better pictures Full Moon would ever release.
4 out of 5