Vampirella is one of those characters that I recognize without question event though I know absolutely nothing about her, I’m surprised with how iconic she is that we’ve never gotten some type of animated film, I mean even Lady Death had one. But when I realized that she got a movie in 1996 I had to check it out, bad reviews or low budget weren’t going to stop me from checking out some type of media based off this character. I think Halloween is the best time to check this out and see what this is all a bout.
Now as I mentioned I’m not familiar with any Vampirella lore or continuity since I just thought she was just a sexualized character for posters with no actual background. But here she is apparently an avenging alien some type of Vampire aliens from another planet called Drakulon and after Ella’s father is killed she goes to Earth to find the killers which include Vlad who is Dracula himself. So yeah plot is not going to be its strong point based on this setup but I definitely didn’t expect Vampirella to have the best origin so yeah I can easily ignore that.
The look of the movie seems straight out of those Marvel 80s and early 90s tv films/cheap adaptations to keep the rights but Vampirella came out in 1996 so this was around the time the Spawn movie came out and we’d gotten both Burton films and even The Crow so expecting more is not being picky. But if you set yourself for those low budget unfaithful adaptations you’ll have a better time since there’s some interesting things here.
The actress who plays Vampirella is Talisa Soto and she does a pretty good job with the script she’s being handed without mentioning that she does a decent enough job in fight scenes and is beautiful. It wasn’t until I googled her that I found out she was Kitana in the Mortal Kombat movies which explains things. The costume is not the original comics one but it’s still fairly revealing in a WWF Diva sort of way or a sluttier version of Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman costume. Still it’s rather conservative when compared to the source material which is odd since the movie had no problem with actual nudity so that R rating wasn’t really used to its optimal point.
The rest of the movie is mostly low budget sets of her trying to get revenge with the added twist that an anti vampire tech secret group exists with a “project purge” to get rid of the vampires lead by the son of Van Helsing. They form an alliance with Vampirella and from here on the movie drags for the last 40 minutes. The vampires can turn into bats by the way and also this is also the first time we see a vampire leading a Vampire rock band in film before Queen of the damned was a thing.
I can’t not love the film since it’s space vampires with eye candy and a ridiculous plot, granted it’s the context of the movie that makes me be forgiving. For an adult comic that has had no other media or relevance outside of comics I’d say this was a pretty good first try and no worse than other similar early stunts from Marvel or DC. I’d love to see more of Vampirella though, I’m not sure why it hasn’t happened yet but an animated film or even a shortfilm by fans would be great in the meantime she’ll continue her purgatory as cosplay fodder.
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