Long before movies like Twilight were showing us vampires in suburbia, there were films like the 1991 Kingdom of the Vampire movie. What’s a vampire gotta do when his “kingdom” is a nice neighborhood? Let’s find out.
Kingdom of the Vampire Movie: Vamps in Town
When we meet Jeff (Matthew Jason Walsh), he seems like a nice enough young man. He lives at home with his mom (Cherie Patry) and holds down a steady job at the neighborhood liquor store. But there’s more to Jeff than meets the tooth. Our first clue is that he only works the night shift. Now that’s not always an indicator of something amiss, I say, as I type this in the middle of the night. But in his case, it is. Jeff is a nonagenarian vampire. And his little old lady mom relies on neighborhood children for sustenance. Surely, this is a delicate situation, vulnerable to any upsets.
However, Jeff, the near-century-old vamp, starts feeling the first stirrings of love. He’s got a thing for a young lass named Nina (Shannon Doyle). Better yet, she’s got a thing for him, too. Unfortunately for both of them, Mom also has designs on Nina, but of a far different sort. Can Jeff, who looks amazing for his age, figure out how to live a normal-ish life without Mom’s interference?
J.R. Bookwalter is Back at It in the Kingdom
J.R. Bookwalter directed the movie, while Matthew Jason Walsh wrote the script, basing it on a story by Bookwalter and Walsh. While Bookwalter has gotten more into movie production, including literally so with the manufactured-on-demand company MakeFlix, he made a number of low budget horror classics. Known for making bleeding lemonade out of lemons, Bookwalter could take a teensy budget and turn it into something special.
And while Matthew Jason Walsh basically stopped acting around the turn of the millennium, he continued writing both music and scripts. He seems to have moved into the cottage industry of producing scripts for Lifetime and Hallmark, both of which are prolific TV-movie makers. Among his recent works are UpTV’s holiday romance A Christmas Cruise and the “Wrong” series for lifetime (The Wrong Roommate, The Wrong Child, etc.). He has worked frequently with director David DeCoteau and actress Vivica A. Fox. He also directed the 1993 movie The Witching, considered a cult classic by many.
Do You Dare Enter the Kingdom of the Vampire?
Unsurprisingly for a movie with this low of a budget–estimated around $2500–reactions have been very polarized. People seem either to love or really dislike this movie. The people who disliked it mentioned things like the acting, which is to be expected with low budget films. Others said it was cheaply made, which seems redundant.
However, then there are the people who loved this movie. Some of them are Bookwalter fans who appreciate what he can do with a camera and a shoestring budget. Some are them are just low-budget horror movie fans in general. And others, including Scared Stiff Reviews, found it genuinely moving. Maybe you will, too.
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featured image via Tempe Digital
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Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. She now splits her time between the Appalachian wilds (of Alabama) and the considerably more refined streets of New York City. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.