The remote town of Purgatory is a home to vampires who venture out in the sun under wide brimmed hats and covered in sun block. It is also home of Count Mardulak (David Carradine) who is all for artificial feeding as a scientist has come up with a blood substitute which whilst looking like sludge helps them stave off the hunger. But this artificial blood doesn't suit everyone and some vampires still need to feed the old fashioned way. With an increasing number of humans coming to town including a certain Mr. Van Helsing (Bruce Campbell) things are getting messy in Purgatory.
That synopsis doesn't really tell you a great deal about what goes on in "Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat" because whilst there is a lot going on there isn't actually much story. Most of the story actually revolves around the Harrison family whose two young daughters turn out to be vampire aficionados due to their mum having once been close to Shane a vampire before she settled down with David. In truth the story in "Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat" is flawed and a little too messy as it goes around the houses.
But in many ways "Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat" is not about the story but it is all about the comedy and it runs thick and fast. It all starts with 3 old guys at a gas station with large hats, large sun glasses and a need for thick layers of sun block which leads to the first moment of comedy horror. And then every scene after that we get more from Maxwell Caulfield as a naked vampire to two innocent teenagers who stumble in to the mess which is going on in Purgatory. Ironically David Carradine and Bruce Campbell, who appear on the movie's artwork, are in supporting roles but certainly bring humour to their parts with Campbell turning up the dial on him being bumbling. It is where the movie works and the ridiculousness of the characters makes it memorable.
What this all boils down to is that "Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat" is a lot of fun thanks to Hickox's western styling as well as the performances. But it is a movie which struggles for a while under a jumbled narrative.
Tags: Vampire Movies