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Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat

75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Bruce Campbell co-stars with David Carradine in a terrifying tale of bloodthirsty horror. The townsfolk of Purgatory are mean and ornery for one very good reason-they're vampires! Hidden away in their secret community, the come out at night and feast with gusto! Now the Harrisons, an unsuspecting family from "outside" have ventured into Purgatory. Count Margulak, the ruler of the vampires, has ended their tradition of human bloodletting. Now the vampire get their fix from synthetic bottled blood, a drink so distasteful it's making the natives crave the "real thing." Rebel leader Shane and his army plan to overthrow the count- but it won't happen without a fight! The battle for the "right to bite"- begins at SUNDOWN!

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: David Carradine, Morgan Brittany, Bruce Campbell, Jim Metzler, Maxwell Caulfield
  • Directors: Anthony Hickox
  • Writers: Anthony Hickox, John Burgess
  • Producers: Dan Ireland, Jack Lorenz, Jefferson Richard
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: September 23, 2008
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001C0PFG6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,959 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Karen Shaub on January 24, 2009
Format: DVD

You know how it is, you're a Bruce Campbell fan too. You'll watch anything he's ever done just because he's in it and then say, "Well, the movie wasn't all that great, but at least Bruce was good." Yeah, Bruce is always good. He's one of those rare universal constants you're always hearing about--like death and taxes, only more fun. He's so good most of the time that you'll add a star or two to your review just because he was there! But now its happened! I can finally say that not only was Bruce good, but I REALLY LIKED THE MOVIE TOO! Okay, so I'm being silly, but I was so charmed by Anthony Hickox's horror/comedy flick SUNDOWN that I still haven't got my head on straight.

Our story centers around the Harrison family. David (played by Jim Meltzer) is an engineer who has developed a machine that can synthesize blood, Morgan Brittany is his beautiful wife Sarah who has a naughty little secret that just might come out soon, and Gwen and Julie are their two overly precious children. Gwen is a bit weird, likes horror movies, and has dreams which might possibly foretell the future.

When we first encounter the Harrisons they are on their way to a town appropriately called Purgatory for a combination family vacation/business trip. It seems that the synthesizer being installed in Puragtory has developed some serious glitches and David's long time fiend and colleague, Shane, has called David in to help straighten things out.

Enter Bruce Campbell. About 20 minutes into the picture. This isn't a big part, but that doesn't keep Bruce from stealing the movie. He plays a sort of sweet, nerdy, academic type whose car breaks down while he too is looking for Purgatory.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. Williams on May 7, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Robert Van Helsing (Bruce Campbell) is an incompetent descendant of Count Dracula, exploring the small town of Purgatory in search of his infamous ancestor. But Purgatory is inhabited by reclusive vampires who prefer to take it easy and lounge around in sunglasses and sun cream - a protection against the sun's deadly rays. There is no sign of the Count.
David Harrison (Jim Metzler) is an expert in the production of synthetic blood, hired to assist in a project that will ensure the vampires of Purgatory no longer need to kill for food. He is nevertheless unaware that Purgatory is populated by the undead, thinking his work as part of an official experiment.
Things go wrong, though. The equipment suddenly ceases to work and the evil Shane (Maxwell Caulfield), the project's original creator, turns up to investigate. He falls in love with Harrison's beautiful wife and, meanwhile, some of the toothy townspeople decide that the traditional ways of obtaining blood are preferable.
A war inevitably breaks out, resulting in vampire against human, vampire against vampire. Good versus evil.
SUNDOWN is directed by Anthony Hickox of WAXWORK, WAXWORK 2: LOST IN TIME, and HELLRAISER 3: HELL ON EARTH fame. It is a low budget, off-beat film that is perhaps not to everyone's taste. Somewhere in between comedy and horror, SUNDOWN has nevertheless gained cult status, similar to other films in this subgenre like THE LOST BOYS, FRIGHT NIGHT, INNOCENT BLOOD, TALES FROM THE CRYPT: BORDELLO OF BLOOD, and A RETURN TO SALEM'S LOT.
The Cast is well chosen: Maxwell THE SUPERNATURALS Caulfield, Dana TWIN PEAKS Ashbrook, Bruce EVIL DEAD Campbell, and David KUNG FU Carradine, who plays Jozek Mardulak aka Count Dracula. M.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lucas DeMoss on March 30, 2009
Format: DVD
I am a huge Bruce Campbell fan, so when I saw him on the cover of this box I had an expectation for a campy, cheesey, B-film with some blood and gore...well, it was campy and cheesey, but more like a D-Film! There is really no blood and gore and for Bruce being on the cover he had very little screen time.

David Carradine tries and (for the short amount of time he spends on screen) so does Bruce Campbell, but the story is weak, the acting is poor and it leaves a lot to be desired. It does have a lot of pretty cool special features including some interviews with Bruce Campbell and some behind the scenes stuff.

I'm not saying don't give it a shot, I'm just saying don't get your hopes up like I did! Like I said, I love Bruce Campbell, but this is bad...even for him!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Genevieve Hayes on January 30, 2009
Format: DVD
A scientist and his family move to Purgatory, a small town in the American West, and find themselves in the middle of a war between two groups of vampires: one group who wish to give up the "old ways" by drinking synthetic blood, in the hope of integrating back into human society; and a second group who think that drinking human blood is the only way that vampires should live.
Based on the cover of this DVD, you could be forgiven for thinking that Bruce Campbell is the star of this film. He's not. Campbell plays Robert Van Helsing, a descendent of the original Van Helsing, who comes to Purgatory to hunt vampires, but he doesn't appear until about half an hour into the film and even then, his part is only a supporting one. It is scientist David Harrison, his wife and daughters, who are the main characters, which is where this film falls down. In a film filled with vampires and vampire hunters, a normal suburban family just aren't all that interesting. I spent most of the film hoping that they would die and that Campbell would take over as the lead. It didn't happen. The script isn't all that great, either. The idea is good in theory, but it takes too long to set up and the different scenes have a disjoint quality to them, as if they were written by different people and patched together. Writer/director Anthony Hickox's previous film, "Waxwork", is a much better film, by comparison (and in fact, I recommend that film instead of this one). Having said that, the end showdown between the two different vampire groups is worth the wait, even if Campbell's part wasn't as big as I had hoped. I just wish the rest of the film had been that good.
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