Parts 1 and 2 were great for direct-to-DVD, and part 3 lost some inertia but remained a fun franchise installment. However, with no cool effects and a messy story, part 4 felt just plain lazy. I wish they never made it. And that's hard for me to say as an otherwise huge fan of the franchise. <<apathetic shrug>>
After a major refresher montage of pretty much every scene and special effect of the franchise, we pick up right where Subspecies III: Bloodlust (1994) ended with a barbequed Radu not dead because Michelle (Denice Duff; Subspecies II–IV, Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation) and her rescuers had left the bloodstone behind. So Radu (Anders Hove; Subspecies I-IV, Critters 4) scrambles away to regenerate as Michelle, now a fully initiated vampire, is taken to a hospital where a vampire-knowledgeable doctor (Mihai Dinvale; Blood and Chocolate, Dark Angel: The Ascent) claims he can cure her ancient malady!
I'm sorry to say that this fourth installment is far less interesting than its predecessors. Lt. Marin (Ion Haiduc; Subspecies II-IV, Dark Angel: The Ascent, Mimic: Sentinel), my least favorite character from part 3, returns and contributes nothing of value as one of Radu's recent weak creations.
Adding to the needlessly complex plot, the doctors are more interested in researching the bloodstone than helping Michelle, another of Radu's fledglings and his protégé conspire against Radu, the doctor is himself a vampire, Michelle suddenly has a soft spot for Radu…it's just too much and it keeps us from getting into any one plot element. There's too much going on for it to develop into anything. This is all on top of the base storyline of Radu trying to reclaim Michelle under his wing. Haven't we had enough of that yet with the last two films??? <<sigh>>
The special effects seem a less frequent (than parts I-III) as well. We see lots of shadow walking (which is no longer interesting or impressive really), I still have a love-hate relationship with Radu's gangly fingers and there are a few blood feedings, but outside of the introductory footage from part 3 and a couple of beheadings there are no cool effects. What the Hell? Nothing comes even remotely close to the neat claymation of Radu’s minions or Radu’s head reattaching itself a la The Thing (1982) with arterial tendrils whipping from his detached head and affixing themselves to his body to drag his head into place as his spinal cord extends outward to receive it…AWESOME EFFECT from Subspecies II. Where was all that? It seems that both the writing and special effects were left behind on this one.
Parts 1 and 2 were pretty damn good--great, in fact, for direct-to-DVD releases. Then with Subspecies III: Bloodlust (1994) director Ted Nicolaou (Subspecies I-III, Terror Vision, Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys) lost the inertia that started this franchise so powerfully--but part 3 was still a fun franchise installment. However, part 4 felt just plain lazy. No cool effects and a messy story. I wish they never made it. And that's hard for me to say as an otherwise huge fan of the franchise. <<apathetic shrug>>
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Subspecies the Awakening Vampire movie. Pal format Region 2
- Aspect Ratio : 1.33:1
- MPAA rating : s_medR R (Restricted)
- Package Dimensions : 7.1 x 5.42 x 0.58 inches; 2.93 Ounces
- Director : Ted Nicolaou
- Media Format : PAL
- Run time : 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Actors : Angus Scrimm, Anders Hove, Irina Movila, Laura Mae Tate, Michelle McBride
- Producers : Charles Band, Ion Ionescu
- ASIN : B00009PBZN
- Writers : Charles Band, David Pabian, Jackson Barr
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #895,971 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
3.6 out of 5
53 global ratings
Top reviews from the United States
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Squandering an otherwise great vampire franchise with a messy story and no new effects. Go watch parts 1-3 instead!Reviewed in the United States on March 9, 2016
3 people found this helpfulComment
Reviewed in the United States on January 25, 2016
I am acquainted with the Radu movies. This was a continuation of that. It is an acceptable movie but not for anyone who is highly critical of bad acting and poor special effects. Since I like mostly ALL vampire movies and Radu, I watched it and could follow the theme. I just want to note, to me, there is a big difference between horror and gore, this movie was more gore than horror.
2 people found this helpfulComment
Reviewed in the United States on October 11, 2017
I like this series.. you need to watch it from the first one to know what is happening..For the era of this film it was great... If you are just now watching it ..yes it seems out of date.. because they didn't have budgets back then to afford much in special effects... all in all great series
Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2018
I loved this film and plan on seeing more of Anders Hove he can also be seen on the day time soap opera General Hospital as Cesar Faison.
Reviewed in the United States on April 29, 2015
I love this series a true cult classic... If u like old 80.s vampire movies watch the trilogy its good. I love these movies radu is awesome. Yeh its not a blockbuster ...but I love watching these .. N they have a good story n follow through to the end
One person found this helpfulComment
Top reviews from other countries
radu is backReviewed in the United Kingdom on January 27, 2018
good fourth instalment in the reign of radu one more but I believe radu not in the fifth saw first three years ago recently purchased them on dvd if you like vampires and bloody gory films this is a good choice