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Demonic monsters have taken over the world. Damned anti-hero Alberic Van Helsing is a monster hunter. Aside from removing them from the Earth one by one, he also needs their blood to survive. The most powerful creatures are certain of their superiority until a cult resurrects a timeless evil. The vampire queen knows that Van Helsing is closest to the demons he hunts, and so enlists his aid. However, Van Helsing hangs on the last vestiges of his humanity...
Let me begin by complimenting the packaging by 3 Wolves. The DVD cover has very nice close-up artwork of a monster/demon, but there is an outer slip cover sporting even more impressive artwork. On the inside of the DVD case not only is there more artwork, but six nice quality Character Cards featuring Balaur, Alberic Van Helsing, Queen Nemetari, Athena Petrova, The Nameless, and La Bete – Werewolf Warrior. There is also a colour booklet with more detailed descriptions of these characters, along with a page on the Norwegian Black Metal band Sons of Balaur, who supply the soundtrack along with Max Weiry.
The film itself isn’t so impressive. Apart from the short running time of only 56 minutes, I was rather misled by the cover into expecting a Manga-like extravaganza. However, this release makes no bones about the fact it is an Animated Motion Comic. This means the artwork is static but layered in places so that any movement looks forced. It’s a little unnerving, like watching Captain Pugwash cardboard cut-outs. The process doesn’t allow you to relax enough to immerse yourself in the story. The artwork is actually very good, but it really should have stayed as a graphic novel (which I believe is still available). For me, it just doesn’t work as a motion comic.
Perhaps if the story (there isn’t much plot) was a little more interesting I might have got more into it. I’m a big Metal music fan, but the aforementioned Sons of Balaur fail to lift or support any part of the story, as there is no light and shade. The heavy music simply plays loudly every time there is a scene of conflict…which is pretty much most of the time. I found the whole thing unstimulating. You just don’t care who is who is who and what happens to them. My score is for the packaging and the film’s artwork.
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