Film / Subspecies

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Subspecies is a series of four horror movies directed by Ted Nicolau, produced by Full Moon Features and starring Anders Hove as vampire Radu Vladislas.

The series consists of

  • Subspecies (1991)
  • Bloodstone: Subspecies II (1993)
  • Bloodlust: Subspecies III (1994)
  • Bloodstorm: Subspecies IV (1998)

It had a spinoff, made in 1997, called The Vampire Journals.

The story involves young Michelle, who came to Romania with her friend Lilian to study its folklore and ends up involved in a war between ancient vampires for the possession of the Blood Stone, a stone which drips the blood of saints. Not related to the 1995 film Species or it's sequels.


Tropes:

  • Action Girl: Michelle's pretty badass in the first movie.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The vampire Ash, one of Radu's previous fledglings, portrays himself as a sophisticated aristocrat who enjoys the finer things in (un)life.
  • The Artifact: The titular Subspecies... do next to nothing in the series. They're really only there because Full Moon productions always have at least one stop-motion element (usually so they can sell models and action figures of them).
  • Artifact Title: The 'Subspecies' title in Bloodstorm, the only movie not to have the little creatures. Although the title may be referring to Radu, who is, himself, a half-breed.
  • Ax-Crazy: Radu is insane and violent, mainly from drinking from the Bloodstone.
  • Back For The Undead: Lt. Marin comes back as a vampire in Bloodstorm after apparently having been killed in Bloodlust
  • Barbarian Longhair: Radu.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Radu seems to think his killing of Stefan is this in Bloodstone. Bob The CIA Guy and Radu himself's deaths in Bloodlust fit the bill better.
  • Breaking and Bloodsucking:
    • Subspecies has Radu break into the girls' room to feed on Lilian's cut arm; he sucks on that for a while before going for her throat, but flees when Stefan and Karl arrive. Later he somehow Offscreen Teleports from kidnapping Mara at a festival to finishing off the weakened and bed-ridden Lilian in the room.
    • The second and third movies have Radu make several attempts on killing Becky in her sleep. The first attempt fails because Radu wastes too much time creeping around with the sheets and her nightgown until the phone rings...and he just leaves rather than attempting to overpower her. For the second attempt he spies in on her room, enters via Stock Footage...and then runs away because Mel is also in the room, asleep in a chair. Radu is nothing if committed playing this trope completely by the book.
  • Cain and Abel: Radu and his half-vampire brother Stephan from the first film.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In Bloodstone, the theater Michelle hides in has a glass coffin backstage. Why? Is this theater a hostel for vampires?
  • Creepy Long Fingers: Radu.
  • Deadly Doctor: Dr. Nicelescu is actually a vampire, obsessed with obtaining the Bloodstone for himself, and is fully willing to kill both Ana and Michelle, along with Radu.
  • Deader Than Dead: Given Radu's tendency to survive things that kill other vampires if not outright returning from the dead the protagonists do this to him to make sure he stays dead. They cut off his dead with a vampire killing sword, burn his body, then stick his head on a cross to melt in the sun for good measure.
  • Dhampyr: Both Stefan and Radu; Stefan is half-human, while Radu is the result of his father being magically seduced by a hag (of the D&D nonhuman variety).
  • Downer Ending: Michelle will sure live forever, but she's a vampire so she will have to quell her killer instincts, her sister and friends are dead, she is vulnerable to sunlight and she's all alone in a foreign country with nary a way of going back to the US. At least she has the bloodstone to feed upon instead of mortals and Radu is confirmed to be dead.
  • Dull Surprise: Radu.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Radu. Subverted in Bloodlust when he kills her to prove his love for Michelle.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Radu is regarded as an insane monster even by other evil vampires. Whereas Ash and his vampires maintain a semblance of humanity more like the sophisticated Bela Lugosi type vampires Radu is a horror right out of the Dark Ages.
  • Evil Redhead: Ash from Vampire Journals and Bloodstorm.
  • Expy: Professor Popescu is a pretty obvious one of Van Helsing.
  • Fertile Blood: The titular imps are tiny demon looking homunculi spawned from the blood of the vampire Radu.
  • Fully Absorbed Finale: The Vampire Journals TV series got it's ending in Subspecies IV.
  • Hybrid Monster: Radu is some kind of half-vampire, half-hag thing.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: All of the vampires try to kill the ones who made them. Radu killed his father. Michelle tries to kill him. Ash wishes to kill Radu. Zachary killed his sire and wants to kill Ash for making her.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Radu's apparent motivation for many of his vile actions is to gain Michelle's love.
  • Immediate Sequel: Bloodstone and Bloodlust, which were shot back-to-back. Subverted with, Bloodstorm which was release in 1998.
  • Kick the Dog: In Vampire Journals, Ash beheads Anton for stealing his money, knowing full well that it was for his children.
  • Killed Off for Real: It seems like every movie tries to kill off Radu in a horrible fashion but it didn't stick until the fourth film.
  • Looks Like Orlok: Radu, increasingly so with each movie.
  • Losing Your Head: Radu in part 2.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Radu, oh so very much.
  • MacGuffin: The Blood Stone, even in the sequel named after it.
  • Negative Continuity: The vampires' ability to walk in the sunlight appears only in the first movie. The backstory on how Radu was sired changes a couple of times throughout the films.
  • Neutral Female: Michelle is mostly this in the sequels. She does kill Radu in Bloodstone, but as for the rest of the time...
  • Not Quite Dead: Radu is seemingly killed several times, only to somehow survive. In the last they decapitate him (again) but take his head far away from his body and stick it on a post in the sunlight, which seems to do the trick.
  • Off with His Head!: How Radu bites it in the first and fourth movies.
  • Once an Episode: Radu kills a family member of his and a man helping the main character(s) dies in each of the first three movies.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: In the first movie, the vampires walk in plain sunlight.
    • Non-evil vampires can walk in sunlight such as Stefan, it also why he looks the most human unlike Radu who follows the path of evil and looks deformed. Michelle is sorta half in half. As she drinks blood from humans, she shunned by the sunlight but isn't really evil since its more of a survival thing and half the time is mostly forced on her.
    • Radu himself thanks to his mixed heritage though he is always referred to as a vampire. He can create the miniature subspecies creatures from drops of his blood and return from deaths that would kill regular vampires. At the same time he is vulnerable to all of the conventional vampire weaknesses.
    • They are also capable of traveling faster by taking the form of their own shadow.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Radu is prone to throwing tantrums when things do not go his way and often seeks the approval of his mother or Michelle like a little kid.
  • Rasputinian Death: Radu in Bloodlust. He is shot with silver bullets, burned by the sun, falls off the roof of the castle and onto a tree, where he is impaled. Subverted in that he's resurrected shortly after. Then played straight again when he's finally Killed Off for Real in Bloodstorm.
  • Rise from Your Grave: Mara in the first film. Radu drains her enough to kill and the locals bury her. Later that night Radu soon arrives at her grave and wills her to climb out of it, showcasing her newly vamped form in the process.
  • Slasher Smile: See for yourself.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Stefan in Bloodstone, Radu's mother in Bloodlust, Becky, Mel, Random Victim Girl, Lt. Marin (sort of) & Radu in Bloodstorm.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Bob from Bloodstone is one for the custodian from the first movie.
  • The Starscream: Ash in The Vampire Journals has the dubious distinction of having two subordinates who want him dead Iris (who runs the nightclub) and Cassandra (his oldest vampire childe).
  • Too Dumb to Live: Michelle, Lt. Marin and Radu.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Mara and Lillian in the first movie after they're turned into vampires. They become completely subservient to Radu and help capture Michelle to become his latest servant, even pinning her down on the bed and laughing as he prepares to bite her. Michelle, after she's turned, flip flops on this trope through the series.
  • Trivial Title: The series is named after a small race of creatures who barely factor into the movies. Possibly subverted in that Radu could be considered a subspecies of vampire.
  • Undead Barefooter: Radu claims two of Michelle's friends, Mara and Lillian. Mara is initially buried in clothing before she resurrects but Lillian is dressed in a tattered gown as Radu slowly drains her with no shoes. When he captures Michelle with intent to turn her as well, he dresses all three girls in white gowns with no footwear.
  • The Unfavourite: Radu. By both parents.
  • Undeathly Pallor: All of the vampires, from the second film onward, but especially Radu.
  • Vampires Are Rich: Radu inherits a fortune in treasure upon killing his father and his other fledgling Ash has built another fortune in Budapest over the centuries.
  • Vampire Monarch: Radu's father was the vampire king for the local vampires around Romania and forbid the killing of humans. He banished Radu for refusing to obey this edict. The opening of the first film has the king old and dying with Radu returning to finish him off.
  • Vampires Own Night Clubs: Ash own some sort of night club which is where a lot of his income comes from.
  • Villainous Crush: Radu for Michelle. He seeks her affection, and would even kill his beloved mother to prove his love for her.
  • Villainous Rescue: In Bloodstorm, Radu comes to the hospital where Michelle is being held to save her from Dr. Nicelescu. As usual, his intentions aren't altruistic.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: At the end of the day, Radu is just tired of being lonely and unloved.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/Subspecies