I was in a bit of a Craig Ferguson phase recently. I have watched his show for a couple of years now, culminating most recently with my list of Late Night TV Hosts. I also read his novel and quite liked it, and after more than one of his guests praised his autobiography I tracked that down too.
In the entertaining story that is Ferguson’s life he mainly describes the events that lead up to his finding fame – in fact the two decades since the Drew Carey announced him to the world account for maybe a quarter of the book. But it is in this quarter that Ferguson ever so briefly describes his two favourite films.
The first is Saving Grace, a warm and fuzzy tale about a more mature woman going to desperate and illicit lengths in order to save her home, and the second was this film.
Now having seen Modern Vampires AKA Revenant, I wish Craig’s book had been just a little briefer and removed any mention of this laughless dirge.
Featuring Ferguson in a peripheral role, Revenant is chock full of names that you have heard of, but no-one that you care about. Casper Van Dien, Kim Cattrall and Ferguson are among a bunch of supposedly edgy and kooky new era vampires who have encamped among the Los Angeles population, where rocking capes and lengthy fangs are mere quirks in a place in a city that requires a bit more of an effort to stand out.
In fact vampirism seems quite cool and cliquey – all the kids are doing it – and clubs are set up catering to the blood-lusting niche market.
When Dallas (Van Dien) returns after a lengthy absence to find he is still not welcome in L.A. he finds temporary shelter with Richard (Ferguson) and Ulrika (Cattrall), two vampires who are smack dab on the cutting edge of the scene. Dallas locates a young woman named Nico who has been laying waste to the human population and is known in the media as the Hollywood Slasher, and was once Dallas’ special girl…
Look it doesn’t help one bit that Dallas and Nico are portrayed by awful actors who are both equally personality-free, but this is a film with a plot that goes absolutely nowhere, and seems to take forever in doing it despite the 90 minute running time.
And it’s not like they don’t try to maintain the viewer’s interest, there is all the nudity, violence, overacting and profanity that you can handle. But when a film is so lifeless, laughless, pointless and interest free as this you can’t help but wonder why they bothered.
Modern Vampires AKA Revenant comes across as a vanity project, it delights in just how gosh darn leftfield this all is, while in reality is a melange of Murder She Wrote, Rocky Horror and Moonlighting, without any of the positive qualities of the three.
Ferguson plays Richard as Mr Wick with fangs, Cattrall is her usual bland self and overacts to buggery as the Eastern European Ulrika, and Rod Steiger bumbles about with a group of black gang members in allegedly hilarious fashion.
In reality there is nothing more to say, this started bad and got worse. There’s a reason Ferguson stopped acting and decided to spend evenings talking crap with a robot skeleton.
Final Rating – 5 / 10. A ‘Revenant’ refers to a re-animated corpse that returns from the grave to terrorise the living. That about sums up this film nicely, it is DOA, reeks to high heaven and sure made my night terrifying.