Sometimes I ask myself, "Self, why do you keep watching terrible movies on Amazon Prime?" and the answer is that sometimes I stumble onto a cult-classic gem like SUNDOWN: THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT.

It has David Carradine (star of many @/RiffTrax stinkers) and BRUCE CAMPBELL.
Here's the description and I'll note that it manages to already misspell a major character's name (Mardulak):

"Count Margulak, the leader of the vampires, has ended their tradition of human bloodletting and has placed his followers on a diet of synthetic, bottled blood. But-
-when a new [editor's note: HUMAN] family moves into the [editor's note: VAMPIRE] town, the [editor's note: LOCALS] natives start to crave the real thing."

Yes, I am having to copy-edit their film description.
There's an opening scroll ("More reading than Star Wars," Kissmate notes.) in which we learn that "The Powerful and Righteous Count Mardulak" has led the last remaining vampires into hiding so they can no longer be hunted.
#AnaWatches Hoping to evolve and coexist in harmony with humans, these vampires are "armed with sunblock, UVA/B protected glass, and nourished with fake blood from a synthesizing plant." That's plant-as-in-factory, not a TREE-plant, which confused me for a while.
#AnaWatches Slight problem: the factory plant has developed a problem and only one human can save them all from losing their synthesized fake blood.
#AnaWatches There's a title drop, and here's where we knew we were in for a good time: WESTERN MOVIE MUSIC, triumphal and familiar and utterly out of place for a *vampire* movie.
#AnaWatches We start with a middle class family composed of one Man-Doctor, one Woman-Mom, and two young daughters. They are readying for a road trip to somewhere called Purgatory.
#AnaWatches Smash cut to three elderly men in overalls, sunglasses, and sun hats sitting in a rocking chair together under a sun-roof. They're watching a man in a jeep speed towards their gas station while DOING COCAINE as he drives. As one does.
#AnaWatches One of the old men, Emmet-fucking-Walsh who you probably know without recognizing the name, grumpily agrees that it's his turn to service today's customer, just as soon as he gets his sunblock. While inside the decrepit gas station, he sets off a secret alarm.
#AnaWatches We cut to various scenes of people--folks in a science lab, people in a diner, an elderly couple in rocking chairs--seeing and hearing the alarm go off and looking alarmed and unsettled.
#AnaWatches Mort (Emmet Walsh) heads out with sunblock and a hat to pour gas for the stranger. The stranger verbally abuses him for awhile before Mort loses his temper and decapitates him with a wave of his hand--before checking whether his name is "David Harrison" (it's not).
#AnaWatches Two nearby human campers, and apparently friends of our cocaine-using deceased, witnessed the decapitation from afar while looking through their camping binoculars. Oops.
#AnaWatches Mort drives into town to report the killing and beg for mercy from the powers that be. We see people walking in a small desert town with umbrellas. "False alarm! False alarm!" Mort calls to everyone as he drives by.
#AnaWatches People wave to him and go back inside, putting their umbrellas away. Mort pulls into a factory ("Hemotechnics") where some scientists with delightful French accents and fancy clothes from a variety of eras struggle with malfunctioning equipment.
#AnaWatches "Merde!" one of them says, looking distraught. "Relax boys," says a nearby slicked-back jackass. "David Harrison is on his way."
#AnaWatches Our human family drives through the desert towards Purgatory. We get the detail that Mom-Wife's ex-lover works at the factory and she's not looking forward to seeing him again because he was violent and possessive.
#AnaWatches Mort fiddles with his tie before seeing "Jefferson", the man in charge of all "disciplinary problems". Mort's first sheepish words: "The good news is, it WASN'T Dave Harrison." (My heart. This feels very me.)
#AnaWatches CAN I JUST SAY, as a student of narrative pacing, that this is all surprisingly well done? It's WEIRD to have a whole town of people repeating "Dave Harrison" like he's the second coming of Jesus. Tension and intrigue are building. I love it.
#AnaWatches The human campers watch 2 of the elderly men clean up the corpse Mort left behind and stress that "no one will believe us! *I* don't believe this!" but figure the best thing to do is hike to the nearby town and find a police officer.
#AnaWatches In the cafeteria, the lab scientists drink from two-prong straws (like drinking from a human's neck!) and complain about the taste of the synthetic blood. Only the Englishman doesn't mind the taste, and the French scorn him for it. I LOVE their various "era" clothes.
#AnaWatches The short version is that they can produce the fake blood in small quantities, but any time they attempt mass production the machines shut down.
#AnaWatches The human family (Mom, Dad, and 2 girls) pull up to the gas station and ask for directions to Purgatory. "Would YOU be David Harrison?" one of the men ask while he hides a decapitated head behind his back. Dave is surprised but affirms he is. "Purgatory is that way."
#AnaWatches Dave-and-family pull into Purgatory and meet the sheriff and only law enforcement in this Western movie: a Rastafarian Black man. "Ah, you must be the Harrisons!" Dave-and-family are puzzled. "Did, uh, we leave our nametags on?" he jokes.
#AnaWatches The Sheriff has a smooth answer for that: it's a small town, everyone knows everyone, and the plant (which David is here to fix) is critical to the town economy. Well done!
#AnaWatches The Harrisons walk into the nearby General Store, where an elderly German couple cover their eyes at the opening door. They fawn over the children and I love them; they mention they have outlived their own children. (BECAUSE THEY ARE VAMPIRES.)
#AnaWatches "Juliet and Gwendolyn! Such names! Your parents must be very romantic!"

"They're very horny!" (The kids are, for once, written like actual kids because they will absolutely pull this shit on you.)
#AnaWatches Otto, who seems to struggle a little with staying in the present, explains that the town used to be a copper mine until the veins dried up and everyone left. "Jozek Mardulak" moved in and bought the whole town as an industry investment.
#AnaWatches

Otto: "Now it's a whole town for-"

Anna, warningly: "Otto."

Otto: "Blood-makers, Anna."

(Kissmate notes that their names are both palindromes.)
#AnaWatches Dave agrees that blood-making is a noble task much needed in the world of medicine, and Mom breaks in to ask if they carry garlic. "Garlic!? Where!?" Otto panics.
#AnaWatches As the Harrisons drive merrily away, the store keepers notice the 2 human campers walking into town. Otto gripes that the gas station attendants are *supposed* to sound the alarm when this happens! Anna says she'll call the cafe to warn them that humans are coming.
#AnaWatches In the town cafe, customers quietly stare at undercooked hamburgers and moldy fries. "I can't look at that food any longer!" one complains. "Oh boo-hoo," snaps the chef. "I have to COOK it."
#AnaWatches A pretty blond named Sandy picks up the phone and reports (from Anna) that more people just came into town and everyone needs to sit back down and behave.
#AnaWatches The two human campers see a police cruiser taking Mort to jail (as a "time-out" for killing) and flag the Sheriff to stop. The humans identify themselves as witnesses and notice that the Sheriff and Mort seem a little, uh, too friendly.
#AnaWatches When Sheriff asks whether anyone knows the two campers are in this area, the humans *immediately* wisen up (BLESS THEM) and offer to leave since their testimony isn't needed anymore, haha, bye! The Sheriff locks them up until they decide what to do with the humans.
#AnaWatches I KNOW THIS SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF PLOT THREADS, BUT I SWEAR THEY ALL COME TOGETHER SOMEHOW.
#AnaWatches In the desert, late at night, BRUCE CAMPBELL drives a car in a plaid jacket and bow tie. His car breaks down and he starts walking.
#AnaWatches [TW: Sexual Assault Situation] Jackass from the factory, who we will later learn is Mom's possessive ex-lover, flies into her room as a bat. We briefly see him naked with a cock-sock, then he turns into a bat again.
#AnaWatches [TW: Sexual Assault Situation] With VERY BAD CLAYMATION the bat chases Mom into bed and crawls menacingly around on her covers. The daughters interrupt and the youngest--who is psychic in confusing ways--sees the bat's true Man-Form. The bat flies away.
#AnaWatches In another seemingly random scene, Jefferson--second in command of the town after Mardulak--recruits two rave-goers to become vampires in his secret army. He teaches them vampire rules: "[As for crosses], I don't recommend joining the church."
#AnaWatches In the heat of morning, Bruce Campbell drags himself tiredly into the gas station. He's told firmly that there is no tow truck, no phone he can use, and the town of Purgatory doesn't exist. Oh, he has an old map? The town must've gone down in "the earthquake".
#AnaWatches Bruce walks into the Purgatory diner and his eyes meet Sandy's. Sparks fly, tiny cupids shoot their bows probably. Sandy shyly runs to get him coffee. Everyone else in the diner just *stares* silently at him.
#AnaWatches Stealthily, Bruce asks Sandy if she's seen a man in an ancient pocket-portrait he keeps. Sandy gasps, "Count Mardulak!" before writing a note on his check to meet her outside of town at noon.
#AnaWatches Dave goes to the plant and he and Mom's ex-lover (Shane) snipe at each other. Dave finds that the mass production is breaking down because Shane fucked up the machine assembly. Panicking under the gazes of the others, Shane picks a distracting fistfight with Dave.
#AnaWatches Sandy brings cheeseburgers and "protein drink" to the jail. Mort spills the vampire beans to the campers, seeing that there's no point in hiding things anymore: "All we can do is kill them or convert them."
#AnaWatches The two human girls go exploring through a secret passage and waken a sleepy Count Mardulak from his coffin. It's DAVID CARRADINE. He introduces himself and has a reasonable explanation for what the girls "think they saw" and everyone is happy and satisfied.
#AnaWatches Outside of Purgatory, Sandy meets Bruce who introduces himself as "Robert Van Hel- Val Hel. That's all." *delighted screaming*
#AnaWatches Sandy just wants to flirt with Bruce, who is clearly into her but really wants information on Mardulak. He's about to kiss her anyway when he sees she has no reflection in the car chassis. He has her on her back and a stake in position in SECONDS.
#AnaWatches Sandy swears she wasn't going to bite him, she's just really into him, and she'll take him to Mardulak. He restrains her and takes her to go investigate a Sheriff siren nearby.
#AnaWatches The Sheriff has caught Jackass Shane smuggling weird crates into Purgatory. We establish that older vampires are stronger and that Shane--a new addition to Purgatory--has no chance. Until he pulls out a gun with wooden bullets and kills our only Black character. :(
#AnaWatches Jefferson (second in command) and Jackass Shane, it seems, are planning a revolution against Mardulak. They have an army of young vampires armed with new wooden bullets.
#AnaWatches Outside the jail, hungry vampires gather and form a burgeoning mob ready to eat the 2 campers. The Harrison girls ride by on their kiddie bikes. "Hi!" they call. "Hi!!" calls the crowd back. It's cute.
#AnaWatches Mardulak drives up and stops the mob, reminding them of how miserable they were back when they were murdering farmers for food. I love that OF COURSE David Carradine signed up to be Vampire Jesus.
#AnaWatches Sandy takes Bruce to Mardulak's mansion and tells him he's cute. He's clearly into her but mutters to himself that it would "never work" with a vampire. They wait until nightfall for Mardulak to return home so Bruce can ambush him.
#AnaWatches Bruce plans to jump down through the skylight to ambush Mardulak. He preps with his crosses and Sandy wails until the cross is tucked under his shirt. She keeps trying to explain that Mardulak is a good man and not a human-eater, but Bruce doesn't believe her.
#AnaWatches Mardulak and the Harrisons gather at his home (to hear the littlest girl's prophetic dreams, which influence nothing). Bruce falls through the ceiling and reveals himself as VAN HELSING. Mardulak looks tired. "That sweet, misguided idiot was your great-grandfather?"
#AnaWatches Bruce threatens to stake Mardulak and Sandy drops through to disarm him and beg for his life. Mardulak is tickled to see she's in puppy love. "A vampire in love with a human! Better integration than I could possibly dream!"
#AnaWatches The Harrisons, believing none of this, decide to cheerfully leave town. Mardulak is happy to let them, certain they believed none of it. Bruce is another matter, but Sandy pleads to turn him. Bruce appears to, umm, enthusiastically *enjoy* the experience. Cough.
#AnaWatches Back at the gas station lookout, Jefferson's vampire army GALLOPS THROUGH ON HORSES to ominous Western music, shooting the 2 remaining lookouts. My heart. (Mort is still in prison chilling his heels.)
#AnaWatches The Harrisons' exit from town is hampered by the fact that a WALL OF HORSES are blocking the town entrance/exit, each one ridden by a gun-toting vampire. Jackass Shane has announced that he wants Wife-Mom as his bounty.
#AnaWatches Back in prison, Mort has changed the two campers into vampires because shit is going down and they'd die otherwise. ("What am I gonna tell my mother?" the woman wails.) They all go out to confront the Vampire Army.
#AnaWatches Bruce wakes up screaming because the cross under his clothes is burning him and he has to remove it. Sandy welcomes him to the other side while Mardulak and the others break out crossbows for the war happening outside.
#AnaWatches A showdown at the factory ends with most of the cast dead but at least the French scientists get some good moments in before their deaths.
#AnaWatches Mardulak rides up in his car with reinforcements to the BIG MAN IN TOWN WESTERN MUSIC. The Harrisons get separated from Mardulak and his people. Wife ends up in their rental home with Jackass Shane hot on her heels.
#AnaWatches [TW: Sexual Assault Situation] Shane corners Wife and explains how all this was his Plan: the factory tried to hire David but David was too busy so he passed the job to Shane, his old friend. Shane ends up vampire'd when he figured out what was going on.
#AnaWatches [TW: Sexual Assault Situation] Shane then sabotaged the plant on purpose to get David and Wife out here so he can kill David during Jefferson's "revolution" and turn Wife into his eternal vampire bride. Wife is NOT interested and screams for help.
#AnaWatches David arrives in time to save Wife with a combination of wooden bullets and holy water. Goodbye, Jackass Shane!
#AnaWatches The war in town is going very badly. Jefferson has taken Sandy hostage and Mardulak surrenders (it's been mentioned he's very fond of her). Mardulak then goads Jefferson into a one-on-one dual to see who is the strongest when they're "the same age".
#AnaWatches Jefferson loses to Mardulak and asks how this can be. Bruce has previously made references to Mardulak's "real name" which you may have noticed is sorta-not-quite an anagram for Dracula. THE OLDEST AND MOST FAMOUS OF THEM ALL.
#AnaWatches Dracula had gotten a little too famous so he took on this newer, younger identity you see. Jefferson falters but doesn't die and things look grim!
#AnaWatches Yet all is not lost! David breaks up a LOT of furniture and manages to engineer a massive giant roof cross. But what's this?? Mardulak and his followers are NOT burned by the cross! God has forgiven them, since they're trying not to eat humans now.
#AnaWatches Because OF COURSE David Carradine would play a Dracula who is so cool that God himself can't help but forgive him. (One who does a Western quickdraw gun battle and calls his opponent "Pilgrim" because Jefferson was an *actual* pilgrim.)
#AnaWatches The Harrisons get to go home in a limo. Bruce is a happy vampire who laughs at "vein/vain" jokes. Sandy adores him while the others clearly consider him an acquired taste. (SEE WHAT I DID THERE? TASTE? BECAUSE THEY DRINK BLOOD?)
#AnaWatches And so ends "Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat" and the only vampire western I've ever seen. It was an amazing experience and I only wish for RiffTrax to be able to acquire it.
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More from @AnaMardoll

4 May
I'm sick today, I don't know why, it might be a medication reaction??, so it's time for a terrible Amazon Prime movie.
SANTA JAWS: "A young aspiring comic book artist is gifted a mysterious pen that brings his drawing to life. Now his creation Santa Jaws begins to devour his family and they must battle for survival against this creature." As one does.
We open with an evil Santa man threatening a pretty girl until her boyfriend saves her by kicking Santa into the water to be devoured by sharks. A shark fin surfaces while menacingly wearing a Santa hat.
Read 40 tweets
3 May
"We can't find workers for fast food" is such a fascinating rightwing wail because for DECADES food workers have been used as why we mustn't raise the minimum wage because Only Teenagers Work Those Jobs, And Only For Spending Cash.

Welp the teenagers are home bc it's a pandemic.
Oh, you want adults to work those jobs and support their families? Better offer higher wages and benefits!
"No but they're staying home collecting unemployment!!"

Good. Very industrial of those teenagers to save for college like that.

"No but they aren't ACTUAL teenagers!"

*shock and awe* My god, if adults are working these jobs, we need to pay a living wage and benefits!!
Read 5 tweets
3 May
Trans PSA: There are nonbinary men and nonbinary women and I know that may sound oxymoronic (I fell into that trap once too, and I'll explain deeper in) but it's true and they're valid identities!
When I learned the term, I hyperfocused on the words and was confused how someone can be "nonbinary [binary option]".

But the meaning, at least as I use it for myself, is "I'm nonbinary and 'man' is really close to what I am and it's a word people understand, so here we are!"
(I'm sure there are other people who use the term differently and I certainly don't want to speak over them.)

There are other words that I use for myself too--genderqueer, demiboy, etc--but I'm nonbinary and I'm a trans man, so "nonbinary man" feels like a pretty good fit to me!
Read 5 tweets
3 May
The number of people traumatized by PhysEd/Gym in school really should prompt investigation in to how we're teaching kids Sports and Exercise in ways that practically guarantee they will hate both.
Related: The number of people traumatized by school IN GENERAL should prompt etc.
I am too goddamn old to still be having nightmares about failing to drop a class I haven't attended all semester and now it's too late and the test is in two days.
Read 4 tweets
2 May
~a phenomena that keeps happening~

Enby people: This thread is enby-phobic.

Non-enby people: No, you just don't understand the nuances of trans theory and what OP is saying.

Enby people: Here are replies and side-threads in which OP mocks enby people.

Non-enby people: Oh.
Most recently I saw a thread defending that an OP wasn't enby-phobic and when people brought receipts the response was "well, I'm not a fan of them saying THAT" but keeping the rest of the defense up. Which...sigh.
Inasmuch as we understand that trans people are more sensitive to transphobic dogwhistles than cis people are, can we agree that nonbinary people are more sensitive to nonbinary-phobic dogwhistles than non-nonbinary people are?
Read 17 tweets
1 May
AFAB and AMAB are useful terms for trans community discussion and I am incredibly mad that anti-nonbinary bigots have tried to seize and weaponize the terms.
Anti-nonbinary bigots have been using the terms to stealthily misgender nonbinary people by bringing up the nonbinary person's assigned gender at birth in contexts where it does not matter and need not be disclosed to everyone.
And/or to make sweeping statements about groups of people whose only commonality is their assigned gender at birth--those sweeping statements are invariably wrong and reek of harmful stereotypes.
Read 5 tweets

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