DVD Review: ‘Teeth & Blood’

After diva actress Elizabeth Thornrich is murdered on the film set of the vampire movie “Chapel Blood”, detectives Mike Hung and Sasha Colfax go undercover to try and find the murderer. They are attempting to solve the mystery without interrupting the film’s production, because all the profits will be donated towards opening a synthetic blood bank in the city. Recently, the city’s blood donation supply has hit become critically low and people are dying. Unknown to almost everyone, real vampires are at work in the city and the film set. Detectives Hung and Colfax must crack the toughest mysteries of their lives while fighting to survive in a vampire-infested studio.

‘Teeth and Blood’ is a film with an identity crisis. It attempts to be both a horror film and a murder mystery. Unfortunately it bites off more than its budget or poor writing can chew (bad pun) and doesn’t do either genre very well. It is immediately clear that this is a low budget film, but that in and of itself is not an excuse for all of the missteps here.

As a horror film it just is not very scary. Most of the attempted scares are incredibly obvious. The music for the film just does not fit with the horror genre. It is more fitting for the murder mystery aspects, but just barely. The vampires are basically walking tropes, which wouldn’t be too much of an issue, but from the opening narration it is promised that these are not vampires like viewers are used to. They have changed and become more deadly and dangerous. In the film they just feel like the same stereotypical vampires that have been portrayed in movies for decades. ‘Twilight’ did more to change the vampire mythos.

In terms of the murder mystery portions of the film it feels like a generic procedural crime drama; something like Law and Order: Special Vampire Unit. The dialogue is cheesy and at times just plain bad. At times the plot is entirely carried by boring conversations between the two detectives. Rather than show them doing detecting they talk about what they did. While this is probably due to budgetary constraints surely some of the fat could have been trimmed.

‘Teeth and Blood’ is a vampire movie that takes place on the set of a vampire movie. It is fascinating how a film with a meta-infused plot can be so self-unaware. It tries to hard to be both a horror film and a murder mystery; instead this is just a mess.

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