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Fox Home Entertainment presents
Perfect Creature (2006)

"But there's something very precious. You must take it. Keep it secret. Don't let them touch it."
- Silus (Dougray Scott)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: September 06, 2007

Stars: Dougray Scott, Saffron Burrows
Other Stars: Leo Gregory, Scott Wills, Stuart Wilson
Director: Glenn Standring

MPAA Rating: R for (violence, gore, and language)
Run Time: 01h:27m:46s
Release Date: July 17, 2007
UPC: 024543450030
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A BAA- C

DVD Review

Just when you thought the vampire genre had been done to death, so to speak, comes the latest incarnation, the barely-theatrically-released Perfect Creature. While not exactly boasting a cast full of household names or a marquee director, this unique take on the genre is finally being released to the masses via Fox's DVD. It's a struggle, at times, to stay interested in the proceedings, but there's plenty here to ensure vampire lovers everywhere will cherish the opportunity to experience another adventure in blood-sucking.

In 1960s Nuovo Zelandia, a vampiric group known as The Brotherhood coexists with humans. With influenza running rampant, an evil Brotherhood member named Edgar (Leo Gregory) sees this as an opportunity to terrorize the "lesser species." His brother, Silus (Dougray Scott) is sent to track Edgar down at any cost. Silus finds human help in a tough cop named Lilly (Saffron Burrows), who gets much to close to her new vampiric partner. With the overall human/vampire harmony threatened, it's up to Silus and Lilly to find Edgar, and uncover the secrets of his terrorist motives.

This is simply one of the strangest tacklings of a vampire film I've seen, but it's gripping and gorgeous to look at. We're overlooking an alternate universe where vampirism, or "The Brotherhood" is a common element, but this could be any post-apocalyptic landscape. It's such confusion in setting that makes things far more complicated than they need to be. Why not just play up the fantastical nature of the story and set things in modern day New York, or Great Britain? Putting the setting in a fictional place and time is extremely superfluous in this case.

The big grabber, story wise, is the coexistence of the humans and vampires in Nuovo Zelandia. Such a relationship has been flirted with in past genre efforts, but it's fully realized and explored here. Sure, metaphors to our modern world abound with such themes, but they're really only there if you want them to be. Kudos to director Glenn Standring for keeping such possibly disastrous overtones at bay and focusing on crafting a truly interesting film.

A bit of mysticism is par for the course for any blood-sucking film, but there's far too much theological mumbo jumbo getting in the way of the gory action. While not as preachy and self-righteous as those Christian-produced flicks that have been popping up recently, the focus on "The Brotherhood" could have been shortened a bit. Performance-wise, the report is generally good, with Scott holding his own in a rare "starring" role, and Burrows playing the tough girl she's been mastering for the last few years. Leo Gregory is most impressive as Edgar, in a key villain role that could have easily been overdone.

These characters are never entirely "fleshed out" as much as they could have been, but they are appealing enough to stay interesting. That, combined with Leon Narby's (Whale Rider) cinematography, and some hyper-kinetic action sequences, make this well worthwhile. It might remind some of cult hit Dark City, in many aspects, including the potential for a similar path to success. Being unique is a huge thing for any film to pull off these days, and that alone should compel even the most discriminating movie buff to give this thriller a chance.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: A gorgeous 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation is offered, excelling in nearly every area. The dark, dingy look is captured perfectly in this transfer, with sharp, detailed images dominating the screen. The color palette is intentionally drab, but there are accurate flesh tones and no bleeding throughout. Grain and dirt are kept to a minimum, but we've come to expect that from such new films on DVD.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Spanishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is also top-notch, with active surrounds making for an enveloping experience, especially during the action sequences. There's a nice bass presence as well, but neither that, nor the music, gets in the way of the crisp, clear dialogue.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, French with remote access
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring Night Watch, Wrong Turn 2
2 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Keep Case
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The extras include a pair of trailers for other Fox releases, as well as a couple of featurettes. The first, The Making of Perfect Creature is 11 minutes long, and is a typical blend of interviews, footage from the film, and a look on-the-set.

Designing the Perfect Creature runs nearly nine minutes and centers on the themes and overall look of the film via interviews with production designer Phil Ivey, along with other key crew members.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

Don't bother with garlic, crucifixes, or wooden stakes; the vampires in Perfect Creature walk among the humans in this engaging horror/fantasy. Never given a chance at theaters, Fox's DVD grants it such a thing thanks to excellent audio and video presentations, and a couple of extras that shed some light on the making of the movie.

 


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