A dystopian world where vampires have taken over and the remaining humans are hunted down and farmed like animals seems like the perfect recipe for a fangtastic blockbuster, but sadly the Spierig brothers’ direction got lost in the gore, leaving just a bloody, and at times laughable, mess in its wake.
As a vampire flick fan I have been waiting with baited breath for the arrival of Daybreakers to our cinema screens. The film, which is directed and written by twin brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, began great and remained that way to some point in the middle until it just went a little crazy, losing focus and getting much too caught up in the gore - when in doubt tear off more limbs. It’s a real pity because the initial idea behind the film is excellent and very much like 28 Days Later but with vampires. Should have been a success right? Well, it wasn’t.
The film is set 10 years in the future and the world has suffered from an outbreak of a plague which has turned the vast majority of the population into vampires. However, those affected have adapted very well, praising their extended lifespans, and forging a new social class. However, a bite beneath the surface of this seemingly perfect world reveals that uninfected human blood is becoming scarce, the supply of “farmed” humans is dwindling, and starvation of the vampiric masses results in a rather undesirable tranformation. Biotech researcher Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke ) struggles to produce a synthesised substitute for human blood, one that won’t make a recipient explode, that is.
Having never really adjusted to his vampiric lifestyle Dalton, who survives on pigs’ blood, becomes increasingly appalled by his company’s lucrative business of imprisoning uninfected humans in vast blood farms. He soon encounters a small team of on-the-run humans who seek his help to produce a cure discovered literally by accident by one-time vampire and now mercenary Lionel ‘Elvis’ Cormac (William Dafoe ).
Apart from one or two cringy one-liners from Dafoe ( I blame it on the script ) the film wasn’t doing too badly up until the middle. Sam Neill’s protrayal of the evil blood company boss Charles Bromley was faultless and impressive. Where did it go wrong? Well, the directors themselves got a bit too blood thirsty allowing the movie to descend into B-movie gore scenes which produced fits of giggles from the audience.