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The Caretakers (2014) Review

The Caretakers PosterThe Caretakers (2014)

Director: Steve Hudgins

Starring: Nick Faust, Michael Coon, Brittney Saylor, April Jennings, Joe Estevez

“Come on, let me show you how to liquefy a body.”

Hmmmm… this one takes a minute to digest.

Catherine (Jennings) the vampire has a network of lackeys (mostly fat guys) who kidnap women for her to feed on. She is what the film calls a pure-line vampire in that she was born, and it’s impossible to turn people into vampires. But she can’t just feed off of humans directly either. She injects the kidnapped women with a venom through her fangs and they are changed. Not into vampires, but into a sort of pseudo vamp that she can feed off.

One of the women, Rachel (Saylor) is “rescued” by her creepy stalker Jimmy (Coon) when he sees her get kidnapped (while following her). Now they are running around trying to get her blood, but the longer she’s running around the more savage she becomes. AND she can only drink blood that’s the same type as her own, which is type O, but she drinks B (I don’t know how this works!)?? Meanwhile, the main vampire Catherine’s caretaker Jack (Faust) is an old man and she’s making him train his replacements which is a father and daughter team. MEANWHILE the father of the main kidnapped girl who escaped has managed to find a PI named Parker played by a poorly aging Joe Estevez who just happen to know a couple of vampire hunters. One of the vampire hunters is a pasty woman who looks supernatural (due to make-up and contact lenses) but it turns out she’s just a knife wielding albino. All three plots come together at the end, believe it or not (I was as surprised as anyone)!

The Caretakers 1So, is The Caretakers good? Sweet floral wallpaper that has burned itself into my brain, NO. But also yes. The production values are terrible, the acting is all over the place. The director and producer are both actors in their own movie (and they aren’t that good) and the credits are full of the same last names that can only mean their family was cheaper to hire than real actors. BUT (there are going to be a lot them in this review) some of the actors were okay. Brittney Saylor for one did a good job at turning into a feral vampire. Faust was tolerable. The tween girl and apprentice caretaker played by Lucy Turner is also pretty good. Though her main job is to look haunted during the entire film. On the lower end of the scale is Michael Coon who is prone to bursts of over acting. And apprentice Caretaker “dad” Kenneth R. Root is wooden. A lot of scenes are stilted, there is a lot of infodumping.

BUT The Caretakers has good ideas. A good concept, a happy ending for the vampire which I really appreciated. Good worldbuilding, lots of imagination, and (some) not terrible writing. And well, an overall je ne sais quoi that is somehow SLIGHTLY better than the sum of its poor production values. Or not. A lot is going to depend on the viewers ability to make it past the first fifteen to twenty minutes. Who am I kidding, if I hadn’t had to watch it I would have shut it off immediately. But if you can settle in it DOES get better. No, not the sound recording, unfortunately, it’s terrible and in some places downright unintelligible. But gosh darn it, it actually made me want to write the novelization.

The Caretakers 2The big question is “Would I recommend this movie”. The answer is that I’m not sure I could, in all good conscience tell people to watch it. It’s kind of terrible. But kind of not. If somehow, you can, in the theater of your mind, replace everything happening on screen with a high budget version, then yes, watch it. If you aren’t a fan of low budget vampire films (and low budget productions in general) then don’t. Seriously. Don’t. You will never forget the floral wallpaper.

Kudos for: Madness inducing wallpaper.

Lesson learned: Never put up wallpaper.

4/10

Che Gilson

About Che Gilson

Che Gilson is a long time horror fan having been converted early by the Hammer vampire films that used to air on local TV stations after Saturday morning cartoons ended. Fed on a regular diet of horror novels she still loves a good scare. She is the author of several comic books, the urban fantasy novella "Carmine Rojas: Dog Fight" and the upcoming "Tea Times Three". While she can't seem to actually write a horror novel she still watches copious amounts of horror movies. She blogs on TV and writing at https://chegilson.wordpress.com/ Twitter: @CheGilson
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