Subspecies (1991)

subspecies poster 1991 movie vampires full moon entertainment
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 6/10

Better looking than some Full Moon movies

Cheap, cliche, bad acting

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Subspecies

Studio:   Full Moon Entertainment

Genre(s):   Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):   August 8, 1991

MPAA Rating:   R

subspecies cast michelle mcbride irna movila laura mae tate

We are going to have the best “What I Did on My Summer Vacation”

Students Mara (Irina Movila), Lillian (Michelle McBride), and Michelle (Laura Mae Tate) have travelled to Romania to study local folklore for their thesis.  When they encounter a vampire named Radu (Anders Hove) at Castle Vladislas, the three women are marked for death.  Their only hope could be a man named Stefan (Michael Watson) who shares a unique bond to Radu.  Night is coming and the horror is just beginning!

Directed by Ted Nicolaou, Subspecies is a low-budget direct-to-video vampire movie.  The horror film was released by Full Moon Entertainment and started another franchise.

I was a “Full Moon Fanatic” in the mid-’90s.  In college, the local video store always picked up the Full Moon Movies and (although they were bad), there were always new movies to watch.  With Puppet Master leading the charge of their series, Subspecies almost came in second (and has some of the most sequels).

subspecies vampire radu o face anders hove

This my blood-sucking “O” face

The movie is the Full Moon take on vampires and like other movies in Full Moon’s line, they feel pretty derivative of other vampire movies.  The movie goes for cheap gore and scares (the scares are minimal…they can’t even get the jumps right) and the movie has essentially a vampire family feud.  You have the “hunk” half-human vampire Stefan in love with Michelle while battling his Nosferatu-esque brother Radu over a bloodstone that provides endless food.  This would make a bit more sense if Radu was a good vampire that cared about drinking blood, but since Radu doesn’t seem to care, I guess he wants the bloodstone because he feels it belongs to him.

Like the other Full Moon movies, the acting is pretty low quality.  The acting of the cast falls somewhere between a soap opera and a softcore porn.  The scene stealer is Anders Hove as the freaky vampire Radu.  He comes off as cross between Brad Dourif and Tommy Wisseau of The Room.  There is a brief cameo by cult horror star Angus Scrimm (aka Rory Guy aka The Tall Man of Phantasm).  The movie touts his appearance, but it lasts all of five minutes.

subspecies demons claymation vampire movie

Hey…can you show us the way to The Gate? We missed our portal to Hell

The movie looks slightly better than other Full Moon movies, but it still is cheap.  The costume design for Radu is decent (his goofy fingers just look like rubber).  They do some animated shadow stuff with his powers and the movie also features a lot of stop-motion animation with little demons (grown from Radu’s severed fingers)…they pretty much look like ripoffs of the imps from The Gate.

Despite its cheapness and its derivative nature, Subspecies was one of the better Full Moon movies.  That isn’t a ringing endorsement, but it isn’t as much of a time-killer as some of the other films.  If you’re looking for real quality horror, don’t look at Full Moon, but if you are looking for some ’90s horror fun, dig in!  Subspecies is followed by Bloodstone:  Subspecies II in 1993.

Related Links:

Bloodstone:  Subspecies II (1993)

Bloodlust:  Subspecies III (1994)

Subspecies:  The Awakening (1998)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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