Soooo, are you ready for a weird, flamboyant Brazilian vampire flick that doesn’t make a lick of sense?? Well git ready for Tropical Vampire, AKA Vampiro 40º, directed by a madman named Marcelo Santiago, who previously did some wackadoodle tv stuff for wackadoodle Brazilian television, and such moovies as Carnal Utopia (2006), Barretão (2019), and Lula, the Son of Brazil (2009). I dunno cow weird those udder flicks are, but this one was both strange and enjoyable. This episode the MooCow inflicted this odd vampire flick on Jonathan Moody AND Sarah Adkins, both of which were somewhat puzzled.
If you were to mix in Sin City with Underworld, and mix in a little modern trashy neon-soaked dystopian setting, and a dash of Abel Ferrera’s Addiction, well…you might get a headache, but you might also get at least a whiff of what this moovie was aiming for. Vlak, who has a tracking chip implanted in his fangs, and his buddy/sidekick Michele, sell vampire drugs to non-vampires, a weird powder, for the Limbo Corporation – as you do – until he gets tired of it and decides to go his own way, which naturally sett he LIMBOMAN after him. Michele wants to keep on keepin’ on, so she teams up with Draco, a shady, scuzzy vamp who hates Vlak, but then Draco meets Daphne, a psychotic nearly naked vamp who likes to kill her victims with a chainsaw. Then everyone starts looking for Vlak, who has been abducted by Wang Su, a Chinese drug dealer who runs the cyberpunky underworld in Rio, and then everyone starts to have simulated sex with everyone else, and I dunno everything starts to whiz round and round after a while…
Ok, if the plot isn’t exactly easy to figure out, at least the visuals are pretty decent, right? Welllll…sort of? There are some really great visual scenes, and the look and feel of the dystopian modern Rio de Janeiro is pretty impressive, but then there are some weird masks that are never explained, and some pretty weak ass FX with weapons, like right out of a comic book, and the whole thing becomes sort of muddled, as if your brain is lost in translation. All of that is mixed in, like Sin City, with comic book stills and some animations. Between the over the top weird visuals, the wayyyy-too-much-plot, the obviously fake cardboard cut-out weapons, the overly saturated color scheme, and the head pounding moosic mix my poor cow brain was lost…
Fausto Fawcett plays Vlak, and he is the primary writer too. Looks like he’s been involved in moore than a couple Marcelo Santiago projects, as has moost of the udder actors, especially Otto Jr, who plays Draco; not only is he a veteran of Santiago productions and Brazilian TV in general, but his character Draco has appeared in some earlier productions. Clearly some moolah was spent on sets and costumes, and mooch of the production level is not only sound but very stylish and quite hip – but you just gots to ask WHY about some of the choices, like the fake weapons – maybe there is some kind of law in Rio about using plastic ones that look real? Inquiring cows wanna KNOW!
Well, the votes are in, and overall the Indie Film Cafe folks were just kind of stunned with this one. Moody gave it a 9, Ms. Sarah went with an 8, and the MooCow went right down the middle with an 8.5, giving Tropical Vampire a Total Stink Score of 25.5, which is a Stinky Average of 8.5. That puts this weird film on the Ladder of Stink tied with From Hell it Came.
Check out the trailer on VIMEO. There is a free version on Youtube, but I think it lacks boobage, you have to pay for that on the channel. It is also currently on Tubi, so check it out! You can also stream it on Prime. But so far this cow has not been able to find a source for either DVD or blu ray, nor is there any swag for the flick out there, at least not for the mooment. It was reviewed over at Movies and Mania, as well as a few bloggers HERE and HERE, but there is not mooch out there on this flick. It is also covered on HorrorCultFilms.com.