Subspecies is the first in a four part movie series involving Radu, the baddest vampire in town. True, this is a Full Moon production, which equals cheesy horror, but it is definately cheesy horror in its very best form.
Radu is a vampire of the old school, he doesn't want to fit in with the living or find true love or apologize for what he is; he is a vampire and seems to be pretty taken with himself on that level. Our first introduction to Radu is when he kills his father in order to take possession of the Bloodstone, a vampire family heirloom that allows them to survive a long time without a fresh "meal", and gives them power by drinking from it.
Here also we meet the "subspecies", little creatures (make from claymation, not FX) that Radu creates by breaking off his own fingers. They become his tiny minions and assist him in taking the Bloodstone.
Meanwhile, three college girls arrive in Transylvania, and stay together at an old monastery nearby the broken remains of Radu's castle home. Also staying at the monastery is Radu's long estranged brother, Stefan. Radu and Stefan have no love for each other, though both seem to be attracted to the lovely Michele.
Girls get bit and girls scream, and there is a silly "Festival of the Dead" where everybody puts on paper-mache masks, a little bit of nudity, and in the end it all boils down to human vs vampire as do all good vampire flicks.
What makes Subspecies special is Radu himself. He is pasty white, has great fangs, long clawed hands, sleeps in a coffin, and drools...a LOT. He's also a very messy eater, and moves through the film with that bloody, slimy grin we have all grown to love.
In the end, Michele is the only one of the three girls left, and after Radu mixed his blood with hers, his brother Stefan "saves" her by biting her and turning her into a vampire also.
Lovely ending...but remember that there are three more movies...
So far, the first three Subspecies movies are only available as used VHS tapes, often costing a great deal of money. The fourth movie is already out on DVD, so hopefully the rest will be soon. Even on VHS, there is a nice "behind the scenes" feature at the end of the tape, along with previews of other Full Moon productions.
If you are a vampire purist, you should love this film. Enjoy!