Joining Fantasia’s spotlight on New Zealand, Perfect Creature showcases the vast imagination and ingenuity at work in that country’s film industry with a very original twist on the vampire movie. Part horror film, part sci-fi epic and part cop thriller, it’s a genre junkie’s wet scream.
Writer/director Glenn Standring (The Irrefutable Truth About Demons) sets his tale in a retro-alternate version of ’60s New Zealand called “Nuovo Zelandia,” where steampunk-style technology sees devices such as televisions, slide projectors, guns and zeppelins appear as if they were designed in the Victorian Age. Vampires also exist in this world, but were created 300 hundred years earlier due to a genetic mutation. Instead of being monsters, these church-dwelling “Brothers” believe in a peaceful balance of religion and science that sees them using their supernatural powers and superior intellect to help humanity –- largely through medical advances. In return, humans donate the lifeblood the vampires need (often by going to church and bleeding themselves via small taps on their arms!) and elevate this “next step in evolution” to the highest levels of society. It’s an ironic designation given that there are no females vampires and Brothers can’t reproduce.
The longstanding peace between humans and vampires is threatened when one Brother does the unthinkable and begins viciously preying on people. With inter-species tensions already at an all-time high due to a deadly influenza outbreak, the Brothers enlist one of their own, the stoic Silus (Dark Water’s Dougray Scott), to quietly hunt the killer –- who also happens to be his actual brother, Edgar (Leo Gregory). When Silus teams up with Lily (Saffron Burrows of Deep Blue Sea, Gangster No. 1), a street-smart cop who arouses the interest of both siblings, she becomes a pawn in Edgar’s plan to unleash a deadly biological disaster on humanity. Silus races to save those he has sworn to protect, while struggling with his feelings towards the Brotherhood, his own brother and Lily, who has shared blood with both of the vampires.
Rounded out with spectacular fight scenes reminiscent of The Matrix and eye-candy galore for dark fantasy lovers (think of Blade Runner and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in terms of production design), Perfect Creature packs a helluva lot into its 80-minute running time. Standring proves that Peter Jackson isn’t the only filmmaker in his country capable of bringing to life big, detailed worlds –- and even bigger tales to fill them.
“Looks wonderful and the world it draws around itself is fascinating” – DREAD CENTRAL
CANADIAN PREMIERE Hosted by Writer/Director GLENN STANDRING
Director: Glenn Standring
Screenplay: Glenn Standring
Cast: Dougray Scott
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Producers: Michael Cowan, Russel Fischer, Jason Piette, Tim Sanders, Haneet Vaswani
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
2007 | 4 min