Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (1989) - IMDb

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat is a wild movie. I didn’t know all that much about the movie, other than it being a vampire movie with some comedic elements. I also remember seeing the VHS cover, but it looked too weird for me growing up. After seeing it brought up within the last year, brought on by it being released on blu-ray recently. I was surprised to learn that it was a vampire western with comedic elements.

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat was directed by Anthony Hicox. It was written by John Burgess and Hicox. I’m a huge fan of Anthony Hicox’s movies, at least the Waxwork series and the second Warlock movie. I feel like some of casting in Waxwork 2 came about because of this movie. This is the one credit that I could find from John Burgess, which is a shame because this concept is fun.

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat stars David Carradine, Morgan Brittany, Bruce Campbell, Deborah Foreman, Jim Meltzer, and Maxwell Caulfield. This movie is filled with people that make you go “Hey, it’s that guy from that movie,” which is fun. David Carradine doesn’t show up right away but once he appears there’s a shift. Bruce Campbell is a fun watch in the movie, because he provides a lot of the comedy. Maxwell Caulfield is villainous as hell. Which is a change from his role in Empire Records, where he’s just a dirtbag.

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat is set in Purgatory, a ghost town where vampires have settled. They’re led by Count Mardulak, who has set up the town for a place for them to settle and survive off of a synthetic blood alternative. The Harrison family is on the way there so that David can get the plant working properly. Shortly after the Harrisons arrive so does Van Helsing’s great grandson, Robert Van Helsing arrives too.

The vampire effects are interesting and fun. Most of the time they just have fangs, which there are three on each side. There are other effects, that happen when they shift into bat form. The bat form takes on aspects of the person. The music is great in the movie, you get strong western vibes when you need them. Richard Stone did the score and he did a great job balancing the different tones of the movie.

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat is a fun genre blending movie, that I’m glad has found an audience. It drips with Hicox’s style but isn’t like any of his other movies, except how it blends genres. This is only the second vampire western that I can think of, aside from Near Dark. You can watch it on Amazon Prime Video right now. I give Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat 8 bottles of spf 100 out of 10.

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