Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter
(Eclectic DVD Distribution)

Think very carefully before you risk hellfire and damnation by watching this one. In director Lee Gordon Demarbre's action comedy (the recipient of an Honorable Mention at Slamdance 2002), the city of Ottawa is overrun by a new strain of vampires that can walk in the daylight. To combat the scourge, local religious types enlist the aid of none other than the Son of Man himself (Phil Caracas), who is back on Earth for no reason the script stoops to explore. Christ teams up with Mexican wrestler El Santos and a butt-kicking disciple named Mary Magnum to vanquish the vampires, who are drawing their power by slaughtering neighborhood lesbians. (A headline in the "Ottawa Express" explains the import of the Sapphic shortage: "Fringe festival in jeopardy.")

There's no beating the movie's once-in-a-lifetime title, and the story framework erected by writer Ian Driscoll promises big-time yuks. A few musical numbers are also thrown in for added spice. But inept editing reduces the film's forward motion to zero, particularly in an interminable fight scene that pits the title character against some bat-wielding atheists. The dialogue scenes, meanwhile, suffer from atrocious dubbing. (Though the picture was shot in English -- or at least Canadian -- there's not a word of live sound.) Plus, Christ gets a shave and a haircut very early in the film, which tends to thwart the novelty of the whole affair. We didn't sign up to see "Some Dude, Vampire Hunter."

The DVD adds 70-plus minutes of extras, including poolside cast and crew "interviews" that you or I would describe as home movies. Team member Josh Grace, on the subject of special effects: "I was going to make them look real, but I thought, you know, why bother?" Eat your heart out, Peter Jackson.

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