So why does Wendigo own a copy to show me? There are a few things about it he likes, it turns out. The B-movie vampires aren't overboard with superpowers, but are still a mortal challenge for our hapless heroes. It isn't a cartoonish battle of super hunters vs. uber-vampires; its ambitions don't exceed its budget. Also, Wendigo has an affection for white-trash vampires, for starters, and exploding vampires -- and they blow up real good here, not counting the one that gets her head blown off with a shotgun. As a bonus, the ingenue is frequently nude in good old R-film fashion. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it cost just enough online that he was eligible for free shipping on his total order.
Look into your heart, Kit. Where were you when your girlfriend was left out in the sun too long?
Screenwriter Cardone seems to have thought that he needed to justify his project by positing a new mythology of vampirism. Along with his pills, Nick has acquired the knowledge that vampirism began at the Siege of Antioch during "the Great Crusade," when eight French knights made a pact with the Devil in order to avoid death at the hands of the Turks. Forsaking their cause and each other, they become... The Forsaken! Their subsequent aversion to daylight is an extension of their guilty reluctance to be seen, and as for drinking blood,... as the man on the old TV show used to say, "Deals with the Devil are bad." The funny thing about this claptrap is that I suspect that no one told Jonathan Schaech about it. His performance betrays no awareness of a medieval or crusading past. You'd think that was brought up because it might be relevant to the character's actions or motivations (sort of like how Dracula in Wes Craven's Dracula 2000 is really Judas Iscariot and -- actually, never mind.), and you would think wrong. Schaech is barely convincing as the master of a moron and a crazy woman. We wouldn't want to burden the man with a backstory, would we?
So what is The Forsaken's actual contribution to vampire cinema? Wendigo says, "There isn't any, apart from some new jargon." Not even its pharmacological approach to warding off the curse strikes him as unique; Blade and the sequel to John Carpenter's Vampires had the same idea. Cardone may have been aiming at an A picture (Sean drives through Monument Valley to set the tone) with a cast mostly made up of TV graduates, but the end product is pure B-movie. Not that that's entirely a bad thing, because it's an okay B-movie, with some decent action scenes, attractive nudity and amusing explosions. Wendigo can't really recommend it to anyone, but he says not to knock it if you find it on TV. You could do a lot worse with ninety minutes of your life.
With a reasonable amount of nudity and frequent bursts of ultra-violence, The Forsaken might actually pass for a passable Eighties drive-in movie.
This version of the trailer was uploaded to YouTube by HorrorMvieTrailers: