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Movie Review:

Priest / Rated PG-13 for ugly blood sucking vampires with no eyes but lots of drool and big teeth and dirty fingernails. They also make gross sounds and bite people really hard in the neck.

Priest is the latest in a growing string of violent films based on “graphic” comic book novels. In this story the Priests are a select group of fighters who do battle with the vampires described above. Paul Bettany is the kung-fu skilled vampire-killing machine. Also in the cast is Karl Urban who is in the current Star Trek films as Doc “Bones” McCoy. He is the cowboy garbed, part vampire, former Priest, bad guy.

The older set is represented by vet actor Alan Dale who was the rich bad guy on Lost, the TV series. In order to add a touch of class, really vet actor Christopher Plummer (82 this December) plays the Monsignor in charge. Unfortunately for Chris, he is forced to wear a costume that is embarrassing and silly. It is exactly the same outfit that was used in the little known, made-for-cable version of Hamlet back in 1978. That film featured a very rare film appearance by an extremely miscast Ed McMahon as Hamlet. Along with Ed, in a quirky but funny co-starring role, was none other than Phyllis Diller as Hamlet’s mom, affectionately known as Hammy. She was a scream. For trivia buffs Phyllis’ real life husband Fang appeared in a small cameo as the Gravedigger’s assistant, Larry. Phyllis wore the same outfit that Chris P. now dons for Priest minus the feathers. A cost saving move by the studio.

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The film is a series of disjointed action scenes, as Paul B. pursues the bad vampires who have kidnapped a relative and are threatening to bite her neck – hard. So follows lots of bloodletting and vampire killing as Paul B. and a helper pursue the ugly vampires who have kidnapped unlucky Lucy and are ready to chow down.

The final scene, which culminates with a train chase, is primarily computer generated and looks spectacular. The rest of the movie is shot in the dark so whatever is going on is mostly hidden from view. Since most of the audience was asleep, this was a good idea. Apparently the actual script for Priest was written by a team of simians (cowering in the shelter of their zoo habitat, known as monkey island) during a stormy night in Vancouver. The dialogue not only is stinky it doesn’t even seem to match up with the on-screen events. It wasn’t even the best script by the monkeys. They also penned Ishtar.

Priest is probably only a blessing for the fans of the graphic comic book series. Both of them.

Rated 1.0 out of 4.0 reasons I never thought I would actually miss Bela Lugosi’s proclaiming “I vant to suck your blood”.

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