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Rated: Unrated
Genre: Action Adventure Horror Thriller Comedy
Directed By: James Eaves
Running Time: 1:31
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 2/19/07


With Amber Pictures micro-budget “The Witches Hammer,” it’s best not to get too caught up on logic. Most times with films about vampire warriors, logic should be pretty much thrown out the window. While I enjoy exercising logic in every way possible with film, some movies pretty much establish their positions from the get go. It’s not difficult to see that “The Witches Hammer” is very low budget, but that doesn’t stop director Eaves from performing a bang up job creating a visually orgasmic action horror flick. One scene in particular involves our character Rebecca, now a vampire, looking out onto a sunny day while her husband and son play in the distance.

She watches in tears, as her skin begins to burn without much focus on the sun’s punishment to her vampiric form. I dug the hell out of it. We’ve seen it here in the states a thousand times. Vampire turned into martial arts warrior by secret organization and is sent on a mission to defeat another vampire baddie with specialized gadgets and a kick ass ride. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with the same formula again and again. Eaves does it right.  

He makes “The Witches Hammer” visually appealing, and rather entertaining, with the pre-requisite montage of Rebecca learning sword fighting, gun toting, and the like. But then Eaves completely turns the story on its ass, once the secret organization housing Rebecca is slaughtered, and she’s recruited by a slayer to travel across the world to look for an ancient book that would raise the dead. Thus, we’re propelled into a globe-trotting story, involving a re-incarnated vampire, witches, sorcerers, and a demonic dwarf and his heavy master. Eaves direction is not without notice, as he manages to pull off some sleek editing that brings the story together well, and builds a fun horror action camp hybrid that audiences will enjoy.

One of the biggest caveats of “The Witches Hammer” is Eaves’ intent to focus in on every character’s face through quick close-up. Through this, he unintentionally slows down the pacing of the story, and the fight scenes feeling the need to have all the vampires reveal their fangs, while all the witches glare blankly in response to Rebecca. I get it, they’re vampires and witches. This slows down the build-up to the battles and I was distracted, especially since Rebecca seems accepting of her fate one moment, and then revels in her form the next. Her character never amounts of a solid framework, and Eaves instead make her character wholly uneven. “The Witches Hammer” can never find its stride in balancing camp with action horror, and it shows with the odd characters of the vampiric dwarf and his heavy friend who take the screen in a rather uneven approach toward camp by Eaves. Eaves can never seem to completely grasp his own concept and never takes it seriously enough. But then again, there’s not much to do with this concept anymore, aside from the neat globetrotting direction halfway into story.

Eaves globe trotting vampire actioner isn't perfect. The camp stands out from the earnest adventure story, but the familiar premise is saved by tight and awfully appealing direction and visuals from Eaves who makes "The Witches Hammer" worth the watch.

  • For more information on "The Witches Hammer," visit the official homepage of Amber Pictures.



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