Def By Temptation Review
Alright folks, the beginning of the weekend Double Feature here on Scary Film Review, and we start with an instant classic, much on par with the terrible horror films like Ax'Em. Def By Temptation is a film that came out in 1990 and most likely went straight to video, and you can tell this from the very moment you start the film. The movie was directed by a guy named James Bond III, and supposedly stars Samuel L Jackson, even though he's only in the movie for about 5 minutes, oh and the fact that this is a Troma Entertainment film!
The movie has an interesting premise. It's simply a vampire movie, although there are some moments where I thought the main villain was a werewolf, but that's ok. The movie stars out with a man in a bar, going home with an attractive lady, only to get slaughtered by her. Then we move to another plot point, two friends move in together, and they both find this woman that is killing off men. We get a lot of sex scenes, most of them ending with the death of a guy that was taken with her from the bar. When one friend ends up meeting this new woman, and the other friend recognizes her, and gets himself involved with a Cop that can take her down.
The movie's pacing is slow, and is carried by ridiculous dialogue. The first conversation in this film has a guy saying, "just get an abortion, drop the baby and come hang out, I'll pay for it", and he laughs, which is like a kick in the groin to wake up anyone that wasn't paying attention after the boring credits started. The rest of the movie is just bar scene after bar scene of men picking up the vampire, then getting killed, with lots of cut scenes of pools of blood, and random hairy hands reaching and scratching. At one point there was a "grim reaper" moving around, but that character was abandoned later on in the film. I kept watching because after the second act, the editing and film work gets 100 times better, and I'm not sure why. It really does turn a corner visually towards the end of the film, something that was really lacking in the first parts of the film.
Even though a great deal of plot involves sex, you don't really get a lot of nudity. You don't really get a lot of gore either. There are some interesting points that show some scary points, but they are mild in comparison to a great deal of other vampire films. In fact, you do get that sense of a "made for tv" movie or something awry, even though there are some harder sequences.
The movie starts to ramp up towards the end and the pace really speeds up with more and more visual effects turning out to be greater and greater. I really thought this film was going to just end abruptly, but it really speeds up to make sure the film gets the "horror" theme down, before reviewers like me start to say that it's tame. The r Rated is definitely achieved with the zombie bar room scene, which is a dream sequence, but has some great visual effects and NO camera tricks.
It's not a scary film, but there are some definite scary moments. Specifically in the last act when the main characters try to kill the vampire by giving her a "holy water" martini! I kid you not. They get scared, when she over powers them and then runs away scared, and a great line is heard, "There's a fuckin devil bitch chasing us man...let's get outta here", and the two tough guys run away like scared little kids. If you put yourself in their shoes, you'd get scared too. I was just thinking about what I would do if there were urban vampires after me, I think I'd be dead fast, cause I have no friends. Another great sequence happens towards the end and it is is just awesome! A dude gets sucked into the television and then blood spills out...and a silhouette is seen, creating one of the most intricate pieces ot an otherwise straight forward vampire film at times...oh and of course, Samuel L. Jackson is scary as a ghost...oh man, the movie got better and better.
In regards to Black Horror Films, this one is better than many that I've seen. It's not a mainstream film, but Troma did a good job with trying to make a unique tale of vampirism, in the Black community. The budget looks like it wasn't very high, but there is some great moments in an otherwise dismissible film. I don't think this one is an amazing film, but I'll say this much, Def By Temptation is better than 90% of mainstream horror films that came out in 2010. Check it out, it's an entertaining piece of Black Cinema, and something that would fit in nicely in the Blaxploitation era of films.