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The Brotherhood (2000)

'Vampires wear capes and have fangs, I drive a Maserati and spend an hour a day in a tanning booth... vampires are myths, they don't exist. We're the reality.' A low-key campus-set vampire movie awash with softcore homoerotic imagery, this suffers from the common not-much-plot problem. Devon (Bradley Stryker), buffed head of the elite Doma Tau Omega fraternity, is a vampire-like immortal who needs every hundred years to take over a new body. When his preferred mark rebels and is killed, swimming scholarship nice guy Chris (Nathan Watkins) is a last-minute substitute. Devon tries to lure Chris into the frat with promises of social status (there's talk about campus class divisions) and shares blood with him in a ritual which turns him into a sunglasses-wearing creep. Together, they snack on the arms of a drunken coed at the nightly frat party, while Chris's semi-nerd roommate (Josh Hammond) and a nice girl (Elizabeth Bruderman) who turns out to be a shill for the vampires investigate. It ends undramatically with a single stab taking out Devon during the shirtless final ritual, and all the vampires dropping dead as the camera judders around and music crashes to cover for the lack of action.

Apparently shot back-to-back (in Mexico) with the even less interesting Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy, the same rainless lightning storm rages through both films. The prolific director David DeCoteau, a rare openly gay grindhouse filmmaker, spends as much time getting muscular guys down to their well-filled shorts as, say, Jim Wynorski, would staging wet t-shirt t&a scenes.
KIM NEWMAN

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