Saturday, February 11, 2012

Blood and Bone China

I can't remember if I'd raved about this new vampire film before on the blog ... but even if I did, I'm going to do so again.

It all started life as a web series from a very talented and personable soul called Chris Stone ... the idea was to present a decent quality vampire story over several ten minute episodes. The result was Blood and Bone China.

The channel that the web series is on is here:, and there's a trailer as well:

The website for the production is here:

Having completed the web series, obviously the next stage was world domination, and so Chris has edited the story into a single film presentation, and last night I was lucky enough to spot that Chris was offering free entry to people to see it ... so I duly added my name, and Sam and I then headed down to Stoke-on-Trent - where it is set - to watch the premiere of the film as the opening attraction to this year's Stoke film festival.

And it was worth the journey.

Chris has created something fascinating and original, which blends the old tropes of vampires with the tale of a man's hunt for his lost brother. Vampires are at large in Stoke, feeding on the unwary and dragging their bodies off to goodness knows where. Behind it all is Linus Hemlock (David Lemberg), the man behind the Hemlock pottery which makes perfect and strong bone china at knock down prices. His vampire slave, Victoria (Lara de Leuw), has been hunting, and her victims include Doctor ('I'm not a Doctor, I'm a vet!') Howell's (Anthony Miles) brother. Howell joins forces with feisty reporter Anna Fitzgerald (Rachel Shenton) to try and get to the bottom of the mystery. Along the way they are attacked by vampires, join forces with hunter Alexander Pyre (John James Woodward), meet up with a band of Steampunk Victorians, and battle creatures of the night in Hemlock's pottery. All great stuff.

What is incredible is that Chris has created this film on a micro budget - BUT IT DOESN'T SHOW! There is minimal CGI that I spotted (some neat eye effects towards the end), and some superb performances, great settings and location work. The camerawork is excellent, and the script which, while in places shows it's webcast roots with a little to much retelling of the plot, is generally first class.

There is a standout performance from - I think - Lewis Brindley as the young boy Aaron. He steals his scenes and gets the best laugh of the film. But everyone is really top notch. Kudos to Rachel Shenton as Anna, who manages to bring a modern girl kick ass sensibility to a Victorian reporter, and to John James Woodward for his creepy and yet brilliant vampire hunter.

I loved the final scenes - which I won't reveal here. They made me smile greatly, and for some reason reminded me of the Underworld franchise and the film Van Helsing for no reason that I can think of ...

Hearty congratulations to Chris and all his team for bringing this film to life. I can't wait to see what you turn your hands to next.

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