Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Def By Temptation (1990, James Bond III)


Despite being a low budget 1990s horror film, Def By Temptation was very well made and maybe even great at times. I liked this one a lot, and I think it would pair very well with something like Candyman or perhaps something late 1980s such as The Serpent and the Rainbow. The only thing is the film’s villain reminded me of a vampire than a succubus, although perhaps my knowledge of them is based off the fun show Lost Girl.

Joel, haunted by his dead father (Samuel L. Jackson in a cameo role) decides to visit his old friend K (Kadeem Hardison). Normally having the director play the main role might result in a mixed bag performance, yet James Bond III is actually great as Joel. He seems sympathetic and determined to succeed as a minister, to grow as a person. Too bad he runs into Cynthia Bond’s unamed demon.

The demonic kill scenes are both freaky and quite bloody, and Cynthia Bond is terrifying and captivating as the main villain. Any movie that has Bill Nunn is usually worth seeing, and I enjoyed his character and K teaming up to take down the succubus. My favorite part had to be the bar scene where the woman gets a holy water bloody Mary. Boy did that cause literal sparks to fly!

While the final act seems to feel a tad rushed, this movie works as a waking nightmare, literally in the scene where Joel runs through the streets in terror. I do want to see this movie again, and I think one could easily write more about it and how it fits into modern horror cinema’s take on black culture. Even if the title is a bit goofy, which I still don’t mind because it works.

Horrorfest 2015 Presents: Vampire In Brooklyn (1995, Wes Craven)


Lost in the discussion about Wes Craven’s career is that he engaged in comedic moments in many of his horror films. One such movie was Vampire In Brooklyn, a rather entertaining and fun horror comedy that has some good funny moments and even a few scares. Eddie Murphy in a rare horror movie role stars as a vampire seeking a cop played by Angela Bassett, who happens to be half human and half vampire. Without her the line of vampires from the Caribbean will finally die off. This movie has some decent homages to previous vampire films, and is also Wes Craven’s own take on the sub genre.

Much like some of his other films Craven presents social and political commentary. Murphy turns into a preacher and manages to convince an entire congregation that they should turn to evil. Unfortunately considering the hate many so called Christians push today such a moment is relevant and also darkly humorous to a degree. Also you have the police failing to comprehend and understand what they are dealing with, another theme that is prevalent in not only Craven’s work but also in many horror movies. I rather like how Craven is able to balance humor and horror, two genres that are tricky to get right.

Also it’s cool that he cast Zakes Mokae as a vampire hunter, since he was a horror veteran and he was great in The Serpent and the Rainbow, another Craven film. John Witherspoon and Kadeem Hardison provide additional comedic relief, yet it is Bassett who gives a strong performance and has superb chemistry with Murphy. It’s too bad that Eddie Murphy only made one horror film as he has a menacing presence. Despite its flaws this is an good, solid movie and is an example of how vampire movies contain views on society, religion and repressed feelings.

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