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Blood Ties (1991)

Not Rated | | Horror, Thriller | TV Movie 27 May 1991
This film concerns the exploits of the "Carpathian American" society in Long Beach. Carpathian Americans are just like any other expatriate organization, they enjoy family get together, and... See full summary »



(as Richard Shapiro)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harley Venton ...
Amy Lorne (as Kim Johnston-Ulrich)
Butcherbird 'Butch' Vlad
Robert Lesser ...
Talk show host Alex Smart
Nicholas Kepros ...
Bill Landrum ...
Robert Burr ...
Vampire hunter #2
Vampire Hunter #3
Marilyn Rockafellow ...
Managing editor of the Long Beach Post Gazette


This film concerns the exploits of the "Carpathian American" society in Long Beach. Carpathian Americans are just like any other expatriate organization, they enjoy family get together, and share business opportunities (cf the Italian Americans ...). There is just one minor difference, the Carpathian Americans seem to have a predilection for drinking human blood. The film begins somewhere deep in the bible belt where teenager Cody wakes to find that intruders have just skewered his parents and are about to set fire to them for good measure. Despite being shot by a crossbow bolt Cody makes his escape from the "hunters". He remembers his parent's advice to him that if he was ever in trouble he should contact his uncle in Long Beach. The uncle turns out to be a local businessman (of an unscrupulous nature) and also a leading light in the "Carpathian American" society. Cody is introduced to other members of the society notably Harry, a crusading journalist and his non-Carpathian ... Written by Tom Longshaw <longshaw@signal.dera.gov.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Horror | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 May 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blood Ties - Legami di sangue  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Harry Martin: Said to Cody after he calls his family vampires: Vampire is such an ugly word! Don't let me hear you say that again. We're Carpathian-Americans!
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User Reviews

It was a fairly good movie, for a TV pilot.
16 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

I'm not sure why others would be down on this movie. Granted it isn't the best movie that delves into the vampire myth (it has a different take on the myth), but it was pretty good for the movie it was.

I remember watching this back in May 1991, and it was originally intended to be a pilot for a FOX-TV series that remained unsold. The two parts of this film that are slightly aggravating is that it takes maybe too long to set up the premise (that of a nest of vampires; excuse me if I rephrase that, vampire is an insulting term, these are "Carpathian-Americans") of a group of immigrants who have a predilection for the taste of blood (they don't need to drink blood, it just is a wonderful diversion and it comes out especially during times of great passion, be that sex, violence, etc and it puts them higher up on the food chain than most humans), they also are stronger, faster and live longer than other humans (although if you get bitten you don't become one of them, you just die.) But, that should be excused since it was intended to be a set-up for a television series and I always wondered what it would have been if it had been sold as a television series, especially considering most of the garbage that does get sold? The only other really distracting thing, is the ridiculous biker gang antics of the young Carpathians against the vampire hunters (I myself would have toned that down), it is as though Richard Shapiro had seen way too many times, "The Lost Boys."

The cast I feel was excellent, especially Harley Venton (Harry Martin or Harlevon Martinescu) who plays the putative hero as a crusading newspaper reporter who gets news reports about the killing of the father and mother of his cousin, Cody Puckett (played by Jason London), in Texas and takes the boy "under" his wings, as it were to clear up several myths and tries to warn the others in the nest that "it's happening again" (the killings) and asks one of my favorite lines, "Isn't it time we come out of the coffin?" And, Michelle Johnson (Celia) and Patrick Bauchau (Eli Chelarin, the head of the "Carpathian-Americans") are excellently cast and Eli is part of the older group who just wants to keep his family isolated in their new home of Long Beach, CA. Unfortunately, the vampire hunters don't want that and Eli won't get his wish. The only weak member of the cast was probably Kim Johnston-Ulrich (and that probably wasn't necessarily her fault), since her character of Amy Lorne, the blonde attorney (in the Ally McBeal since), that provides a mild distraction for Harry (Venton), has no clue who or what Harry's family is, and happens to deal with Eli paying of judges to get his other nephew, Butcherbird "Butch" Vlad off. Bo Hopkins (the main vampire hunter) does a good turn as an old fashioned religious zealot.

All-in-all I thought it was a fairly good movie, with great themes about warnings of religious prosecution and zealotry and early hints of what a dictator that has since been deposed would have called, "ethnic cleansing." But, also it has no good guys or bad guys, again even our putative hero, Harry (Venton) has major flaws, while he is dating Amy, he's also having "hot vampire sex" with his half-aunt (yes, there's mild incest going on in this movie, nothing graphic though), Celia. It also combined two of my favorite genres, monster (especially vampires) movies and comedy movies.

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