What sick-minded killer brutalized four women and left their blood-drained corpses by Black Water Creek? Andrea Adams wants to know, and she’s taking her film crew to find out the truth. What they find there can only be told by the footage left behind. Blood-wrenching, soul-shattering terror waits for those who dare ends these woods.
I remember, back in the late summer, early fall of 1999, when the movie The Blair Witch Project was released. All of you kids out there who only know the Paranormal Activity movies as the “innovative found footage” type horror movies have this one to thank for that. While there wasn’t as many found footage horror movies that popped up as much as after Paranormal Activity, for a while any type of found footage movie was referred to as a “Blair Witch rip-off”. Mind you, that had more to do with aping the filming style, and not actually lifting the direct story with different tweeks to be “totally different.”
Black Water Vampire, on the other had, is a Blair Witch Project rip-off, not only as a found footage style horror movie, but it liberally uses the same premise and beats, only swapping out the location of Burkitsville, MD with Black Water, WA, and changing Witch to Vampire. There are some differences thrown in, which I will get to in a bit. But for the first two thirds or so, it’s hard to not shake off the feeling that you’ve seen this all before.
So, we got four amateur film makers driving out to the remote woods of Black Water Creek, to document the legend of the titular Black Water Vampire. While doing so, weird things start to happen to them, and then they get lost, and things get weirder, and then the point comes to where they find out if the whole vampire legend is real or not.
And this is where the film deviates from just being a Blair Witch rip-off. See, where The Blair Witch Project never bothered to show the actual witch (just some purported evidence of the supernatural effects of the witch herself, or whatever it was they made up on the spot while filming it), Black Water Vampire at least gives us the vampire. And boy howdy is the payoff a good’un. We also have a nifty angle where the townspeople are in on the conspiracy, and then the movie ends on a bit of a Rosemary’s Baby ripoff. Which, in this case, was actually rather good.
Now, the big difference between this and the movie(s) it borrows heavily from is that, for me, I went in expecting crap from beginning to end, and ended up actually enjoying the movie in the third act. Yes, the first couple of acts were kind of hard to sit through, as the acting was rather bad, and the characters themselves were of the type that you wouldn’t be able to stand riding along inside a vehicle for any length before wanting to quell your mental images of stabbing them repeatedly with a sport to MAKE THEM SHUT UP. Sorry. Once they start getting picked off by some mysterious…thing, and when they run into the vampire itself (which is a nasty-looking, actually scary Nosferatu-like creature, very well done), well, darned if my amusement level just went up.
Overall, if you can make it through the first parts, Black Water Vampire’s payoff is pretty decent. It probably won’t be the first choice for a horror movie fest, but it’s worth maybe a curious look-see. You could do worse.