Wednesday, September 7, 2011
THE ONLY THING IN HIS BINDLE . . . IS JUSTICE: A review of THE TRANSIENT
So goes the tagline of THE TRANSIENT. Brought to us by the fine folks who gave us ONCE UPON A TIME IN 1972, it follows the crime-fighting antics of an initially unnamed vigilante. By day he picks through garbage and sells questionable wares to passers-by. By night he battles with the most absurdly stereotypical ‘Eighties punks since Troma put CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH to film. His only contact with the ordinary world is his sidekick/caseworker Steve (played to nervous perfection by Blake Stubbs). In fact it is Steve who eventually decides he needs a name, and after some heavy thinking, comes up with the Transient.
Sadly the Transient (a ruthlessly aloof Dave Ruthenberg), who would probably be at home as a member of Garth Ennis’s Section Eight from HITMAN, has very little regard for the lives of scumbags, so more often than not he kills those who would do others harm. He does so with improvisational weapons, probably found in trashcans. In one scene he takes down a wife-beater with a barroom dart and a crumbly brick. In another, he crushes a punk with a shopping cart. (And early on, before it becomes too punny, his patter is pretty funny. He might be the only person in history to say that FITNESS magazine is “slightly pornographic.”)
All of this horrifies Steve, who at one point wants to turn his companion in to the authorities, even though the Transient has just saved his caseworker’s ass from the above-mentioned stereotypical ‘Eighties punks. The only thing that stops him is the new horror that stalks the night for blood: VAMPIRE ABRAHAM LINCOLN!
That’s right, Lincoln has been laying low since the assassination attempt on his unlife, and he’s been living off the blood of women (mostly) for all of these years. Now, he is attempting to gather together 87 of these fine young ladies (get it?! Four score and seven!) so he can drain their blood within a fortnight. If he pulls this off, he will finally be free of his bloodthirst and his need to live in darkness. So he’s been hiding out in a blood bank, using punks to kidnap these women for him. Only the Transient (and Steve) can stop him!
Are there big gaping plot holes? You bet. You can probably figure out what they are from reading this review. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying such a fun movie. Michael Krebs, who plays Lincoln, pulls it off with the macabre glee of Vincent Price at his American International finest! And if some of his dialogue sounds familiar, don’t be surprised. Writer/director Chris Lukeman borrowed from some of Lincoln’s own real life material, enough to give Lincoln credit as a co-writer. (No shit! Look at the box!)
There are just two things that bear mentioning. At one point, the Transient and Steve dig up a zombie, Timmy, because he’d be able to track down Lincoln for them. This baffles Steve (as well as the viewers), and all the Transient can say by way of explanation is that Timmy is a “dowsing rod for the preternatural." That’s all we get?! Also, Timmy later bites a vampire, at which point her fangs fall out and she becomes one of the walking dead. Then Timmy and his new companion just . . . disappear. Which is kind of odd because it’s an action packed scene in which Steve is doing characteristically awkward battle with a vampire. Where did Timmy and his friend go?
Never mind this slight nitpicking. You’ll want this movie for your collection. How could you say no to a homeless vigilante facing off against vampire Abe Lincoln?
Written by Chris Lukeman and Abraham Lincoln
Directed by Chris Lukeman
Produced by Kill Vampire Lincoln Productions