Through the wonders of the Internet, I sort of met writer / actor / director, Joe Ripple. I met him as much as anyone can meet anyone else on the Internet and not in person without having cyber sex with him (not that I didn’t offer). Ripple has done several low budget horror movies over the past few years and he even has an IMDB page. I heard some jokes about his movies from the now defunct DVDSpot forums and the currently operational Bullet Point Review forums. These were all mostly about the quality of his films. I couldn’t say much of anything though because I haven’t seen any. Now I have.

My first entry into the work of Joe Ripple was Stakes, a 2002 film featuring vampires from a parallel dimension. These pasty bloodsuckers come through to our world and start creating a vampire army since they ran out of people to turn into vampires in their own. It’s up to a crack detective and a band of humans from this other dimension to stop them. Oh, and some little kid gets kidnapped for some reason. Sounds like an OK set up, right? It is actually. Stakes, which is co-written by Ripple, is a fairly interesting take on the vampire genre. Instead of going into the origins of the vampires, they come from a parallel Earth, similar to the recently released Marvel Zombies comic. Also, the weaknesses of the vampires are tweaked slightly as are the ways that they can be killed. The most interesting of which is a stake made of frozen holy water. I’m actually surprised that no one has thought of that sooner as it seems like a total no brainer when fighting vampires. (more…)