Vampires: Los Muertos (2002) Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace. With Jon Bon Jovi, Natasha Wagner, Arly Jover, Darius McCrary and Diego Luna.
Jon Bon Jovi is Derek Bliss, a fresh-out-of-the-salon vampire hunter on a mission to track down evil bloodsuckers in writer/director Tommy Lee Wallace’s Vampires: Los Muertos. That brief synopsis tells you everything you need to know, for even the die-hard Bon Jovi fanatics are going to have a hard time swallowing this particular dose of ‘bad medicine’.
I’ll to try to refrain from using Bon Jovi song titles for the remainder of this review, yet after the punishment of enduring this woefully bad cover version of all the worst vampire films ever made, you might forgive me a little fun. What is surprising to me, is that someone as astute and established as Jon Bon Jovi would allow himself to be sucked into headlining something this bad. Despite what you might think about his music, the man commands massive respect for his achievements. His band have been around the globe more times than your average satellite in orbit. His business accumen and song-writing talents have afforded him the power to choose his own career destiny. I suppose it’s proof that even the smartest of people make mistakes. Possibly, this is evidence of someone doing something because they can. Either way, it sucks.
What is clear early on, is that Jon Bon doesn’t have the acting chops to carry an entire film all by himself. It wouldn’t be so bad if he was playing a character other than himself, but he’s presented exactly how you would expect to see him in one of his many rock videos. Hair and skin are perfectly tended to. Teeth as white as the driven snow, fitted jacket, tight blue jeans, cowboy boots. We’re basically watching Jon Bon Jovi playing Jon Bon Jovi: Vampire Hunter. That might be enough for the person who knows every lyric to every B-side his band has ever released, but for everyone else – it’s a bit weird.
Even the action and splatter are third-rate, meaning it fails to function on the most basic level of guilty pleasure entertainment. Not even the worst early episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer scraped the barrel this hard. Like any rock band, the whole thing takes place on the road, as JBJ and a Scooby-Van of bland stragglers go about driving through Mexico in search of vampires to kill. It assumes that is interesting enough for us and never attempts to veer from the beaten track. Tonally, it is the same film for the entire duration, with no character development written into the script.
After the novelty factor of finding out whether Jon Bon Jovi can act or not wears off, we’re left stranded in a desert of boring dialogue and tensionless nonsense. Jon Bon Jovi once sang “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead“. We’re way ahead of you, Jon. 1/5