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Perfect Creature
Directed by Glenn Standring
Produced by Tim Sanders
Written by Glenn Standring
Starring Dougray Scott
Saffron Burrows
Leo Gregory
Editing by Chris Blunden
Choreography by Shona McCullagh
Distributed by United States: 20th Century Fox
Australia: Magna Pacific
Country New Zealand
Language English
Budget US$11 million

Perfect Creature is a New Zealand made horror/thriller film written and directed by Glenn Standring and starring Saffron Burrows and Dougray Scott, set in an alternate universe New Zealand. The New Zealand release date was October 18, 2007. The film was released straight-to-video in the US on July 17, 2007.

Contents

Plot

This psychological thriller is set in an alternate steampunk universe. Technologies represented include zeppelins, radio, black & white TV (small circular images), DNA analysis, slide projectors, cars (1940's styling) and telephones. The architecture is very similar to Oxford in The Golden Compass. Women appear to play an equal part in all roles in this society, as we see female cops, reporters and a female medical examiner.

The film takes place in a large coastal city (likely the capital, as the Queen lives in it), and is centered around a slum called Jamestown.

Three hundred years ago some children began to be born as vampires. These have enhanced hearing, sight, agility, stamina and reflexes. In this universe vampires are considered a more perfect version of humans; i.e. closer to God. They have created a church (the only variant of religion seen in this film, possibly the only one existing), and are called Brothers. They wear unadorned long black coats, and look very monk-like. The Brothers state they exist only to serve humans; to protect and guide them. Brothers live longer than humans; the oldest are 300 y/o and none have died yet. Vampires are removed from their mothers at birth, indoctrinated into the Brotherhood, and raised to believe they are evolved humans whose role is to serve.

Human churchgoers donate blood for the Brothers to drink (one character states his mother gives blood three times a month at church, and in one scene we also see an elegant woman at a swanky party donating blood into a large collecting vessel with a tap at the bottom, from which Brothers are served in elaborate goblets). Brothers never drink blood straight from the human body.

Churchgoers wear rosaries; however not all humans are churchgoers. During rare ceremonies humans drink the Brothers' blood which gives them visions (some may experience prescience). The liturgy of the church states that mingling the blood of the two races makes one titular Perfect Creature.

Brothers also hold religious education classes for human children. They are taught that Brothers are a step in human evolution, and learn that genetic research is banned because nothing but evil comes from it (including the deadly influenza which is rife in the city). Genetic research is banned for humans as a method of control by the Brothers so that humans don't attempt to get rid of vampires or gain independence. It was mentioned that before the co-existence of human and vampire, vampires were killed, at birth. They apparently fear that, if undoctrinated, humans would envy them their long lives, and attempt to take control from them.

The film opens as a pregnant woman (Danielle Cormack) gives birth to a vampire. A young Brother, Silus, aged 7–8 is told this child, Edgar and he are from the same mother. Throughout this introduction the mother is in visible emotional distress, reaching out across the room to Silus, trying to touch him. He observes her calmly if slightly warily through unemotional eyes.

Caption - "100 Years Later," Jamestown slum has had a series of attacks on women, who are all found with their throats bitten. Lilly Squires (Saffron Burrows) is in charge of the human police investigating these cases. She states she comes from a workhouse in this same slum, and we establish that she is one of the few cops who care what happens to these people at the bottom of the socioeconomic heap. Lilly finds a small boy who witnesses one attack, and states that a Brother was responsible. The string of murders is being covered up as an outbreak of the rampant influenza virus, as the police don't want to start a panic in the city.

Silus (Dougray Scott) is detailed by the church cardinals to work with the human police because the Brothers know that these attacks have been carried out by a Brother; Silus's brother Edgar (Leo Gregory). Edgar has sent Silus a recording of his last murder, challenging him to find and stop him before he kills again. Edgar gives the location of his next murder.

With Silus' help, Lilly puts together a task force to stake out the area Edgar has targeted. However Edgar distracts the cops and attacks Lilly, biting her in the neck. Silus interrupt the attack and Edgar flees. To save Lilly's life Silus slashes his wrist on one of the other cops' knives and offers her his wrist, and tells her to drink his own blood, which she does. Once her life is saved Silus goes in pursuit of Edgar, and manages to shoot him with a tranquilizing dart.

Silus visits Lilly in hospital. We establish that she has no family. Lilly is having visions from drinking Silus' blood, involving a moth, a doll, blood, and Edgar's face. The newspapers have covered the (fake) story of the death of the killer; a deranged human who believed he was a Brother.

Silus then goes to the sub-basement of the church. There he sees that Edgar is held in a 'brace', a spiked body restraint. Because Silus is soon to be made a member of the "inner circle" he is given the full details of what happened to Edgar.

The cardinals have been very worried that not a single Brother has been born since Edgar (70 years earlier), and that a female vampire has never been born. Although they have publicly banned genetic research, the church has been carrying it out in secret. Edgar has been developing a virus to inject into pregnant women, to force the baby to be born a vampire. Alas the virus has mutated, and it has turned the women into violent, insane, psychopaths. We learn that ten of Edgar's research subjects are already dead, and the last one is dying. Edgar has also become infected, and is now insane.

Silus visits Edgar, who vows to escape and finish off Lilly. Edgar accuses Silus of being in love with Lilly, despite Brothers being forbidden to love.

Edgar is held in a semi-spherical cell, observed through bullet-proof glass wall with two jailers. The jailers can release stupefying gas if they fear he is becoming too violent. From time to time Edgar runs the length of his cell and head-butts the window. Over time Edgar notices a small crack is appearing in the glass. On occasions he comes right up to the window and stands there banging his head rhythmically, as if insane, but really enlarging the crack.

One night, Silus is at a ceremony in the church for his investiture as a cardinal. This night Edgar escapes and infects a researcher by forcing him to drink his blood.

Edgar disappears into Jamestown. He enlists the help of a low-life scumbag to help him catch Lilly. The scumbag threatens a prostitute with a knife, and when a female cop comes to help, Edgar leaps down behind her and attacks. However it is not Lilly, but her colleague and friend Stephanie (Lauren Jackson).

Edgar has installed a tap and tube system into his forearm, so he can turn on a flow of his own infected blood at any time. He fills Stephanie's mouth with his blood. Scumbag insists on getting his own share as well.

Silus is guarding Lilly at her apartment when Edgar bursts through a window and grabs her. Silus and Edgar grapple, however Silus is knocked unconscious long enough for Edgar and Lilly to disappear.

Now that Stephanie is very sick with the virus, Edgar leaves her body out where it will be discovered, with a note attached, giving a clue to Silus about his location. Scumbag is also very sick, and is just annoying Edgar too much, so Edgar rips his heart right out of his body and drops it on the ground.

Stephanie is taken to the hospital, where we learn that the virus has spread throughout Jamestown. The government has instituted a quarantine, and soldiers are shooting anybody who attempts to leave. A radio report states that the Queen has left the city. Humans are rioting outside the churches, and throwing their rosaries back to the Brothers.

Silus discovers Edgars location is Jamestown's water source. Edgar is dripping his blood into the water supply, hence all of Jamestown being infected. Luckily each suburb has its own water supply. Silus is determined to go in and rescue Lilly, however another cardinal tells him that Jamestown will be burned to the ground to make sure that the virus dies, and Edgar with it. He warns Silus that his own career will be doomed if he ignores the "greater good" and breaches quarantine.

However, Silus breaks through into Jamestown and heads to the aquifer, dodging the infected. On the way Silus meets one other Brother, tending to the dying.

Lilly is handcuffed to a water pipe in a locked basement. With her super-vampire-senses she can tell Silus is near. She manages to open the door and call for Silus. However an infected enters the basement, and Lilly has to grapple her while still attached to the water pipe.

Edgar finds Silus and they fight.

Lilly manages to subdue the infected woman, and free her hands from the water pipe at last.

Just as Silus is winning Edgar throws him backwards onto the prongs of a steam injector. As Silus lies groaning, and possibly dying, on the ground, Edgar approaches with a portable steam injector. When Edgar depresses the trigger steam comes out. Edgar tells Silus he is going to burn Silus's face off. Lilly comes up behind Edgar and kills him.

Silus escorts Lilly from the water facility. He gestures to a building then tells Lilly she must look after what she will find in there and keep it away from the Brotherhood. Lilly enters the building, and finds the other Brother, a dead woman, the doll from her vision, and a baby. The Brother tells Lilly the infant is the first female vampire ever born; the virus has created her and she is truly the first Perfect Creature.

Silus is branded a heretic, and must stay in hiding.

Tagline : Humans And Vampires Have Lived In Harmony.... Until Now....

The movie ends with Silus saying that he is being hunted but he will always fight back leaving much scope for a second a movie.

Cast

Production notes

External links

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