An Original Feature Radio Play
By Brad Havens
A group of dirty cops look to redeem their previous slate by taking down a white slavery ring. Only catch, is their captives are being coveted by a group of insatiable vampires.
I’m never ceased to be amazed at the assignments that are delivered unto me by the illustrious editorial staff at horror news. Throughout the past decade, the onslaught of novels, screenings, conventions, interviews comics, films, videos have presented a once in a lifetime opportunity that will be cherished for the ages. The caliber of creative content unleashed from independent talent is nothing shy of spell binding. Every now and again something is presented for review that stands in a class of its own.
The truly serendipitous element of reviewing Vice vs Vampyres is the very fact it is an original feature radio play. Recently I had become an avid fan of the audible dramatizations of Trevor Lawson series, I Travel by Night by Robert McCammon (another fine vampire tale I might add) as well as the Twilight Zone episodes presented in radio play format. There is something to be said for a vicarious escape that differs from reading short stories or novels, different than watching films that still manages to ratchet the fear factors and exercise the dark, primal imagination within each of us. After devouring dozens of episodes, suffice to say I was searching for something new. That’s where Vice vs Vampyres enters the fray.
The first-person narrative commences in the present from the boys in blue reflecting in flashback fashion. A tale of redemption, greed and double cross, all elements revolve around a solid conflict with seemingly no end. We sense the consuming aura of foreboding as the tale begins to unfold. Dirty cops on the take engage in a dead baby trafficking ring that turns into something far more sinister. Elusive speculation ensues as a mesmerizing, ethereal soundtrack ensues.
Perhaps most impressive is creator Brad Havens sense of utilizing an old media to harness a new audience. The days of radio plays are certainly something that is far from new. Long before the days of television the radio play format was alive and well. Abbott and Costello, Dick Tracy, Dragnet and Ripley’s Believe it or Not were all extremely popular within the 40’s. A staggering soundtrack with larger-than-life effects paints a most vivid picture.
A rising plot escalation along with distinctive dialogue, accents and inflection all contribute to most engaging story telling process. The audience feels seated directly in the center of the action. The suspense is accentuated while we continue to flex our collective imaginations.
A lapsed time of approximately 1:09 is just enough to keep the listening audience fixated while just brief enough to keep the fans insatiable for more.
Character development from each of the vice squad to Grace, to the vampires are unleashed with effective prose from each of the cast. Performances are delivered with high elements of emotion. A true sense of empathy is developed as we desire to get to the core of each major player and what makes each tick.
With plenty of plot twists and turns even the most devoted of horror aficionados won’t see coming, Vice vs Vampyres delivers on countless levels. The true testament I find when reviewing any material, whether novels, films or otherwise is I ask myself the one golden question, is this something I would ordinarily gravitate to and purchase on my own accord? In this particular instance, it is a resounding, blood lust yes. I highly look forward to scaling the heights of one Mountainfire Media for additional outlets.
For full cast credits and additional product information, be sure to check out Mountainfiremedia.com