A rogue police detective in search of his parents killer is murdered and reborn the ultimate killer.
April 20th, 2018
Dean S. Jagger
Christopher P. Taylor
Dean S. Jagger
It’s practically a genre dream cast. The new vampire horror/action film Corbin Nash has assembled A Clockwork Orange’s Malcolm McDowell, Blade Runner’s Rutger Hauer, X-Men’s Bruce Davison and The Goonies’ Corey Feldman – all in one place. Why, even Courtney Gains (Children of the Corn – “Outlander!!!”) shows up in a small role at the film’s outset.
And while you might think that they’re lending their names to a flash-in-the-pan, “look who we managed to get to appear for 1 solid minute in our film”, both McDowell and Feldman actually have substantial roles.
However, Hauer and Davison do indeed appear only in the film’s prologue.
But even with the welcome presence of these film veterans on-screen, Corbin Nash still has to overcome a lot of problems. But we’ll get to those shortly. First, what’s it all about?
Corbin Nash (Dean S. Jagger – who also co-wrote and co-produced the film with his brother Ben Jagger) is a New York City cop, who gets word from a strange man in a bar (Hauer) that he’s descended from a line of vampire and demon hunters. Nash packs up and moves to Los Angeles, where he meets a wide range of crazy characters, all while he tries to solve some missing persons cases and to find the person who killed his demon-hunting parents. At the center of the investigation is a violent transvestite prostitute named Queeny – played by Corey Feldman.
I found it ironic that Rutger Hauer appears in this as well as the original big-screen version of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer – also revolving around a “vampire-hunter” with a long family history in that particular business. Just a little sideline.
I will give the film this – it’s beautifully produced, with a clear (and well done) noir fetish, great locations, lighting and overall production values. I also found the editing to be smooth and blemish-free. However, I could have done with a little less use of slow motion.
But – as is the case with so many films, the problems start with the story and the script. Taking cues from practically every other vampire flick, Corbin Nash doesn’t offer much as far as originality. And the back and forth in the timeline never really felt necessary – and frankly, it was a tad confusing. The film lacks cohesion and focus.
But my big question – when I first saw the trailer for this – and I’m guessing that it’s your big question as well… Is Corey Feldman good in this role? Well, even as I’ve had some time, post-screening – to think about it… I still can’t 100% offer a firm statement.
Initially, I thought he was a bit over-the-top (actually a lot over-the-top). His movements and his facial expressions as he inhabits the role of Queeny – were never believable and I never felt as though Feldman had a firm grasp of the character (only working via tired stereotypes). And yet there was something intriguing about certain moments in his performance – a feeling of “just about there”. Queeny could be an interesting character, but the script never gives much for Feldman to flesh out (Queeny is the villain, but still). His final moments on-screen are impressive, unexpected and quite emotional. Overall, I think Feldman could have done better with stronger direction and a more layered script. As is, it feels like a missed opportunity and a failed “comeback” for Feldman.
As for Dagger in the titular role, he’s a good looking guy, but his Punisher-esque machismo mixed with the growling voice of Snake Plissken – didn’t do much for me. I don’t think he’s a particularly good actor (at least not in this particular role) and you’ll never feel much for him. Part of the problem is that the character’s motives aren’t well-defined. Sure, he’s out for revenge, but when he takes on the role of rescuer for one of the vampire’s victims – the connection (and “I must do this” attitude) doesn’t hold true. Why does he care so much for this particular victim and this particular victim’s sister? Don’t know. Don’t care – and that’s a problem.
I had some problems with the dialogue. There’s actually the line at one point in the film, “And so it begins” – which, if you’re like me, will result in some serious eye-rolls. And the use of that cliché dialogue is a symptom of the greater problem in Corbin Nash. It’s not original. We’ve seen things like this before. And some of the off-shoot sequences (I wasn’t particularly impressed with the film’s version of Fight Club) just don’t help to adhere all of the pieces together. Again, the film lacks focus and it lacks drive.
The film’s not scary, but some of the gore effects are nicely done. I have to give a shout-out to the lovely but weird choice for Queeny’s make-up. It’s a nice detail to have Feldman’s “female” make-up look so haphazard and clearly done by the character. Queeny was a hooker in life – and there’s a bit of sadness that his make-up wasn’t able to be improved once he became an undead blood-sucker. Not sure how much of that little history to the character was actually intended, but it’s the only sympathy we find for Queeny.
Solid production values which create a gritty (but flashy) vision of the Los Angeles landscape – settling squarely into “neo-noir” territory, and the presence of several screen legends, can’t overcome a dull script full of cliches.
Corbin Nash is nothing to necessarily write home about (as I currently write about it), but it’s certainly not a waste of your time. A wishy-washy assessment? Perhaps – but that’s why it’s being rated smack-dab in the middle of “average”.
Corbin Nash is scheduled for release on April 20th, 2018 – with a limited theatrical presence as well as a release to VOD and Digital HD.