Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Priest" (2011) Yay on Story. Boo On Visuals

PRIEST, 2011 movie based on the Korean comic "Priest" by comic book aritst Hyung Min-woo. I post no spoilers here, except let me strongly suggest that you wait until this movie comes out on DVD. I really enjoyed the sound and story-line, watched this movie on the big screen in 3D, and left the theater having been fully entertained (yet I have strong reservations about the low quality of visuals).

Each individual vampire (save one) seems to have paper-thin white skin, a huge grotesque mouth with enormous fangs and no eyes or nose to speak of. Those brandishing fangs are all naked but if you're worried about seeing any genitalia - don't. The vampire anatomy looks very much like the Ken doll (of Barbie fame). The vampires can move inhumanely fast, but when they move slowly their posture is similar to Smeagol, the Gollem creature in Lord of the Rings, and his hunched-over skeletal creeping.

Everybody's basically celibate in this action-packed film where the Christian church rules the day as the city's political government. The super-human vampire slayers known as "priests" (who come in both genders, interestingly) protect the city from the scourges on humanity, also known as a most hideous sort of vampire army which was supposed to have been eradicated - until now-w-w. 


  • Action: hugely entertaining stunts with many incredible hand-to-hand combat scenes,  some involving guns, knives, crosses, fangs, special ninja-like weapons and exploding motorcycles
  • Acting: excellent!
  • Dialogue: some of it very lame (cheesy even). I groaned once or twice thanks to ridiculous lines
  • Gore: Hugely entertaining and fun. Think: decapitations and newly made vampires hanging like slimy dead pigs inside womb-like sacks in what looks like a meat locker
  • Religion: the church behaves much more like a horrible and oppressive government than a spiritual practice. There's a great deal of religious posturing but not much dogma presented. (Thank goodness.)
  • Sound: excellent (put it this way, I never had to think about the sound - it was just perfect)
  • Sex: none (not even an exposed ankle)
  • Slayers - known as "priests," these super-human slayers wear a tattoo in the middle of their foreheads so civilians can quickly identify and avoid them
  • Story line: very worth-while and entertaining (for some reason parts of this movie reminded me a little of Dirty Harry
  • Surprise: I jumped in my seat; once
  • Vampires - fascinating (genuinely loved the horribly disfigured beasts - grotesque as they genuinely were)
  • Violence: 65% of the movie. 
  • Visuals: the beginning involves very low-quality "line-art" cartoon. Not only were characters shoddily drawn but some were blurry (at least that was an aspect of 3D, even with the glasses on). Beyond that? 85% of this film seriously caused me to feel like I was sitting under a dark rain cloud thanks to it's persistent lack of color.

    This movie is mostly COLORLESS. You could watch it on a very old black-and-white T.V. and still not miss much beyond the occasional yellow flames that burned from a communal fire. To describe it as "very gray" is an understatement. After all the rain we've endured around Seattle here lately I seriously wanted to see some colorful vegetation or clothing to give the movie more depth, aesthetically. Quite often the large movie screen would show little more than what looked like three black dots moving across a large white sheet of paper and then the camera might zoom in until those dots evolved into three turbo-charged motorcycles racing through the pathetically barren and flat white-sandy desert. (I love motorcycles and yet, after studying the details of each vehicle for a few minutes, I grew very tired of looking at bikes just speeding over sand.)

    Even with the poor visual aspects - I think this movie is a worth see (but on DVD ... not at the movies and definitely not like I saw it, in 3D). Save your money. You really won't miss anything by watching it on your TV. 

    Director: Scott Charles Stewart
    Writers: Cory Goodman, Min-Woo Hyung (graphic novel series "Priest")
    Stars: Paul Bettany, Cam Gigandet and Maggie Q

    To read another honest review, with links to the trailer, about this same movie, visit Shah's blog.


    1. I'd like to check out the comic book! Do you know where it can be purchased?

    2. Google it as "graphic novel" under the author name and "Priest" title ...

      Or you can just follow this link:,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=70eb2fd034f89fb8&biw=1440&bih=785

    3. Hey Tami - You seemed to like it like me - I gave it a 3/5 - not great but not pant either. The visuals being dull added to it for me - it created an atmosphere of repression and depression which was indicative of the overall environment. But each to their own. So right with cheesy lines! ;D Groan. You seemed okay with the acting and I disliked 'The Priest'. Did you think head vamp was hot! Scooby doo! ;D

      Great review - love comparing what we both got out of the same movie! Shah .X

    4. Hi, I'm a new follower :) I'm looking forward to seeing Priest, but I'll follow your advice and wait till it comes out on DVD. Great review!

    5. Shah ~
      I was not romantically attracted to any of the vampires in this film. LOL. They were all scary to me (I imagined them smelling bad). You're right ... it is very fun comparing what we got out of the same movie. Thanks for blogging about your experiences!
      ~ Tami

    6. K.V. ~ WELCOME! (So Glad you liked this review.)


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