FROST: PORTRAIT OF A VAMPIRE
Kevin VanHook appears to have inspired by the fad of vampire hunter films that came out circa 1998 Blade (1998), Ultraviolet (1998) and Vampires (1998). He crafts his vampire hunter film in a similar action movie vein to Blade. He has a clear fascination with a certain type of mens men view of toughness his hero dresses in shades and flak jacket, and the film comes surrounded by military camps, muscly guys, biker bars and weather-beaten Vietnam vets. In the title role, Jeff Manzanares is beefily stolid and remains tight-lipped with his eyes hidden behind a pair of shades throughout the entire film. The problem here is that while Manazanares is fine at tough guy poses, he looks awkward and ill at ease when it comes to any of the more emotive scenes he is required to play.
Unfortunately, the film around him looks cheap and amateurish. Though Kevin VanHook is an industry professional and has even managed to employ a name actor like Gary Busey, Frost: Portrait of a Vampire looks more like a cheap, video-shot film made by novices. The action scenes are particularly unconvincing. Most noticeably, Kevin VanHook disappoints on the one area that is his specialty the effects with the scenes of the helicopters exploding looking extremely cheap.
Furthermore, Kevin VanHooks screenplay is confusing. It takes nearly half the film between the opening forensic investigation, which eventually proves to be unrelated to anything else in the film, the flashbacks to Afghanistan and the diversion away to the mercenary school to work out what is going on. We are not sure for much of the film who Jeff Manzanaress hero is meant to be the title gives the misleading impression that Frost is the vampire and why he and Gary Busey wear sunglasses. Or for that matter the connection between the cleanshaven McKenzie seen in the Afghan flashbacks and the dreadlocked crazy we see running about in the present. Eventually, Frost: Portrait of a Vampire proves to be a thoroughly routine vampire film that ends up having nothing at all to say.
Frost: Portrait of a Vampire was a modest success in video release. Kevin VanHook stayed with the horror genre for his subsequent directorial outings The Fallen Ones (2005), Death Row (2006), Slayer (2006) and Voodoo Moon (2006), as well as Starz Inside: Fantastic Flesh (2008), a documentary about makeup effects artists.