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Perfect Creature

5.31 h 23 min200718+
A world where vampires and humans peacefully coexist until vampire Edgar begins preying on humans and vampire Silus is sent to catch Edgar with the help of a human police officer.
Glenn Standring
Dougray ScottSaffron BurrowsLeo Gregory
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Michael Cowan
Phoenix Worldwide
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3.6 out of 5 stars

212 global ratings

  1. 41% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 18% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 13% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 12% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 16% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Darth MaciekReviewed in the United Kingdom on 03 December 2012
3.0 out of 5 stars
A very original, visually splendid film with good leading actors - but damaged by a rather banal scenario and poor ending
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I enjoyed watching this pretty original New Zealandish film and I do not regret that I bought it - but it could have been a much, much better thing. Frankly, although by no means a bad thing, "Perfect creature" can also be seen as a study in wasted oportunities.

"Perfect creature" describes an alternate world, mostly similar to ours, with one HUGE exception. At one moment of its history (I believe in the end of the Middle Age) a new breed of humans, soon to be called "brothers" appeared. Brothers are mutants, always male, born to regular human couples. Baby brothers are instantly identifiable by being born with pointy canines (the rest of the teeth comes later, as with regular humans). They live very, very long, almost never get sick, heal extremely rapidly even from very serious wounds and they age very, very slowly - after 300 years since the first brothers were born they all are still alive and they look healthy 50. They are very fast and impossibly strong. Their senses are much better than those of regular people, especially the sight, hearing and smell. And they tolerate only one kind of food - human blood.

Brothers are however different from "classical" vampires in many aspects. They absolutely do not fear sunlight, garlic, wooden spikes or crosses, they appear in mirrors, they can not transform in animals, mist or golden dust,they can not hypnotize people, their bite does not create new brothers, and no, they do not shine when exposed to the sun...))) But the most important difference is that since they appeared 300 years ago, brothers NEVER killed a human being - not even once. In fact a covenant was formed as soon as first brothers reached adult age (we are left to understand that in the first years after the first birth some young brothers were massacred). In exchange of voluntary blood donations brothers swore to serve and protect humans. And this pact was respected - no adult brother EVER bit a human being or forced somebody to donate blood. Some non-lethal but dangerous accidents occured invoving baby brothers in the early years - this is why nowadays those babies, who can be quite dangerous, are adopted by brotherhood as soon as they are identified. Brothers feed exclusively with donated blood.

The initial covenant was probably somehow organised by the Christian churches, because 300 years later brotherhood is based in cathedrals and all brothers are considered as priests, although the cult they serve has hardly anything to do with Christianity anymore (although the main siege of brotherhood is called Cathedral of Saint-Augustin). People come to churches to donate their blood - in exchange they are sometimes allowed to dring brothers blood, which can give visions and also sometimes cure those who are badly sick. This ritual exchange of blood symbolizes the covenant by which the two races formed a "perfect creature".

Brothers, who live longer and do not need much sleep, have a lot of time to learn and therefore are for most part eminent scientists. They clearly contributed greatly to the development of civilization. If I understood correctly the first brothers appeared at the very end of Middle Age, in XV century, therefore the action of the film is situated somewhere between 1750 and 1800. But the technology of this alternate world is more advanced than what we had in those times. The architecture and the clothes look like in London around 1880 and there is still lots of horse-drawn carts around, but there are also cars, similar to those used around 1935. There are also telephones, radio, walkie-talkies, the earliest form of TV, gigantic Zeppelin-like airships (no airplanes though), automatic pistols, antibiotics and DNA analysis. On another hand the newspapers are crudely printed, like the ones from early Victorian era. This film shows very, very brilliantly this alternate world in a kind of "steam-punk" style. I found it a very fascinating thing.

The main actors did a good job in this film. Dougray Scott plays an eminent although relatively young brother named Silus, a rising figure in the church, probably the future leader of the brotherhood. Saffron Burrows, sculpturaly beautiful as always (even if here she wears rather unappealing clothes, like most of women in this world), plays a police agent, Lilly Squires. She lost her husband and only child in a recent influenza epidemy and since then she talks little and never smiles, but devotes all her time and energy to the work - which helps her forget her loss, well, at least a little. A very tough and pretty unpleasant cop, Lilly Squires is a pretty interesting character. For some reason, in this film she always carries a Japanese 8 mm Nambu 1906 automatic pistol (her partner, Jones, prefers to trust a German 9 mm Parabellum Luger 1908 - and I fully understand him).

Silus and Lilly will investigate together a wave of mysterious crimes in the slums area called Jamestown in a city which is probably London (at one moment we learn that the Queen resides there). It is a serious investigation, because as improbable as it sounds, it seems that those murders were committed by a brother - the first such a thing EVER. And considering that the city is still struggling with epidemy and people are already on the edge, the brotherhood and the human government are both terrified that the covenant could suffer from this development. Because not all humans are friendly towards brothers - far from it... And there is infinitely much more humans than brothers.

We learn almost all those things in the beginning of the film and from there a real masterpiece could originate. Sadly however, the director and the scenarist preferred to play it safe and make just a rather banal "monster hunt" B-movie, with a particularly weak "villain". And the ending is very, very disappointing - in fact it looks as if the director hoped to begin a new TV series with this film as pilot or to jumpstart a sequel. Therefore, although I liked many things in this film, I simply can not give it more than three stars. And it is a pity.
3 people found this helpful
Barbara. BarronReviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 August 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars
Vampires with another hat.
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The plot is unusual, and has a satisfying ending, one that, as far as I know, has not been alluded to before. It's a relatively peaceful vampire film, although the villain, an insane, out of control vampire does have his gory moments. The set is interesting due to being on an Earthlike planet, not Earth itself, and the steampunk enhanced cars, guns, even homely artifacts such as pipe work and radiators gave my consciousness a mild wallop, and made me question exactly where I was. The extreme architecture of the churches, and other local buildings, just that bit different from ours, also contributed to this feeling. The ethos of the age was the bringing together, under one roof, (the vampires') of religion, dogma and ritual and the advanced science of genetic engineering. Unhappy bedfellows I would have thought. This is slightly anomalous to the horse drawn vehicles and decidedly unscientific lives of the non vampires, the "ordinary" people.
I would like to have had a more in depth look at the lives of the vampires, their laboratories, and more on their religious rituals. There is certainly more scope for another film even if it is to show how the lives of the two "homo" species have survived intact, something that has not happened here on Earth!
I shall certainly watch this again, it's on my view a number of times list, and I know I'll enjoy it.
5 people found this helpful
Mr. Jonathon T. BeckettReviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 January 2010
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Tale Of Two Brothers
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Nuovo Zelandia, the 1960's. Following a series of plagues that have ravaged human kind, a new race is born, a race of vampires that becomes known as the brotherhood. Humans and vampires live side by side, the humans providing blood at church ceremonies for the vampires to exist, and in turn the vampires use ancient alchemy to provide cures for the plagues that still ravage the land. This arrangement soon is in danger, when a rogue member of the brotherhood, Edgar, infected by a virus whilst attempting to alter the birthrate of the brotherhood, starts to kill the people in the slum of Jamestown. Edgar's blood brother Silus assists the police in tracking him down before he kills again, but whilst capturing him, police officer Lilly(Saffron Burrows) is bitten by Edgar. Silus saves Lilly's life with an on the spot blood transfusion, and Edgar is taken to a laboratory in the headquarters of the Brotherhood.
However, Edgar escapes, and soon the population of Jamestown have a new plague to worry about, as Edgar vows to change the world to a very different place.
This film is a flawed, but very fascinating curio. It is set in an alternate New Zealand in the 1960's, where the industrial revolution of steam and steel is still very much alive, and where vampires and humans exist side by side in a fragile state of harmony. It looks great, with huge zeppelins flying way above the city, and giant bulidings reach into the sky. Its a film about race, as Edgar's actions endanger the purity of both races and Silus' selfless actions at the end change the world for the better. The film also shows religion, but the only one on show here is the church of the Brotherhood, mainly a place where people donate vessels of their blood for the survival of the Brotherhood.
The cast all do a great job, Leo Gregory especially of note as the unhinged Edgar. Saffron Burrows gives a nicely understated performance as the orphan detective.
The film perhaps throws one idea too many into the mix, but its difficult to criticize a film for having too many ideas.
Definately worth investing in, especially if you are looking for a very different take on the legend of vampires, and also if you are looking for an inventive mix of crime thriller and horror film. 4 out of 5
2 people found this helpful
MordyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 07 March 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
I liked it
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I'd never heard of this until I saw it on Amazon Prime Video but it's a great film - a little quirky for a Vampire movie and definitely not the sparkly kind. I loved the gritty steampunk-esque setting - the only let-down for me was that the version Amazon is streaming appears to have been encoded by a potato, I'm not even sure it's SD let alone HD.
Gisli Jokull GislasonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 05 September 2010
3.0 out of 5 stars
Style over substance
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Perfect creature is a very visual film, set in an alternate reality somewhere around 1900. Here Vampires belong to the Brotherhood, they look after the human race and are the focus of all religion. Part of the agreement is that people donate blood to the Brotherhood and do this willingly and it is a great honour. Never has a Vampire taken a human life - until now.

Again the setting is terrific, costumes are good and this alternate reality is a harsh impoverished place. For the setting the film gets top marks.

What I found troubled me is that the film is like watching a docudrama about the alternate reality because it lacked almost all suspense. It has an evil vampire but only a few scenes have much to get excited about, and towards the end there are hardly any at all.

It makes for an o.k. viewing but I really don't know how to classify it, it isn't horror, probably more like drama - with vampires. Not very good at all.
6 people found this helpful
Persistent GardenerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 07 February 2013
3.0 out of 5 stars
The perils of established religion...
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In this allegorical take on the evils of a Church ruling unchecked over humanity,
Vampires are the ... Church itself-called the Brotherhood in the film's
alternate, gothic-punk reality. This is a very interesting basic premise,
which, unfortunately, dies stillborn in a half-baked script, because
there isn't enough background of this alternate reality to hinge the story
Most of the CGI is unimpressive, but there are some nice shots of
Dickensian squalor. The enhanced senses of the Vampires are effectively
integrated in the film. Dougray Scott and Saffron Burrows are very good
in their respective, very subdued and dejected personas.
However, before anything meaningful evolves from their interaction,
the latter half of the film devolves
to some kind of disaster or action blockbuster, and ends in more confusion.
One person found this helpful
StochasticusReviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 February 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Unwatchable video
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Was hoping for something fairly trashy fun and it did look promising but either there was something wrong with the way it was playing on our smart tv or with the video itself. The quality was VHS standard with blurry quantised grey scale like a cheap DVD transfer and the aspect ratio seemed to be off, with the image squashed vertically.
LR.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 February 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
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This is cheap, The acting is cringe. I found it very boring and managed to watch 30 mins. Another disappointment. Overacting is awful. What we do in the shadows totally kicks its butt. Do yourself a favour and avoid wasting 30 mins of your life, we are not immortal so every minute counts.
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