Subspecies V: Blood Rise script was first written over 20 years ago

Ted Nicolaou confirms he first wrote the script for Subspecies V: Blood Rise more than 20 years ago, and it took this long to raise the budget

Writer/director Ted Nicolaou was really pumping out entries in the Full Moon vampire series Subspecies back in the ’90s. The first Subspecies was released in 1991, Bloodstone: Subspecies II in 1993, Bloodlust: Subspecies III in 1994, the Subspecies-adjacent film Vampire Journals in 1997, and Subspecies 4: Bloodstorm in 1998. And he was fully prepared to keep the series rolling. During an interview with Pop Horror, he confirmed that he originally wrote the screenplay for Subspecies V: Blood Rise – which will receive a one-night theatrical release in thirty to forty cities, courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse, on May 15th – more than twenty years ago!

Nicolaou told Pop Horror, “We basically thought that Subspecies the first one, back in 1990 actually when we were shooting around eight months after the (Romanian) revolution that toppled Ceaușescu, we thought it was a one-off film and that would be it. It wasn’t until we screened it finally for Paramount – because it was being released by Paramount Home Video – that they asked for a sequel. Charles Band decided let’s not just make one sequel but two. We thought three would be it and then three was popular enough to make four, and I thought for sure that’s it because the story had basically ended in number four. But then Charlie asked for another one and I wrote it over 20 years ago, the sequel number five. It took that long for the money to come together for us to do it.

When asked why it took so long to get Subspecies V into production, he replied, “Yeah, basically Full Moon had a deal with Paramount Home Entertainment I think it was called, to release the films, and right about the time I was writing Subspecies V, the deal kind of fell apart. Then Charlie went through a period of trying to do much lower budget films and Denice Duff, Anders Hove, and I basically wanted to hang on to the idea that we would try to make this movie at a level of quality that would at least match the earlier films. So we held off and said, ‘We can’t do it, we can’t do it,’ and Charles was trying to raise the money. It took this long for Full Moon to get back on its feet enough for the money to come together.

The Paramount deal actually fell apart even before Subspecies 4 was made, but there’s no question that Full Moon ran into some budgetary issues as we entered the new century. It’s good to know that Nicolaou did finally get the money he needed to make Subspecies V on the level it deserved – and it’s very exciting that we’re going to have the chance to see the movie very soon!

Subspecies V: Blood Rise has the following synopsis: Stolen by crusaders on the night of his birth, he has no knowledge of his bloodline: his mother is a demon; his father is a vampire. Trained and exploited by a brotherhood of mystic monks to slay all enemies of the church, fate brings him back one night to the castle of his father, armed with the monster-slaying Sword of Laertes, to destroy the vampire Vladislas and reclaim a holy relic: The Bloodstone. The events of that night turn Radu from a noble man into a vampire with no master, setting him on a centuries-long quest for sustenance, and companionship, for the treacherous one who stole him from the sun, and for the Bloodstone he hopes will bring him peace. Spanning 500 years in the life of the vampire Radu Vladislas, this long-anticipated prequel to the Subspecies series chronicles Radu’s descent from a noble warrior for the Church to a depraved creature of the night.

Anders Hove reprises the role of Radu and is joined in the cast by Denice Duff and Kevin Spirtas, both of whom have been in previous Subspecies movies. While Duff played the character Michelle in all of the previous sequels, for this movie she’s playing a new character, Helena. Spirtas played a character named Mel in his other Subspecies appearances, but here his character is Vladislas. Also in the cast are Staša Nikolić as Ariel, Marko Filipović as Ash, Petar Arsić as Marius, Yulia Graut as Circe, Olivera Peruničić as Diana, and Jakov Marjanović as Stefan.

Ash may be the character who took the lead in Vampire Journals.

Full Moon founder Charles Band has said, “It took twenty-six years to be able to afford to make this film. You know, we work on cash flow here, and I thought, ‘One day, when we can afford it, let’s make an amazing Subspecies movie.’ This is more of a prequel and we shot it in Serbia. It was a big production for us. Really proud of it.

Are you looking forward to Subspecies V: Blood Rise? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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