This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.
Once upon a time the vampires of Transylvania were ruled over by the wise vampire king Vladislas (Angus Scrimm), who was able to exert his authority through the use of the Bloodstone – a stone that drips what is believed to be the blood of the saints and gives its bearer certain powers over and above those of a basic bloodsucker. Vladislas had two sons – his elder son, Radu (Anders Hove), is the son of a sorceress and thus bears some of her infernal powers, whilst Stefan (Michael Watson) was the son of a mortal woman and made a point of denying his vampire heritage as much as he could.
Come the present day and the region around Castle Vladislas is the site of an ongoing conflict between Stefan and Radu. King Vladislas wants to hand over his power to Stefan on the day of a great local festival, commemorating a battle when the vampires intervened to stop the Ottomans from conquering the area. Radu. who had been exiled from Vladislas’ realm, pre-empts this by confronting Vladislas and demanding the Bloodstone from him – which he takes after murdering Vladislas with the aid of the Subspecies, a trio of tiny devils spawned from Radu’s severed fingertips.