The Understudy: Graveyard Shift II (1988)


Written, Designed & Directed by: Jerry Ciccoritti


Wendy Gazelle .... Camilla / Patti
Mark Soper .... Matthew
Michael A. Miranda .... Baisez
Ilse von Glatz .... Ash
Tim Kelleher .... Duke / Larry
Lesley Kelly .... Martina

Release Date: Direct-to-Video: November, 1988




Baisez (Michael A. Miranda) is back once again but this time playing the title role for a low budget vampire flick in which he seduces some of the cast and crew as one of the people involved Matthew (Mark Soper) tries to put a stop to him when he realises that his fiancee Camilla (Wendy Gazelle) is in his evil clutches.


The beginning looked okay as we have some people having a discussion and one of them looking like a vampire which is a teaser later on in which they were preparing for their lines by doing a film shoot as well as one of these characters doing his cue by biting someone on the neck with blood trickling down which makes you wonder if this person really is a vampire or not. Makes the moment look truly mysterious.
Also impressive moments on the cutting room floor with the movie producer being unhappy with the lead actors performance in his flick as this seemed to fit into the story which isn't too badly done.
A nice setting between Camilla and Baisez when he approaches her and being charming towards her in which these moments looked silent and still as this gives you a chilling feeling that he wants her for his mistress. Their moments I must admit looked fairly well done even if the story was tiresome.
Nice floodlights shining between the two of them in a later scene with him getting nearly lustful towards her as this gives you the chills by knowing on what he has planned for her. It looked impressively mysterious to watch this scene since the moments were carefully shot as well as a good shot on her revealing fangs which seemed to work in okay.
What grabbed my attention is a moment between Camilla and Matthew with their romantic conversations towards each other which looked good and mellow as well as him proposing towards her and she accepts looking extremely uplifting as well as a lustful scene between the two of them which breaks the silence when she nips his lower lip and he reacts painfully towards what she did to him in which this almost throws you off while watching this moment.

Clever scene with Baisez pouring water in some chamagne glasses as well as dumping one and repouring it with blood which made me think that this was about to happen since vampires often offer a drinking glass with vampire blood as well as him telling her that he needs blood to live and so fourth. This was nicely set out.
Then suddenly appears the annoying fired actor Ramon approaching Camilla and suddenly Baisez isn't there which looked interesting to watch as well as her looking at a knife in which we all get a sinking feeling that sh'es going to kill him as this situation didn't look as intense as it was supposed to have been.
Interesting artsy shot on Baisez lying there and drinking blood from this victim but the other moments looked quite bland to watch since we've seen some of these moments in other vampire flicks.
Interesting situation with Camilla going into a dark area trying to get Duke to join her which is a nice sign that she will do something deadly to him.
Perfect intense moment when Duke is in pain from a bitten hand with bruises all over him as well as being pitted against Camilla but however I think they were doing a scene taking place on a film set which kinda leaves this moment a bit of a disappointment.
Great slick moments with Baisez approaching Ash and her giving in to him with their lustful situations which looked impressive to watch but these moments looked a little too obvious and common at the same time. Still the camera shots looked good with their energised moments together.
Then the next day looked good with Ash introducing him to the casting directors in which you know that she's a vampiress now under his spell. Also good moments with him telling the casting directors that mornings don't work for him since we all know that vampires can't survive the daylight.
A great sharp moment when he does an audition by using a pool table with shooting the balls into the pockets in which this looked well done for someone who would nail a performance to win the role. This grabbed my attention big time.
Perfect intense and deadly moment when one of the movie producers is being pitted against both Baisez and Ash when he demands something towards this person as this makes you watch carefully wondering if a killing will happen or not by how this was all set out.
Another great intense situation when Matthew gets demanding towards Camilla asking her if she's having an affair with Baisez and getting abusive towards her which looked powerful to watch and wondering if he has suddenly lost his sanity over this by how he treats her. A nicely added scene for this bland story.
Intense moment with Camilla sucking blood from Ash's hand and taking too much of it with her pleading to stop which looked strongly done.
Great bet with Matthew challenging Baisez a game of pool and if he wins he's to set Camilla free and if he loses it causes his life which is a good psychological and tension on playing a deadly game as well as having a sinking feeling that this person might lose the game.
A perfect effective moment when the two of them struggle against one another as well as Matthew opening the curtains to show Baisez the daylight which is effective to watch.
Bottom line is that this sequel is just as bland as the original except in the first one I liked the fact that this vampre was a cab driver at night but he is an actor this time for a vampire movie in which most of the terrors only happen when they're shooting this piece as it's a film in a film spoiling the fun for a cheesy vampire horror flick. Nothing special here at all folks.

The acting is not too shabby in which Wendy Gazelle (Camilla / Patti) shows off a nice versatality with her spoft spoken voice showing this off greatly as someone whom is mellow as well as at times doing an okay job coming across slick in her vampiress mode. She also plunges in well when she plays for her part in a film shoot. Does well with her fearful and intense speaking in other parts of the film as well as acting emotionally frightened too as this shines off for the certain scene's too.
Mark Soper (Matthew) seemed to do a fine job acting full of life especially during a romantic moment proposing to someone else. Was highly energetic within all that he did here. He had alot of spunk as well as the right looks for this role. Plus shows a nice scene of change by behaving demanding and obnoxious during a certain scene acting beleiveably intimidating. Shows a good courageous energy challenging someone to a game of pool. Yes he brought alot of his character to life.
Michael A. Miranda (Baisez) reprises his role and doesn't let his part down at all in which he shows a good slick and sneaky type of attitude along with doing well by his sleazy and creepy charm to his part towards others. All of this was drawn in greatly. Plus knew on how to perform as an actor in a film being sharp with his words. Also was great acting deadly and threatening towards someone else in a certain scene which looked good and strong. Does well by being short and to the point too. Two thumbs up for this guy.
Ilse von Glatz
(Ash) was another one who stood out well with her sharp and serious speaking towards others. Also knew on how to give in weakly during another part of the story as this shows off greatly. Plus does a nice job acting like a vamiress having a mysterious behavior about herself. Does a good job paniacking after someone drinks blood from her hand as she acts nice and intense behaving this way.
Tim Kelleher (Duke / Larry) seemed to really be on the ball as another spunky actor in which he shows a good hyperacting and bubbly type of behavior towards everything. Also does well with his smart attitude with what he's talking about or reacting to intense moments. Shows off a good courageous personality near the end of his performance which shones off greatly.

Wendy Gazelle shows off her breasts briefly while lusting with someone in bed
Ilse von Glatz also briefly shows off her breasts while lusting with someone in bed

Bloodied bitten hands are revealed
A head is decapitated

For the opening as well as some of the other scene's there's some deep synthesizer type of music which sounds fairly okay. However there's some stale piano playing during other spots of the flick which lacked inspiration and needed more polishing. Yet there's great saxophone along with good rhythm beats for a lustful sequence which fits in marvellously and we hear a bit of this during the very end of the story which sounded very catchy. All of this was put together by Philip Stern