Before Bram Stoker, “vampire” had an almost universally female connotation in society: the femme fatale, the lustful seductress, the woman who would lead someone to ruin, drawing devotion like an addiction. The Takeover, written by director Trent Harris and Cameron Wingo, takes a female vampire, Maya (Mary Tabour), waging a volatile action-filled battle between her kind, humans, and “davers” (cadavers) to rule a post-apocalyptic world.
In this vampire world, the blood supply has been stymied due to an attempt to destroy the vampires who kill the food source, a.k.a. humans. The ensuing fallout created zombies. There is a superweapon that dispenses with the traditional stake in the heart and sunlight, replacing it with a simple one-shot incineration that works on each entity vying for a place on the planet. The battle for it is on, as whoever controls the weapon can destroy the others and reign supreme.
“…a female vampire [wages] a volatile action-filled battle between her kind, humans, and ‘davers’ (cadavers) to rule a post-apocalyptic world.”
The vampires of The Takeover do not possess a fear of garlic, religious symbols, or sunlight, nor do they sleep in their native soil. The writers obviously are drawing inspiration from The Walking Dead and Underworld series, in which lycans battle vampires and humans for supremacy. Maya fights and is dressed in leather, a la Kate Beckinsale’s Selene, although not quite as form-fitting.
Roaring along, mixing comic book outrageous violence like left or right cross punches to render vampires, zombies, and humans alike unconscious with a single blow, The Takeover offers a bleak vision of science. No one is safe from the intrigues as Maya is fighting for survival. She finds she must work with humans, even those she is at odds with. Dojo Turnbull resembles a younger Chuck Norris in fatigues as the tough-talking, punching, no-nonsense General O’Brien. However, he’s allowed to show his tender side on a mission to set the world right for personal reasons.
The Takeover moves swiftly through the action as many people cross Maya’s path in her quest to save vampires from extinction. The actors come off as being sincere in a lot of the dialogue-heavy scenes, which dispenses with the usual technological/mysticism babble that can get in the way. The result is a budget-conscious battle between two supernatural clans with the humans in the middle. Plenty of fisticuffs, gunplay, and martial arts are shown, though there is a limit on practical gore effects. Harris’ film is a good diversion from traditional vampire lore, placing the human and undead on equal footing to battle the real bloodsuckers, which is military science in this case.
"…moves swiftly through the action..."