While this is very clearly a movie about vampires and the challenges of containing the looming threat that they pose to society, it also reflects some of our favorite characteristics in film: post-apocalyptic survival.

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Priest is loosely based on a Korean comic of the same name, and it follows the story of a warrior-priest, remnant from a previous war in which humanity achieved a Pyrrhic victory against their vampire enemies. The priest is a legacy of a great army of fanatically religious soldiers who contained the existential threat but at great cost. When he finds out that some vampires have broken out of a “vampire reserve” and kidnapped his daughter, the priest ventures into the wastelands and tracks down the first “human vampire” (played by Karl Urban) along with his army of beasts.

What We Learn:

The main reason this film only gets 2 SOS Points is because this entire situation was seemingly avoidable. Had the church and its priests not left vampires alive on reserves, then there would be no risk of vampires making a comeback and seeking revenge (which they would obviously want). It is established in the film that humanity clearly defeated the vampires with their priests, but for some reason it was decided to keep a perpetually hostile species alive and contained in several underground facilities. Big mistake. It’s not like these vampires are a component of the environment in any way; they are practically alien, and only want destruction of life by the looks of it. Therefore, life should eliminate the vampires, as they are portrayed in this story. What we can take away from this is that if you are faced with a 100% parasitic species that isn’t contributing to the ecosystem or playing any role in it other than destroying it – kill or be killed.

Also, there is a slight fundamental problem with the premise of Karl Urban being the first human-based vampire. It’s difficult to suspend my disbelief enough to accept that after centuries upon centuries of warfare between the two species, that only in this instance has a vampire queen attempted to convert a human, when they are already converting other humans to “familiar” states – subjugated but still human. With this access to people already under their spell, you would think the vampires would have figured this out.. they do in every other vampire story.

Anyway, there is very little to be learned about survival in a post-apocalyptic world in this story, other than the observation of characters somewhat having to survive in a vision of what the planet could become. Of course, the story presupposes that vampires exist, and that they are the reason that the world has become what it has. Electricity is clearly a commodity in the film outside of the church-controlled cities. Vehicles seem to be powered by solar-derived electric jets and possibly nuclear reactors; something to think about in a world where one would no longer have ready access to petroleum fuel. Even though the cities seem to be chugging away and refining something..

In reality, the most this film can do to prepare you to survive is to offer a visualization of what the world could become after centuries of human-vampire war. So, get familiar with that.

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