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AKA's: Anjos Da Noite / Inframundo / Monde Infernal / Varjojen Valtakunta

Release date: 2003 USA/Germany/Hungary/UK
Running time: 121' (cover 121') - Source: DVD (RC 1/NTSC)
133' (cover 134') - Source: DVD (RC 1/NTSC) Dir. Cut
128' (cover 128') - Source: DVD (RC 2/PAL) Dir. Cut
Rating: Germ.: 16/18 (Dir. Cut); UK: 15; US: R/NR (Dir. Cut)
Main Crew: Director: Len Wiseman (Underworld: Evolution 2006)
Producer: Lakeshore Entertainment / Laurinfilm / Subterranean Productions
Score: Paul Haslinger
Writer: Kevin Grevioux / Len Wiseman / Danny McBride
Director of photography: Tony Pierce-Roberts


Summary: In the Underworld, Vampires are a secret clan of modern aristocratic sophisticates whose mortal enemies are the Lycans (werewolves), a shrewd gang of street thugs who prowl the city's underbelly. No one knows the origin of their bitter blood feud, but the balance of power between them turns even bloodier when a beautiful young Vampire warrior (Kate Beckinsale) and a newly-turned Lycan with a mysterious past (Scott Speedman) fall in love.
Note: - Former production designer Len Wiseman's first motion picture (he has, however, directed hundreds of music videos and commercials, and has worked with filmmaker Roland Emmerich).
- The movie was initially planned as a horror/action version of "Romeo and Juliet", with vampires playing the part of the Capulets and werewolves as the Montagues.
- Kate Beckinsale, who left the father of her daughter, Michael Sheen (he played Lucian in the movie), for Len Wiseman, the director of this film, almost put the script aside without considering it when she heard it was a vampire movie. It was only after having seen the attached conceptual drawings by Len Wiseman that she read the script which finally pleased her.
- The film was shot in Budapest, with a mostly non-English speaking crew, therefore needing fifteen translators.
- The model for Selene was the psychic vampire of the Hellfire Club in the X-Men comics, the Black Queen Selene.
- The vampires in the film are not undead according to the movie (they can breathe, bleed, and see their reflections). The writers created a genetic/biologic source - a virus that most humans die from.
- In September 2003, a lawsuit was opened against Sony Pictures and Screen Gems by White Wolf Inc (a role-playing game manufacturer) and author Nancy Collins who are claiming 17 counts of copyright infringement. White Wolf claims that "Underworld" is too close to two of their games ("Vampire: The Masquerade" and "Werewolf: The Apocalypse") as well as their fictional "World Of Darkness". Collins who is published under White Wolf claims that the script of "Underworld" is from her story "Love Of Monsters".
- Days before its US opening, the president of Screen Gems green lit not only a sequel but also a prequel after seeing the number of tickets sold in Canada alone.

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Our Ranking

short review:

While looking a whole bunch of vampire flicks, I always missed a good production of the well-known bloodfeud of Lycantrophes and Vampires. There are of course some old movies like Noche de Walpurgis or Marca Del Hombre Lobo, which worked with this particular themes, but not one of them told the story in such a perfect manner as "Underworld" does. Vampire Insiders knew of course of this relationship between the masterrace of the vampires with their protective pets, the Werewolves, but not everyone. This could have been the reason why not that many filmmakers built a story around this vile relationship. This movie even gives us an alternative reason for the starting of the feud. Although the mainplot is not a very innovative one (Shakespeare wrote about this theme 500 years earlier, and was copied from hence a thousand times), it is still a believable mainplot, and a very romatic one I'd like to add. Another intriguing thing the film posesses is the way your sympathy for the various factions shifts. At first you dislike Lucian, and later you feel very much attached to his story.... and this works for some other sidecharacters as well. I even could tolerate the solaric bullets (bullets filled with the essence of daylight), which I find much more adequate than garlic-filled bullets. There is but one slight drawback: The appearance of the lycanrophic-vampiric Hybrid at the showdown... He does too much have the look of a black Hulk.

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