Underworld: Some Notes.

Last night in a fit of insomnia, I finally watched the movie “Underworld”. Afterwards, I was surprised to find that RiffTrax have not applied their talents to this film. In case they ever do, I have endeavoured to prepare some helpful notes.


Underworld takes place in Disney’s scenic but rainy EuropeTown USA. Daytime has been abolished, which is fortunate for the vampires.

The setting is modern day, although the vampires have a contract with the Hogwarts Express to deliver their private train cars by steam engine.

Vampire Facts

Vampires are readily identifiable by their leather clothing and the many guns they carry at all times.

Vampire Strengths:

  • Jumping
  • Shooting guns
  • Dramatically opening doors
  • Hot Topic

Vampire Weaknesses:

  • The sun
  • Sun bullets
  • Being shot with guns, even ones with normal bullets
  • Passing out due to minor shoulder wounds
  • Drowning
  • Grenades
  • Werewolf bites
  • Swords
  • Bureaucracy

Powers notably not possessed by vampires include, but are not limited to: turning into bats. Turning into wolves. Turning into a cloud of sexy green mist. Mesmerizing gaze. Blinding speed. Ability to fly. Sparkling.

Vampires are immortal. Vampire elders celebrate their deathlessness by having their dessicated corpses entombed for centuries. Periodically they awaken to shake their canes at younger vampires.

Vampire Hobbies:

Werewolf Lichen Facts

Werewolves in Underworld are called “lichens”. Wikipedia defines a lichen as:

 a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria (or both) living among filaments of a fungus in a symbiotic relationship.

This actually explains a lot about the werewolves in the movie.

Lichens are readily identifiable by their leather clothing and the many guns they carry at all times.

Lichen strengths:

  • Running
  • Shooting guns
  • Turning into wolves, when they can be bothered
  • Nu-Metal

In their wolf form, they possess such distinctly lupine powers as:

  • Being giant hairless rat-pig things
  • Clinging to walls

Lichen Weaknesses:

  • Silver
  • Being shot with guns
  • Running directly into gunfire
  • Tedious flashbacks

Story Notes

The story centers around a human who carries a rare gene which can unite vampire and lichen. The plot aggressively avoids developing this character in any way. I think he was male?

Towards the end, there is a running battle between at least three factions of immortals. It can be a bit confusing, so I have prepared this guide:

  • There is the faction of vampires loyal to Kraven. They can be distinguished by their black leather clothing and their tendency to shoot guns.
  • There is a faction of vampires loyal to Viktor. They are notable for their preference for black leather clothing, and propensity at shooting guns.
  • There are also the lichens. They are the ones shooting guns while wearing black leather clothing.

There is also a hole in the ground which features in at least 17 scenes. I’m not sure what it’s significance is, but it must be important to show up so often. Perhaps there is some kind of symbolism in the fact that by the end of the film, every last character has hurled themselves into this pit.

In the film’s finale, we learn that when you combine vampire and lichen into a hybrid, the result is an Uruk-Hai. This uber-immortal has the combined powers of:

  • Having his ass kicked by a vampire.
  • Being saved at the last minute by another vampire.

I hope these notes help advance the field of Vampire/Lichen studies.

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  1. sigh

    It’s Lycan
    Related to the word Lycanthropy.

  2. This cracked me up! I much prefer your version! It’s funny, the other night we attempted to watch it, and made it maybe 10 minutes in, and got bored to death!

    1. For a vampire action movie, it’s shockingly dull.

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