Autodidact: self-taught


Kiss of the Damned

by V. L. Craven


Paolo (Milo Ventimiglia) is instantly captivated by flame haired Djuna (Josephine de La Baume). She’s drawn to him, as well, but warns him off and hints that she has a bit of a bitey problem.

He asks if she’s trying to tell him she’s a vampire and of course he doesn’t believe her.

So she has him chain her to the bed and they begin to get sexy with it (apparently sexy time is what makes the fangs come out in this type of vampire).

She vamps out and he decides he’s okay with that and she turns him.

The rest of the film is partially about him learning how to be a vampire in the modern world–there’s a dinner party scene that’s hilarious–and partially about their relationship. The two lovers want to get away from it all and start afresh.

Another big subplot is Djuna’s horrible sister, Mimi (Roxane Mesquida), arriving and acting like a rockstar. And I don’t mean staging free concerts to help the less fortunate.

Mimi is supposed to be shipped off to rehab in the American southwest, but she wants to stay in Connecticut. (I can’t say I blame her–dry heat sounds terrible for a vampire.) So she brings an offering to the lady of the house Xenia (Anna Mouglalis) in the form of a virgin.

She also brings an offering of her lady parts to Paolo because she’s one of those women who likes making trouble.

What goes around comes around though, you know.

Do you have any scarves I can borrow?

Do you have any scarves I can borrow?

Kiss of the Damned could be a little slow, but I enjoyed it and I’m not the biggest vampire film buff. So take that as you will.

I appreciated how non-exploitative it was–this could have been due to the writer/director (Xan Cassavetes) being a woman.

There was less gore than I was expecting, but the special effects that were there weren’t up to what today’s audiences are accustomed–I wondered if it was an homage to 70s horror films.

That said: Why are all these Europeans in the Connecticut countryside? The main vamps are ancient and from Europe–why don’t they live in New York or somewhere they won’t stick out? Like, you know, Europe?



Vampires in the Cold

by V. L. Craven

Vampire films, as a genre, don’t particularly hold my interest. Immortality seems boring–humans would whine about the same problems every century–and having sex with a room-temperature body (vampires are corpses) is stomach-churning, so their sex appeal is similarly lost on me. I’m not against watching a film about vampires, but there has to be some other draw.

In this case, it’s cold climates–the beauty of a frozen landscape will get me to watch a lot of things. So this week’s film review is a comparison of two films about vampires in cold climates: Let the Right One In and 30 Days of Night.

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One in is based on the Swedish novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist and is about a boy who befriends his unusual new neighbour–a girl of twelve. The girl advises him to fight back against his bullies and even offers to help. Much of the story is about the budding friendship between the two young people and the boy learning to stand up for himself.

The backdrop to all of this are the horrific killings that have been happening–one man was found upside down, drained of blood; and another was attacked and murdered in front of a witness, who swore it looked like the attacker was a child.

This film is much more atmospheric and subdued than most vampire films, which was refreshing. There was also very little blood and onscreen violence, considering the trend of horror films in general. Several tropes common to vampires were handled cleverly–trusting the intelligence of the audience rather than relying on special effects. I would recommend this to fans of vamp flicks who were looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, as well as to people who simply liked a good story. I’ll definitely watch it again.

30 Days of Night Film poster

The premise is that the town farthest north in the U.S. experiences thirty days of darkness once a year and someone (or something) has cut them off from civilisation even further by stealing and destroying all the mobiles amongst other things. Once no one can get in or out or can contact the outside world, things start picking off the humans. Yummy, yummy humans. 

I’m going to admit that I wasn’t expecting much from this one. It looked like pretty standard fare so I just came for the pretty scenery. However, some genius in casting had Danny Huston as the lead vampire. And he had a sidekick who rather looked like Marilyn Manson, which amused me greatly.

30 Days Huston and the Goth

‘Why do people keep asking me to sing Beautiful People?’

This one was better than I was expecting, but I’d only recommend it to people who like vampire films. It had plenty of blood and action and one very cool shot of the town that (along with Huston) made it worth the watch.

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