Sunday, January 3, 2010

I heard you like vampires ...

I highly recommend Vampyros Lesbos. It's no Let the Right One In, and it is basically a poorly done exploitation film from the 70s, but that somehow makes this retelling of Dracula even more captivating. Despite the serious, arty face the film puts on, it's really a clever burlesque of the original tale, plus lesbianism. All the players are there, but transformed. Dracula is replaced by his protege and sole heiress the countess Carody, Renfield's stand-in is the beautiful young Agra, driven mad by her love for the infernally magnetic vampiress, and Van Helsing is portrayed as a corrupt and supercilious psychologist.

The best of these subversions is the heroine Linda Westinghouse, a lawyer summoned to the countess's private island to assist in some ill-defined way with her inheritance. Once there, she is drawn into a dangerous shadow world of awkwardly edited undead-lesbian passion, effectively merging the roles of Jonathan Harker and Wilhelmina Murray from Bram Stoker's story. Westinghouse is both the object of the (ridiculously hot) vampire's lust and the one who must ultimately destroy the bloodsucking monster. I liked that part, but I was a little bummed out that even an obscenely wealthy and powerful vampire's sexual preference had to be explained by a rape she survived in childhood. (Dracula saved her.)

Also, I was rooting for predator and prey to wind up in an eternal unholy union and get married under the cherry trees in D.C., but I'll take this for now. (Maybe Quentin Tarantino will answer my remake prayers.)

Now that I've ruined the entire story for you, go Netflix that sucker. I'm going to get my hands on the soundtrack. It's really all about the soundtrack.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.