"Kiss of the Vampire"
of the Vampire DVD cover
I really, truly hate
movies like this.
By now it's probably
no secret that, with only a very few exceptions, I hate vampire
movies. Why? Because most of them are the same thing, over and
over again. Oh, sure, I'll watch a new one when it comes out,
on the off chance that it's actually halfway decent, but I'm generally
Like I said, there
are only a handful of exceptions to my distaste for vampire movies--tops
among them are 30 Days of Night and John Carpenter's Vampires.
These two qualify as exceptions to my vampire movie hate-on because
they treat the vampire mythos in a fashion that's thoroughly out
of the ordinary. But more on that later.
First, the plot--a
group of vampires (anyone else know they were called a "coven"?
that's what the back of the box says) has taken up residence in
a small town that apparently isn't too far from the opera district.
One of these vampires attends an opera (and oh yes, there will
be opera.) where he meets the girl of his dreams and falls in
love. This, in retrospect, is a bad move because no less than
the Illuminati (you totally didn't misread that. I mean the absolute
Illuminati. Like Steve Jackson Games Illuminati) will use said
dream girl as a pawn in part of a grandiose and thoroughly ludicrous
plan to gain immortality...through vampirism.
The joke is, I'm not
Now, back to the earlier
point--there are two major reasons why I hate Kiss of the Vampire:
1. It Is A Gigantic
Pile of More Of The Same.
For those familiar
with the vampire clans of Vampire The Eternal Struggle, another
collectible card game much like Illuminati, making me wonder if
Katherine Hawks and Joe Tornatore just spend WAY too much time
in comic book stores, you'll recognize the names I'm about to
drop. I've always considered the 30 Days of Night vampires more
Malkavian, being incurably insane and megalomaniacal vampires.
And the John Carpenter's Vampires version, based loosely on the
fantastic Allan Steakley novel Vampire$, are a lot more Brujah,
being a bit more anarchical in their lifestyle. Meanwhile, pretty
much every other vampire movie ever made is almost exclusively
Ventrue, being pompous, power-hungry and haughty above all else.
Think Interview With A Vampire times a whole lot and you've got
the general idea, I'd say. If Kiss of the Vampire were any more
Ventrue, it would get sued into insensate oblivion. This is the
big problem--most vampire movies have their vampires straight-mince
around, sighing and expressing their angst and ennui in thoroughly
poetic terms between bouts of sucking blood. This one goes so
far as to include opera.
2. It Refuses To Stop
And not just necks
either, ba-DUM-bum! No...this movie will suck from start to finish.
The vampires will frequently crouch down in a pose that suggests
"looka me! I'm gonna POUNCE you!" and hiss in thoroughly
vampire fashion. Assuming, of course, all you know about vampires
comes from the Friday night LARP your college gaming club ran.
Actors were apparently selected for their ability to go without
blinking for up to thirty seconds at a time. Fight scenes are
a joke--a poorly choreographed joke at that!--and you can forget
about anything even resembling a special effect. Watching a vampire
hunter (yes of COURSE there's a vampire hunter) get staked basically
involves a cutaway shot to him with some fake blood on his mouth.
And trust me...the guy's not a good enough actor to convincingly
carry off "two feet of oak suddenly inserted in my lungs"
so the overall effect is just lost.
So that's a good summary
of my problems with this movie. Oh, wait...I've got one more.
The ending is a new
low in outlandish, idiotic plot twists. It's going to involve
heads floating in outer space and more vampire hissing. Above
the earth. No, I'm serious.
The special features
include audio options, Spanish subtitles, cast bios, and trailers
for Kiss of the Vampire, Ghosts of Goldfield, Spiker and Blood
All in all, yet another
truly lousy vampire movie has come and gone, and unless you can't
get enough of the sappy angsty soap opera that is Clan Ventrue,
then I advise you to stock up on the garlic for this one.
of the Vampire
Directed by Joe Tornatore
Written by Katherine Hawks
Starring Martin Rove, Costas Mandylor, Gary Daniels, Phil Fondacaro
Produced by Frank D. Russo, Frederic Holzberger, Katherine Hawkes,
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