Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Addicted to Murder – review

dvdDirected by: Kevin J Lindenmuth

Release date: 1995

Contains spoilers

There are many reasons why this should be a rubbish film. It is a low to no budget vampire movie. The actors were unknowns at the time and any experience was only, it seems, in no to low budget films. It is filmed on camcorder. The sound is poor (which might be a DVD transfer issue but, I suspect, is a general sound issue). It is a Kevin J Lindenmuth film.

Now the last comment is cruel. We have looked at one of his films before. Rage of the Werewolf failed, in the main, because the film was way too ambitious for the budget. Comparatively a pure vampire film is easy peasy, some fake blood, false fangs and you are good to go. But even so…

Joel makes for an interesting character study…Yet I found myself enjoying this as I watched it. The acting was average or lower, the ideas didn’t altogether withstand the structure and (at times sparse) exposition and yet I was really quite taken with the film. It is good to be surprised, it is good to have an interesting (if flawed) character study.

first meeting with RachelWe begin in 1970 and a woman (Renee Nocito) calls into the night for, well to be honest its sounds like she’s calling for her dog but we soon realise it is her son she calls for. In the woods a man seems to attack a woman and then she reverses it and rips into his throat. She is a vampire named Rachel (Laura McLauchlin). She turns to camera and we realise she is talking to a child, she tells him she won’t hurt him, she recognises he is special, his name is Joel.

the fledgling killerWhat we then get is the story of a man who is a serial killer and, to be candid, whilst the idea that the vampire sees something within him at such a young age is interesting it does lean towards a ‘darkness inside’ theorem through the film, rather than a nurture and psychological trauma basis. Yes Joel (Mick McCleery) has been twisted by a drunken mother, school bullies and abusive babysitters – more so by a vampire; but the vampire would argue she responds to the darkness within.

a twisted psyche in the makingNow what was interesting was how the vampire reacted to this killer. She came to him and encouraged his urges… on her. He killed her in a variety of ways, stabbing, chainsaw, electrocution. Sometimes the kill involved sexual gratification, with her. It is clear that she fed as much from his dark emotions as she did from blood and, arguing nurture, she certainly encouraged the killer to appear/emerge. It also, it seems, made her feel alive.

murderous fantasiesThen she left him and he tried to lead a normal life but he was cold towards his wife – who married him because he revealed said darkness via a level of kinkiness (blood play in this case). He became caught within dark fantasies, often involving Rachel. He was deemed as an outsider within his life and then fliers began to come for a club called “The Hungry”.

he is turningIn the club he meets another vampire, Angie (Sasha Graham). She uses his darkness to feed from, again, and also seems to be pushing him towards turning. It is as though the darkness I mentioned makes him a vampire already. She indicates that Rachel gave him to her, we don’t know if that is true.

Lore is there, but a little sparse. We discover late on that staking seems to kill a vampire but, generally, they are impervious to most harm. They feed on both blood and negative emotions, as I mentioned, and they are impervious to sunlight.

vampire's true faceThey are fanged and it seems that they have a true, demonic, face but that really became ‘no budget too far’. Honestly, let it go… If you can’t afford a decent, life like rubber mask keep to the fangs!! This was, however, a brief visitation of demonic face and at the end of the movie so not too bad.

My explanation of the story is, to be honest, better structured than the film and the structure tried to be clever and ended up just becoming confused. I was unsure of some of the motivations and some of the film aspects were there, not so much to shock, but to indicate why this person became the killer we meet and in themselves were, perhaps, unnecessary.

not so cryptic messageAll that doesn’t take away from the fact that I enjoyed watching this. Such a confession does not make this a good film. It is flawed, perhaps fatally so, and yet it succeeds where perhaps it shouldn’t but, nevertheless, it does succeed. 3.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

No comments: