Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kiss Me if You Dare – review

Director: Brad Sykes

Release date: 2002

Contains spoilers

Known in the US as Demon’s Kiss, Kiss me if you Dare is another film by Brad Sykes, whose work we have seen in the form of Lord of the Vampires, Bloody Tease and Death Factory. Now, Death Factory was an unusual spin on the vampire myth – or so it was decided having been subjected to the patented “Vamp or Not?” process. Kiss me if You Dare is not as unusual but it still a spin on the general genre staples – so kudos for that.

Jeff Marchelletta as Paul
It is also not brilliantly shot and quite poorly acted but in that B movie, Fred Olen Ray school of filming… indeed Ray staple actress Beverly Lynne makes an appearance in the film and it begins in Chile or so we later discover. Paul (Jeff Marchelletta) has travelled out there with his girlfriend and photographer Teresa (Madeleine Lindley), art historian Ruby (Emmy Smith) and intern Michelle (Beverly Lynne). He tells taxi driver Carlos (Pedro Pano) that they are there to study the extinct Akuma tribe. Pedro mentions that they should be beware El Beso Del Demonio.

the Akuma woman
After an overnight in a hotel – an excuse to have a rumpy pumpy session between Paul and Teresa – they set out with the guide Zayas (Richard Azurdia) who takes them so far and then is going to abandon them until more money is shown. Ruby mentions El Beso Del Demonio, which he translates to Demon’s Kiss but won’t elaborate on the actual meaning of the phrase. Teresa sees movement in the forest, a girl with what looks like painted markings. Later, on a rest, Paul is checking Michelle’s ankle – much to Teresa’s disgust – when Teresa spots the girl again and follows her, leaving the others behind.

She is led to a cave and goes in. A fire burns and skulls are carved in the walls. There is a demonic looking mask on the floor. Teresa is hit by the girl. She wakes up in a hospital bed back in LA. She has been out cold for three days (one suspects she wouldn’t have been shipped back in reality, but hey, this is the fabulous world of B movies). The doctor asks her if she was bitten by an animal as her shoulder has a scabbed bite mark on it.

the mask
Back to the house and Paul produces the mask – scaring her half to death. He brought it back, having found it in the cave. First point, they said she was found near the cave – why go in with an unconscious party member to take care of. Second point, wasn’t the fire (either burning or the smell of it newly extinguished) a give away that someone had been there. Oh hum. Anyway, time for a quick romp with Paul, in the shower. Another gratuitous body shot but one that was perplexing as the bite had vanished and reappears later.

tasting blood
They go to a party at Ruby’s and Michelle is clearly digging Paul. Teresa passes out. He takes her home and is making her some tea when, like a lummox, he smashes the china cup and manages to cut his hand on it. A quick wrap in kitchen paper later and they are in bed. She wakes up in the night and starts lapping at his cut. He awakens and, thinking with his little head, lets her turn it into sex which climaxes with her scratching his back open and having a lick when he is asleep. He awakens to blood stained sheets, from his back, and her gone.

It is 8 AM when she gets to Ruby’s and they talk about hypnosis. It must have been a long talk because it’s more like 9 at night when they do it and Teresa remembers some ritual performed on her semi conscious self before being bitten. She legs it out of Ruby’s straight into a rapist. He manages to rifle her beg, conveniently dropping a photo envelope with Paul’s name and address on it before she brains him, stabs him in the neck, chews at the wound and causes a passing woman to scream (who later couldn’t tell if the assailant was a man or a woman). Paul is in the frame for murder and doesn’t even realise when she lies to the cops about her whereabouts (or it isn’t mentioned).

Michelle - dead hussy
Now you just know that Michelle is going to go for Paul, he nearly beds her and then veers off after some heavy petting; unfortunately Teresa is witness to this little infidelity. Thus the subsequent murder of Teresa is going to put Paul in the frame again (because the police found his prints over her body – one wonders why his prints were already in the system) and ignored the smaller fingered, not matching his, bloody fingerprints all over the room!

It turns out that the Akuma were starving and started drinking blood as a food supplement/replacement. Somehow animal blood contaminated the human blood (yeah, I know, run with it) and caused women to mutate. They develop markings, much like a tattoo of a skeleton, pale blue eyes and fangs and crave blood. They pass their illness on to other women (it’s a gender specific disease) by biting the left shoulder. Teresa is craving blood and there is no cure.

I will kill you...
Because it is disease based any old way of killing someone who is infected will do. Teresa is disgusted with herself when she sees her eyes sunken and her face covered with blood and so smashes a mirror – a take on reflections. She can’t partake of normal human food eventually, a carton of milk making her choke. Other than that she is an animalistic, fanged vampire – though the word isn’t used.

The gore effects are rather good in this. The plot has holes that a truck could drive through and the acting is not brilliant, each main cast member asked to only project one thing. Teresa – tortured vampire, Michelle – slutty intern, Ruby – clever lore finder etc. That said, it is still B movie fun in its own way, just not a brilliant movie. 3.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.



Nicole Hadaway said...

Wow!! That's some DVD cover....!! ;-)

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Yes, the UK cover, tagline and title don't really speak of horror and vampires... :)