Sunday, April 03, 2011

Red Velvet Girls – review

Director: Claudia Molina

Release date: 2005

Contains spoilers

Short films can sometimes succeed in ways that a feature would fail. In the hands of the right director, the necessary shorthand can communicate to the viewer all that they need to know. Red Velvet Girls is one such film.

rabbit blood
It begins with two girls running through a house of Gothic design. The cries of the girls echoing through the voluminous stairwell. We cut to Isabel (Moynan King) who has clearly slain a rabbit and collected its blood, in a goblet; she raises it to her lips. The little girls run into the room, circling the altar and yet not in the least disturbed by the scene. They are Julia (played as a child by Carley Aves and as an adult by Lara Amersey) and Sienna (played as a child by Alex Rose Steele and as an adult by Raquel Gil-Jimenez). They run to an attic and find a trunk, from inside they pick a fan and a hat.

in love
We see them dance, holding the fan and hat, but they are now adults. Their movements together indicate they are also in love. Isabel breaks the dance up and says that it is inappropriate. She sends Sienna to the kitchens to work with her mother (Rosalba Martinni) In the kitchen there are rabbits in cages and her mother polishes goblets. Sienna wonders how many they will need as only two are coming to the birthday party? She is told to ensure she wears her uniform the next day.

fangs appearing
Julia is in bed, she is dreaming, the dream is clearly erotic and of Sienna. Isabel comes to her, she sees the fangs emerging and we get the crux of the film. Julia is coming into her powers. The last stage is to be triggered, at her birthday party, by her cousin Julio (Jordan Barker). She is told that she will marry Julio and the fate of their species relies on them producing a child. So we have vampires who are natural, another species, we also are told that her death is her mother’s death. It seems that child and parent are somehow tied. To kill one is to kill the other.

preparing the rabbits
The next day Julia shows Sienna her mastery of the air. She blows and causes candles to light on their own. She then explains that she has to marry and leave, that she and Sienna are over. We see Sienna preparing rabbits to feed the blood to the party guests and we remember the phrase “Hell have no fury like a woman scorned”. Will she avenge herself for the betrayal? Can Julia really go through with the wedding?

This is a marvellous short, absolutely sumptuous in design, well-acted and engaging. It is also on Vimeo (at the time of review) so you can see for yourself exactly what happens at the end. The video is here and I think it deserves a solid 7 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Zahir Blue said...

A lovely little film indeed. Thing is--I would swear I've seen this before on YouTube.

Taliesin_ttlg said...


you may well have done - if it is on vimeo, it'll likely be on YouTube also.