Sunday, August 21, 2011

Kiss My Blood – review

Kiss My Blood – review

Director: David Jazay

Release date: 2008

Contains spoilers

Perhaps I was missing something…

When I have read about this German language film, which admittedly is pretty obscure, it seems to attract a great deal of praise. It left me somewhat cold, it is very clever and forces you to think at times but I felt it relied too much on filmic gimmicks and could have actually benefitted from some straight narrative film-making.

That said it had some interesting moments and some iconic vampiric images and as cold as it might have left me I do have to take my hat off to a film that makes the viewer think.

male vampire
It begins with images; a man (Thomas Haydn), a vampire hunter, in confession, a vampire hunted down – later we see that he and Celina (Anya Fisher) were hunted together, they split up and the hunters followed the male, killing him with a high powered stake gun – for now, however, we see Celina on a bus, she coughs and looks unwell. A man looks to her and she hits him either knocking him out or killing him.

Jane (Nadja Rieger) is a victim of spousal abuse. Her husband, John (Benno Fürmann) is a petty criminal who is too handy with his fists. They are short of money and have a room for rent. Celina applies for the room and Jane tries to delay her, so that John can make the actual decision as to whether the girl gets the room. However she gives Celina the room when the vampire offers two months’ rent in advance. John goes ballistic when he discovers this and Celina hears the abuse. Celina speaks to Jane about the abuse, suggesting in the conversation that she is 691 (Jane assumes this to be how old Celina feels), and almost gives in to vampiric hunger during the conversation.

The next morning as Celina sits in the kitchen, wearing shades, John comes in and she makes lurid gestures to him – unseen by Jane – that causes him to reconsider his wife’s choice of lodger. He gives his wife a credit card and tells her to buy wine for the evening, she is distressed later on as she forgot the PIN and the card was eaten. Worse still, some ‘business associates’ come round and she (by following John’s instructions) manages to anger them. She knows what John will do and Celina rubs her shoulders, the gesture leading to sex. When John gets back he attacks his wife As she packs a suitcase, determined to leave him, Celina attacks the husband. Jane walks in on Celina devouring him.

blood on nose
Her terror turns quickly to love and practicality (carving knives are suggested for the body that is eventually wrapped and dumped in the river) and they begin an affair. At first it works, Jane sleeping with a man, who Celina then feeds from – though he then attacks the vampire and Jane accidentally kills him with a pan, after which we see the man's soul in one of the film’s odder moments. However Jane wants to be turned, this leads to a refusal – Jane needs training first – and the eventual admittance that Celina can turn no one as she has a vampiric blood disease (her coughing and spluttering is not to do with sparse feeding at times, or the sun, but the disease). This puts a strain on the two.

Thomas Haydn as the hunter
There is also the hunter. He seems obsessed with Celina and, indeed, he is and not in the standard hunter way. We discover that he can – for no explained reason – sniff out vampires and it does seem there is more to him than meets the eyes. On the run at one point, Celina and Jane run through a room with a group of Satanists. Celina does something that causes a devil to actually appear and attack the Satanists. The Hunter, following, shoots the devil and manages to dispel the creature.

hunter raid
Exactly what powers he has are not explained. Rather the film throws in speeded up sequences, colour filters and strange cgi moments. Equally the lore is strange, the sun seems to only hurt the eyes, but perhaps have a long term negative effect. The blood condition can only be cured by draining a healthy vampire. A stake through the heart kills a vampire. There is a transsexual vampire called Graziana (Stella Sander) , who has a lobster’s claws thrust in her eyes during a short fight between her and Celina, who knows where the vampires hang out and whom we see feeding – yet she is released by the hunter as a deluded wannabe.

This is difficult, as it did leave me cold, but I can see why others like it. It just isn’t for me though. 4 out of 10.

The IMDb page is here.

Kiss My Blood [VHS] on Amazon US

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