Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Back from Bram

Ok, I’m back from the Bram Stoker Film Festival, tired but happy and thanks to Paul, Teresa and Leila for your company through the event and to those we met there, either at the festival or just in Whitby – it’s the great folk that make the event special.

I kept to my goal of twittering after each film (some a little later than anticipated but that was sometimes due to hunting the elusive 3G signal).

As for the vampire films, here are my general thoughts. There were a couple of films already reviewed and so you can find my thoughts on Bonnie and Clyde v Dracula and the Living Dead Girl on the blog. With regards the latter, I wandered off from the Vampires' Ball to watch the film as the event and the film clashed, and it was a shame that the film seemed misinterpreted by my fellow audience who couldn’t see through the (admittedly) poor effects. The pathos of the ending was almost lost within the laughter that met some of the effects, but I trust that the film was enjoyed on the B level by those there. For me it was simply great to see the film on the big screen.

There were two newly watched features; firstly there was Vincent Lannoo’s Vampires – the DVD of the film arrived at home the day before travelling and I resisted watching it until it was on at the festival – a review will be forthcoming. Also on was Vamperifica, an excellent vampire comedy that won Best Horror Comedy and the coveted Audience Award for Best Film. I’m hoping to bring a full review very soon. There were two shorts on, Thredony was above average and the short Sacrifice was actually a film I had watched for review last week and that review will – all things being fair – be posted tomorrow. Finally, Thai based ghost story Shadows had some flesh eating demons in it that reminded me very much of Aswang – I’ll be looking at that as a ‘Vamp or Not?’ when available on DVD.

Other vampy things to mention were the wonderful paintings of Mark Williams, the performance by Don’t go into the Cellar of The Feast of Blood – a stage piece inspired by Polidori’s the Vampyre and Varney the Vampire, which delivered a veritable cornucopia of references for the Victorian vampire buff – and last but definitely not least the performance of Lisa Starry’s a Vampire Tale and I’ll leave you with a taste of that:


Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that some filmgoers deprived themselves of the power of Living Dead Girl by focusing on what they saw as the cheesiness of the special effects.

A couple more things struck me about Living Dead Girl recently:

1) Rollin, perhaps accidentally, recreated to a large extent the vampire of earlier literature with Living Dead Girl: recently deceased rather than centuries old, re-enters the life of a loved one and destroys them (e.g. Wake Not The Dead), hardly any of the accumulated literary/cinematic lore.

2) When vampires cyclically rise in popularity the romantic & remorseful type tends to be at the forefront (Barnabus, Louis, Angel, Edward, Bill...) which inevitably sparks a healthy counter-trend of "Enough of the whiney boyfriends - let's make vampires SCARY again." That usually means a horde of bestial monsters with large fangs (From Dusk Till Dawn, Blade II, 30 Days of Night etc.). To be sure, I like those vampires a lot (my issue with FDTD is prior to the Titty Twister).

But for me the scariest vampires are the most relatable ones: the human-appearing (at least at at first) revenants that return to their loved ones and destroy them. Living Dead Girl, Bava's Black Sabbath, Deathdream, I Pass For Human. Come to think of it, for that reason I find the 'bloofer lady' Lucy more frightening than Dracula himself. Maybe I find them scary because the threat of a loved one is more insidious than that of a strange ravenous creature, and the sorrowful empathy that we and their victims feel for them amplifies the terror.


Taliesin_ttlg said...

Halek, thanks for the comment - a great opbservation iro the Living Dead girl and more so I like the connection you have drawn with the bloofer lady. Lucy, to me, is the most consistently interesting element of Dracula (with Renfield close behind).

Anonymous said...

I agree; Lucy provides both much of the drama and sociological/sexual subtext of most Dracula adaptations.

Great scene reporting BTW!


Taliesin_ttlg said...