Monday, August 13, 2012

Vamp or Not? Livestock

Livestock was a 2009 film directed by Christopher Di Nunzio and one would think, given its place in a collection entitled Extreme Vampires, that it should be clearly a vampire film. If only things were so simple!

The film starts with a passage about a female – the great destroyer – and it was clear that it referred to Kali, though that wasn’t directly stated. However the opening credits do then feature illustrations of Kali as well as an Indian woman and her children and Baphomet. Baphomet threw me in the credits but actually does play a role in the story’s background.

Robert Hines as Edgar
I would have said that the film centres on a man named Victor (Fiore Leo) but the film doesn’t really focus anywhere. Whilst there is a story it is scant and the characters too thinly drawn to claim that any single one is a focal point. There are interesting little moments flying around that might have developed the plot but these aren't really capitalised upon. Victor, however, sits in a car and looks very nervous. The driver, Dimitri (Slava Dorogapulko), exits the car to open the door for Edgar (Robert Hines). Edgar tells Victor what a great job he is doing and that he is to be promoted, he then takes Victor with him to deal with Ted Costa (Lou Fuoco) a man aiming to stand for Senator and who knows too much about the pack or the family (the words seem interchangeable). They kill him and Edgar covers his mouth, I assume as a fang has appeared.

Fiore Leo as Victor
Ok so far so mafia, and the term family fits in with that… however the word pack stands out like a sore thumb. Not a very often used name to describe a group of vampires, more associated with wolves. Anyway, briefly we meet Annabel (Johanna Gorton), Tina (Christina C. Crawford) and Kristen (Stephanie Spry). Annabel has just had a break-up and Kristen is only in this scene. Cut to a man called Anthony (Michael Reardon) who picks up a prostitute called Angel (Leighsa Burgin). Later we see that he has cut her legs up but gets distracted on the phone and she escapes, to be intercepted by Victor who berates Anthony for his mistake.

Annabel and Jerry
A year on and Victor has moved the pack into real estate, Tina works for politicians (who are actually the pack) and is having an affair with Victor. Annabel has started dating Jerry (Matthew Phillion) and they are going on a second date. Anthony is charged with getting the food for the "feast" – ok, let's call it what it is, human flesh. He happens to kidnap Annabel and Jerry (though the women with him, Natalia (Irina Peligrad) and Bella (Aurora Grabill, Raving Maniacs), do seem to have stalked her). They are stuck in the cellar till they are killed (and, in the case of Annabel, raped once dead).

Natalia shows fang
So what are they? As well as being called the pack Victor refers to the organisation as the Order of the 11 Wolves. Anthony and the girls go to watch the full moon – something, whilst associated with vampires in early literature, now very much werewolf orientated. However, when Annabel and Jerry are attacked we see only fangs. There are neck bites as well as flesh eating (but remember, vampires often eat flesh too) and we see no animalistic changes – perhaps a wise decision given the budget. For some reason Natalia’s fang doesn’t retract straight away, probably because she is tired, and hurts a little as a result. Nothing more is expanded on with regards this.

At the feast Edgar suggests that the Goddess Kali slept with a gypsy and then devoured him. She gave birth to a daughter called Sarah, who was banished and taken with the gypsies to Europe where she was fed blood and flesh and taught the ways of Baphomet. Edgar says they are the descendants of Sarah (suggesting a blood line) but Victor talks of turning humans and presumably that is why Tina is at the feast (we don’t know, the film brings us to that point and ends with her screaming as her friend’s head is part of the feast).

In honesty the only thing we see is vampire orientated; fangs, neck bites and the consumption of flesh and blood. I have to go vamp but suspect that they meant wolf, or a hybrid of the two myths. The imdb page is here.

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