Monday, January 21, 2013

Immortal Kiss: Queen of the Night – review

Director: David DeCoteau

Release date: 2012

Contains spoilers

I know people who are big fans of David DeCoteau but, for the life of me, I can’t work out why. I have tried, I really have. The two films of his I have reviewed already, Sisterhood and Morgana (which was filmed under the pseudonym Ellen Cabot), both scored 1 out of 10. I also have a couple of vampire films by him that I had before I started the blog… to date I haven’t had the heart to re-watch them to give them an official review.

So you can imagine that my heart sank just a little when I realised that Immortal Kiss: Queen of the Night was by David DeCoteau. Was the reaction justified… well let’s see…

Amina and Parnell on the roof
The film begins with Amina (Trina Parks), the titular Queen of the Night, and her human helper Parnell (Preston Davis) stood on the roof of her mansion. Amina is musing about the stars, a consistent in her long, immortal life. She suggests that the stars align for her kind just once every century and – it seems – this is the only time another vampire can be made. She is hosting a dinner party the next night, the night of alignment, and afterwards she will choose one guest for the Becoming. She makes sure Parnell is aware that messing it up will be deadly for him. I have to say that I was impressed with the lighting that made everything clear, unusual in a budget film.

Preston Davis as Parnell
The next day there is a knock on the door as the first guest arrives. He is Jerrell (Jerrell Pippens), a football player. As the other guests arrive Parnell’s attitude becomes more and more off. There is Eric (Omar Noah) a himbo male model, Kayne (Jonathan Davis) a criminal (of what type we never discover), Dj cray (Prince Vaughn III) a DJ and Tariq (Quincy Ndekwe) a writer. All the men are there for an interview of one kind or another with the wealthy patroness. First things first, however, we drop into one of the director’s moments of self-indulgence.

endless shower scene
Every film I have seen by DeCoteau has a motif of lingering shots of well sculpted men in their underwear and this is no different – though it also puts them in the shower (no rude bits). Now, I understand that the director is gay and enjoys this titillation. I wouldn’t mind if we got a story as well but… well we’ll come to that. As it is we get an indulgence set of shots of Jerrell working out and then (for what seems like ever) in the shower. Something I noticed is that none of these boys have heard of shower gel, perhaps that doesn’t figure in the director’s fantasies.

sunlight is no issue
Not too long after that we get Kayne in the shower. This scene is much shorter and has a plot aspect at least, as we see Parnell steal the man’s wallet. Kayne then goes off on one, his anger directed at the other guests as he accuses them of theft. He stomps out of the house and Parnell goes after him. The servant comes back and suggests he has paid the man off. He even tells Amina that he has paid him off so the others are not in danger (an Amina who is stood around in front of a sunlit window, so we know sunlight is a myth). Actually, at the end of the film we discover that he killed Kayne off screen… definite spoilers ahoy.

Quincy Ndekwe as Tariq
But they can’t really spoil a film with no plot. Following this we get the guys having a nap. Lingering shots of Jerrell tossing and turning in bed and dream shots of him padding around the house. Similar for Tariq – though he sees Amina, whilst he is tied down, and she asks him about being her ‘forever’ and flashes fang. Eventually they wake up and we see Parnell inject Jerrell (with an adrenaline and chlorine concoction) and discover he killed the DJ and Eric off screen because he thinks Amina should choose him. Then we discover that Tariq poisoned the soup Parnell is eating, also off screen, as he knew the servant was a wrong-un. There has been a story folks, but we didn’t see it, it all went on off-screen whilst the director filmed men in their undies.

the bite that never was
To completely spoil the film, Amina asks Tariq to become a vampire, he says yes, she goes to bite… and the film ends. So we don’t even get a bite scene. The film is pointless, unless watching sculpted men in their underwear is your thing and then I suspect that there are much better vehicles to indulge in. This is not one of them. It is, quite frankly, pointless and that is a shame. DeCoteau obviously gets backing one way or another, he could further gay interest cinema but makes tat. Trina Parks was the first African-American actress to feature in a bond film and, again, there was an opportunity here to further African-American-centric vampire films. Again it didn’t happen.

A waste. 0 out of 10. The imdb page is here.

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