Monday, May 08, 2017

Vamp or Not? Nightmare Sisters

Succubi should be an easy monster to classify in that, despite demonic origin (or maybe because of it), their energy/lifeforce/soul sucking ways puts them squarely onto the vampire radar. However it is not always so simple.

This was a 1988 film directed by B movie impresario David DeCoteau (credited as Dave) and staring three of the preeminent US B Movie Scream Queens. It is played, most clearly, for laughs (and titillation) and that probably pushes it ahead of the more serious (but still laughable) DeCoteau vehicles.

It starts, however, with a scene that I must admit made me uncomfortable – though I run the risk of being called too PC.

Michael Sonye as Omar
A woman, Amanda Detweiler (Sandy Brooke), goes to see psychic Omar (Michael Sonye) and it was Omar’s mock Deli accent that just made my skin crawl – the sort of racial mocking that just isn’t done. However, that aside, he comes across as a con artist but when he tries to contact her husband Clinton, who has been missing since a business trip, we get a run through of him picking up a woman, being bitten in the… and then the entity that killed him reaches out of the crystal ball and rips Omar's head off.

Omar loses his head
So after a credit theme song about succubi we are into the film proper and meet the geeky girls of Tri Ate-a Pie, Melody (Linnea Quigley, Vampitheatre), Marci (Brinke Stevens, Expendable, Skeleton Key, the Boneyard Collection¸Blood Scarab & Vampires Vs Zombies) and Mickey (Michelle Bauer, Morgana, Tomb of the Werewolf, The Tomb, Beverley Hills Vamp, Red Lips & Vampire Vixens from Venus). What was really well done was how the girls were made to look frumpy through the first half of the film.

The Tri Ate-A-Pie girls
Anyway, Marci has been to a flea market and bought a load of tat – including Omar’s crystal ball. They have the sorority house to themselves and so Melody decides to invite a guy, Kevin (Richard Gabai), over – they nearly got it together previously but he hasn’t called her. He thought he’d struck out and jumps at the chance but Melody wants him to bring two friends – fellow junior Frats, Freddy (Marcus Vaughter) and Duane (William Dristas). Their elder fraternity brothers deny them permission to go so they sneak out (and this leads to the bullying frats turning up as well).

The party is going slow, though the girls don’t seem to realise, but Marci suggests a séance. They make contact with Omar (or something pretending to be Omar) and it tricks the girls into breaking the circle and touching the crystal ball. They are immediately possessed, which equals loosing most of their clothes (they maintain panties) and becoming lascivious. Kevin warns his friends off the possessed girls, realising something is wrong, but the other frats didn’t get the message.

possessed Melody
So far so possession by succubus. Normally the overlap between succubus and vampire is in terms of the energy vampire aspect. These are, of course, not demons but women possessed by a demon (a single entity possessing all three). They gain sexual hunger but also sprout sharp teeth and bite. Their victim is reduced to clothing and ash. The question then becomes what happens to the victims. Frankly we don’t know, they just turn to ash, but a supposition of all their life being rapidly drained is probably fair.

using the cross
The boys hire an exorcist (Jim Culver) and he manages to defeat the evil – we see it manifest as a (fairly effective, at least from a distance) hag-like spectre. He does wield a cross but that works for demon or vampire. The exorcist does mention having to go for a staking of a vampire at dawn – so they are separate things in this world (but this world isn’t exactly lore strong, indeed it is cheap laughs and nude titillation). So… Vamp? Definitely succubi but I can see a case for suggesting that they steal the entire lifeforce of a victim with a single bite so I’ll allow a verdict of energy vampire too.

The imdb page is here.

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