Monday, September 26, 2011

Vamp or Not? Erza: Fear of a faceless God

This was a 2009 film directed by Hugo Fernandez and co-directed by Pablo V. Chirinos. From what I can gather it featured the music of a band called Erza and I found the following on the band/album (fear of a faceless god)/film’s MySpace page, which will explain why I looked at this as a ‘Vamp or Not?’

” ERZA: fear of a faceless god is the portrayal of the real life serial killing spree in long Island, New York, clouded in secrecy by New York authorities. An account of a serial killer whose gruesome acts have been sporadic over 30 years, and never made public. A secret murderous sadist with links to a possible serial killer network shadowed by the image of the Hungarian vampire serial killer Erzsabet Bathory. (Erzsabet is factually documented to being the serial killer with the highest victim count since the recording of known history)...

“The Story…

“Davin Cortez (Adam Henry Garcia) searches for the truth behind his father’s bizarre past, from New York’s unsuspecting Long Island community to a dark decrepit hospital in Hungary. He unveils a debauched world of perverse bliss and sexual terror as depicted in horrid videos found in his father’s submersed lair archives...

Annet Mahendru as Erza/Lisa
“Davin gathers the possibility that his father (Oscar Maldonado & Christopher Loggia) may have been a Long Island serial killer, with a trail of death never discovered or connected by anyone before. He feverishly consumes his life with the sole task of revealing the hidden aspects of his father’s life. He travels to Debrecen, Hungary where his father had associated with an institutionalized disturbed girl named Lisa (Annet Mahendru). The Hospital director Dr. Verenicoff (Mike Irizarry) allows and closely monitors Davin’s meetings and interviews with Lisa...

“Davin finds that the mystery of his father’s past is immersed behind the lips of this hard hearted young girl, a sociopath vampiric vixen nicknamed Erza. A web of manipulation ensues. She goats him into her psyche while simultaneously haunting his sensibilities with aspects of her wretched vice for blood and butchery. ........ ..”

Adam Henry Garcia as Davin
Now, if only the film had been that easy to follow! After an opening that sees a typed thing about ignoring *the voice* and acting normally as a voiceover suggests the opposite, we see Davin finding his father’s secret. Two months later we see him with his daughter (Emendy Rosario) at a park. He explains that he is going away but will be back in two weeks. He meets a man who claims he is a Roma and has a connection with Hungary. He offers to read his palm, uses a scalpel as a pointer and cuts Davin’s hand before he leaves. His only advice was to not go to Hungary.

a toy vampire
We get a brief vampire moment, as he waits for Dr. Verenicoff, when he spots a soft toy Dracula and says to himself “I vant to suck your blood.” This, in truth, wouldn’t have been enough to get an honourable mention. Through the film we get cut scenes to murders carried out by his father, carried out by Lisa/Erza and also scenes of his father auto-erotically self-harming as he masturbates to the scene of Lisa torturing a girl – an act the ultimately causes his accidental death.

wash in blood
Essentially it is torture-porn, inter-spliced with quotes from real world serial killers including Peter Kürten, the Vampire of Düsseldorf. As well as this we get a moment where Lisa/Erza claims she is getting younger – something Dr. Verenicoff agrees with despite telling Davin not to feed into her delusions. We also see her wash her face with blood. But these are throwaways and without the description I reproduced I doubt a Báthory connection would be made by the viewer.

a victim screams
The film itself is unpleasant, poorly shot and confused. In an attempt to be arty, narrative is lost and, ultimately, I was glad I found it on YouTube and hadn’t parted money for it. Is it vamp though? Via the film you’d have to say no, though the description offers more explanation and narrative than any moment within the film. Bathory automatically gets at least an honourable mention and so there is a small amount of genre interest but ultimately the actual film is not vamp.

The imdb page is here.

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