Monday, November 20, 2017

Honourable mention: I Love You to Death

I really didn’t know which way to go with this one. Our “vampiric” figure is not a vampire, I think, but displays cosmetic vampiric attributes that demanded I feature the film here. There didn’t seem enough for a ‘Vamp or Not?’ and yet there are characters (named in the credits) that fit in with the wider genre.

I settled for an Honourable Mention as this is, at the very least, of genre interest. How vampire or otherwise it is I’ll let you decide for yourselves.

It begins with Lily Foster (Shannon O'Dowd) saying how she loves her husband Clay (Travis Mendenhall) but she betrayed him. Cut to Clay at the breakfast table with her, explaining how he won’t be going to work that day (or the next week) and her suggesting that they need the money and he has no holidays left. All the time we do not see her and, given the title and DVD cover, I easily realised that she was dead. Clay says he is making an anniversary dinner for them that night.

Sevont Richards as Gator
Cue dinner and again we do not see her as they speak, though we do see them dance (and she looks very much alive). Suddenly there is a banging at the door and outside is Gator (Sevont Richards), unknown to Clay he is shouting that he is their worst nightmare and Lily is urging Clay not to let him in. However Clay does just that. Gator is threatening violence, demanding something and sets a mocking laugh belt buckle going when he sees Lily and we also see her, clearly dead, eyes milky and starting to decay. He runs.

flashing fangs
After Gator has gone, Lily tells Clay that they are pregnant, despite the fact, as Clay points out, that they used fertility drugs to no effect and despite her being dead of course. Clay starts to become overwhelmed, he can’t hear her voice and then she starts to speak to him again and says someone’s coming. This is the primary character that lead to this article. Never named in film he is called The Syphon (John Klemantaski) in the credits, in fact when Clay asks, “who are you?” He answers “There is no who in my presence, only what and when.” He flashes retractable fangs at Clay and states that he has come for Lily. He lights candles with a breath, plays the piano and then leaves, promising to return the next day for Lily.

front fangs
It seems to the viewer (and this becomes confirmed as the film moves forward) that he is akin to (if not actually) the devil. This was confirmed for me in Clay’s dream sequence where he sees The Syphon (scarred and with Nosferatu style front fangs) on a throne – surrounded by what seems four vampire ladies – watching demons battle. What becomes interesting are the names that the four ladies are given. Lilith (Maggie VandenBerghe), Lilu (Rosie Tisch), Lamashtu (Stephanie Skewes) and La-Bar-Tu (Maria Aceves). We can see now why the scriptwriters called our dead woman Lily.

surrounded by Lilith and her sisters
Lilith is, of course, heavily connected with the vampire genre (via the Babylonian/Sumerian, through Jewish mythology). We have seen Lilith listed as a demon, a vampire, the Goddess of vampires etc. Lamashtu is shown as a vampire in the Constantine episode The Saint of last resorts and a demon in the film the landlord and in Mesopotamian mythology menaced women during childbirth. Lilu meant spirit in the Akkadian Language and, again, is often associated with Lilith. Labartu (no hyphens) is again from Mesopotamian mythology and has been associated with both the hag and Lamashtu.

Shannon O'Dowd as Lily
There is little further use going into the detail of the film – suffice it to say it is a whodunnit or perhaps more a howdunnit as Clay struggles to regain the memories he has blocked despite interruption by Gator and his boss (Christopher Ivins). The Syphon and his vampiric demon harem are in the film further but there is no more that we would necessarily associate with vampirism. The film was very watchable and whilst it perhaps suffered from its B nature to a degree it certainly kept my interest.

The imdb page is here.

No comments: