Saturday, April 01, 2023

101: Modern Los Angeles Vampires – review

Director: Stan Harrington

Release date: 2014

Contains spoilers

This was one I had ignored because, for some reason, I had assumed it was a documentary of the so-called vampire societies out there. It is, however, a low-budget drama that centres on self-styled vampires and, with it saying it was based on a true story, I’m assuming it drew inspiration from the crimes of Rod Ferrell.

As the film opens we see what looks like aggressive sexuality between Christian (Christian Delevante*) and a young lady – and here we have the first issue with this; it wasn’t always clear what the character names were – that’s not to say they were not always there but they were often obfuscated within the dialogue. Back to the scene, he is clearly choking her with a chain and it is cutting into her neck. 
*Credited at the end of the movie as Nikolai Delevante.

news report

When she eventually says no to him, he decides he will go to Gretchen (Amanda Drexton) instead and, when the woman asks him to return the chain, he says that she doesn’t deserve it. Elsewhere, Gretchen’s father is watching the TV news about disgraced homicide detective Steve Foster (Stan Harrington, Vampfather), and doesn’t look up when he hears something, just calls out to Gretchen. However, she is there with Christian who attacks him with a bat – and her mother when she comes in. He makes Gretchen continue with the beating (and homicide) and offers her blood from a bloody metal flask – she refuses.

news report #2

Meanwhile a group of friends are out in a bar. Emily (Amy Sanders) leaves with her boyfriend and sneaks him home. Their petting is getting heavy when her father (the aforementioned Steve Foster) bursts in and punches the lad before kicking him out. His police colleagues are called by the boyfriend’s mother who wants charges pressing until it is mentioned that, at 17, Emily is underaged and there would be counter charges of statutory rape.

Christian Delevante as Christian

There then runs two storylines – the vampires are quite a large group, led by Christian who has convinced them that drinking blood (and its lifeforce) will make them immortal. There is a string of murders, with them attacking their families first. Not all the vampires are as committed, however. Of course, they are not supernatural creatures but flesh and blood. It would have worked better as a film if we had got to know some of them better than we did. I did like, in the ending, them putting a spigot in a victim – which harked back to earlier vampire films.


The second strand is Emily and her dad. Dad has been accused of police brutality – caught on his own dash-cam. Emily wants her freedom and thinks her dad is a hypocrite as he is in a relationship with a cop (Sarah Lappin) in her twenties. He has grounded her because of the incident at the head of the film but, in reality, she is not as wild as most of her friends or as he fears. The friends are arranging a rave in, what looks like, an art gallery. Eventually the two storylines converge as the vampires stumble over the rave and treat it as a human buffet.


The film could have been a little stronger in its narrative in some places, but it did well for a low budget effort. There is a chunkiness to the photography that works for the film. Where it really fell over was in the ending as, when Steve comes to his daughter’s rescue, there are a couple of moments where the editing made it feel like we had jumped in the narrative without explanation and the whole ending could have done with expanding, as it was, and with a running time just under 80-minutes there was room to add in to this part of the film. Nevertheless, it worked for what it is. 5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

On DVD @ Amazon US

On DVD @ Amazon UK


-M said...

Hello Mr Taliesin (?) I'm here to enquire about the 2005 gypsy vampire movie my email is and my Instagram is @alk0li please let me know if you still have it in your collection.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi, yes, I still have the DVD with Gypsy Vampire on it. Feel free to email me - the address is on the sidebar, however, ahead of that the DVD is not for sale and I do not pirate DVDs (nor have the necessary software). Apologies is that is not the reason for asking but it is best to be upfront about these things