one thing vampires dig almost as much as blood.
Lurking about a hormonally stoked college campus is as good a place as
any to find it. It isn’t even spring
break yet, but college life is distinctly feverish for one innocent freshman
coed. There will be blood and nudity.
The details will sound vaguely familiar to those who fondly remember the
erotic cult favorite that forever changed how film geeks thought about Alyssa
Milano. Remade for a new generation,
Carl Bessai’s unrated Embrace of the Vampire (trailer
today on DVD and Bluray (where it so obviously belongs).
if you’re still with me after that, then sweet, let’s do this. Like so many disadvantaged orphans before
her, Charlotte Hawthorn is determined to fence her way to a better life. However, the scholarship student feels out of
step with the hedonism enjoyed by her trampy roommate, Nicole and her mean girl
BFF, Eliza. At least Hawthorn has a nice
barista job lined up, working for her sensitive frat boy café manager.
as soon as she arrives, Hawthorn starts experiencing sexually charged dreams
and visions. It gets so bad, so quickly,
she soon has trouble distinguishing reality.
The fencing team hazing rituals do not help either. However, one upper class teammate is willing to
shield her from the worst of it: Sarah Campbell, the bisexual
nymphomaniac. Every fencing squad should
have at least one. Meanwhile her coach
and mythology professor seems to take an intense interest in her “stance.”
in a bit of warmed over vampire slayer mumbo jumbo and there you have it. Except, Bessai’s execution is better than you
would expect. Granted, the flashbacks to
the old country look like outtakes from a Syfy Channel original movie, but the contemporary
campus sequences sort of work. The
location is perfect. Every building
seems to have an exterior staircase and surrounding woods encroach on every
corner. It is a bit unusual for the
women’s fencing team to be at the top of the school’s social pyramid, but the
film’s student power dynamics are as well realized as that in the overrated All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. The new Embrace
is also less of a tease, pretty much delivering what it promises.
that as it may, this is not the film that will establish Sharon Hinnendael as
the screen thespian of her generation.
It is not really her fault though.
Most of her scenes involve her groggily coming to after falling into
various states of altered consciousness. Unfortunately, Victor Webster’s Prof.
Cole is a pretty cheesy excuse for a Byronic brooder. Still, C.C. Sheffield, Chelsey Reist, and
Olivia Cheng play the catty fencing femmes to the hilt.
commits one cardinal sin. At one point, Cole refers to Hawthorn’s foil
as a “sword.” That is a big no-no. Still, the target market is not apt to notice
and even less likely to care. Bessai has
some legit credits to his name (most notably Emile starring Sir Ian McKellen) and keeps the silly indulgences
moving along at a decent pace. By now
you should know what you’re getting, but it is still more entertaining than
many of the genre underachievers limping in and out of theaters this
month. Recommended for those who enjoy
horror movies with plenty of naughty bits, the new Embrace of the Vampire is now available for home viewing.
Labels: DVD, Horror Movies, Naughty films, Remakes, Vampire films