a village named Bathory is not safe from the evil Puritanism of patriarchy. If
this is the world of the blood-bathing Countess, how did it come to be so
perverted by male privilege? An underground network of lesbian vampires
remembers only too well. They live (so to speak) in anticipation of a profound
reckoning in co-screenwriter-directors Sophia Cacciola & Michael J. Epstein’s
Blood of the Tribades (trailer here), which screens
this Saturday during the Scare-a-Con Film Festival.
Cacciola & Epstein know their Jean Rollin. You can see his influence in the
film’s erotic and exotic flavors—not to mention the two protagonists who start
speaking French once they get a taste of their long suppressed collective
lesbian vampire memories. Once, matriarchal power was respected in Bathory, but
at some point, the men hijacked their worship of the deity Bathor, forcing the
women to make a choice: either stay in the village by relinquishing their
powers or go into exile.
course, the men made a hash of things, but they conveniently scapegoated the “impure”
women for every misfortune, most definitely including the plague. To “purify”
the village in Bathor’s name, the unhinged Grando sends his crossbow toting
minions out to dispense inquisition-style justice. Innocent lovers Élizabeth
and Fantine will soon find themselves in the inquisitors’ crosshairs.
from maybe Rollin and Jess Franco, it is hard to liken the tone of Blood to anyone or anything else.
Cacciola & Epstein have richly realized a dark fantasy world with its own
sinister internal logic. Evidently shot in Massachusetts, the filmmakers found
and fully capitalized on some amazing locations worthy of vintage Hammer films.
is not your father’s lesbian vampire skin flick. In fact, it is much less
explicit than the title probably suggests. Blood
is first and foremost a mood and atmosphere piece. Nonetheless, the cast
(including several burlesque and fetish performers) understands the traditions
to be upheld, especially Chloé Cunha and Mary Widow. As the lovers, they
ethereally waft through the film, like Jeanne in Eiichi Yamamoto’s Belladonna of Sadness (which could well
be another source of inspiration). Sindy Katrotic also gives the proceedings periodic
energy boosts as Giltine, the leader of the vampire hunters (as in vampires who
hunt, rather than those who hunt vampires).
It is hard to describe the strange vibe of Blood, but that certainly distinguishes
it from the garden variety found footage and retro slasher films getting dumped
on VOD these days (despite some rough production edges here and there). In a
way, it brings to mind the otherworldly sexuality of Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman
Brown,” which is somewhat fitting, given its Massachusetts roots. Recommended
for adventurous genre fans, Blood of the
Tribades screens this Saturday morning (10/1) during Scare-a-Con at the
Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York.
Labels: Horror Movies, Scare-a-Con '16, Vampire films