Sunday, 31 March 2013


Suck on this, Twilight. Xan Cassavetes' Kiss of the Damned is a thoroughly conventional vampire film, stitched together from genre tropes from all kinds of related influences - even the genre of 'Vampire Movie' itself is a cliche. But its reverence for these tropes and its success in mimicking them is highly fulfilling, and this is a stylish, sensual slip of a film as a result. Pretty pictures alone may not be sufficient to sustain even a 90-minute affair such as this, but they're sustenance enough for significant stretches of time, and Cassavetes displays a conviction in handling them that one might expect from a member of one of film's most famous families. When she pairs these sumptuous images with an equally sumptuous soundtrack (with generous helpings of classical music, to crank the melodrama up to full power), Kiss of the Damned is enormous fun, and it's so satisfying to see style turned so memorably into real cinematic substance; when she pairs them with dialogue, you may wonder if these vampires plan to bleed you to death or just talk you to death. In short, the script is dire, and rarely even necessary, and the acting is hardly better. But that's mostly not the point. The point is that those carrying out the acting are so fucking sexy, their outfits so fucking chic, their homes so fucking beautiful, their lives so fucking good, so fucking far from the miserable existences most vampire films depict, that it all amounts to a sensational hybrid fashion editorial / soft-porn. Kiss of the Damned doesn't merely hint towards eroticism, it orgasmically ejaculates it all over the camera lens. Some films make you think. Some make you cry. And some make you hard. And what's wrong with that?!?