Two American students go to Italy after graduating from art school, one to work in restoration of paintings, the other because she's inherited her father's castle. When the restorer visits ... See full summary »
Fact based story about a former Greek Olympic boxer who was taken as a prisoner during World war II and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. There he was permitted to survive as long as he ... See full summary »
Robert M. Young
Edward James Olmos,
Young Danny is following his rich girlfriend's family to the Caribbean. But suddenly he simply must take a chemistry test and cannot go with them. After they have left, he gets a leave from... See full summary »
The neurotic and newlywed Barbara (Robin Strasser) finds her husband (Arthur Roberts) in bed with his old flame Eva (Iva Jean Saraceni). Robin doesn't get mad-she gets even. Using funds ... See full summary »
A pretentious, but at the same time interesting and innovative punk-Goth vampire story under a moonlight sky that's probably a little too sullen and clever for its own good. 'The Understudy' is a sequel to the 1987 vampire film 'The Graveyard Shift', which I have not seen but from what I've read is unrelated even though it has Silvio Oliviero returning as the lead vamp.
Camilla is an aspiring actress starring in a low-cost vampire movie, and she's captures the eyes of a drifter vampire Baisez who's being secretly hanging around the sets. He eventually casts a spell over Camilla, which sees her fall for him with a bite. After the disappearance of the leading man playing the vampire, Baisez with some help auditions for the part and everyone is in awe of his convincing performance, except for Camilla's soon to be husband Matthew.
The idea behind the concept involving a movie within a movie set-up inviting the feeling that life is intimating art in a self-knowing and manipulative manner became a little baffling and loose, despite the straight-forward narrative structure. At times it gets hard to tell what reality is, or what's for simply the camera cut! These novelties couldn't hide the fact it's a melancholy love story, as the vampire is the desirable temptation and obsessive fixation that drives the Camilla character. The offbeat script is reasonably talky and very ambiguous on Baisez's intentions and past. It heavily relies on Silvio Oliviero's brooding appearance and erotic allurement. It's a serious turn of conviction. Across from him is the beautifully confident and very engaging Wendy Gazelle as Camilla. Mark Soper is solid. Lesley Kelly, Timothy Kelleher and Carl Alacchi are also sound additions.
Director / writer Gerard Ciccoritti's competent steering keeps to the low-budget's strengths, highlighting moody and smoky atmospherics. It's considerably slow-moving, keeping the lurid camera-work within muggy confined sets with bleary lighting and limited FX work to distract. Philip Stern's bluesy music score is sensually sombre, but alluring in its transition to the on-screen action.
A haunting, if overdone low-budget vampire feature.
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