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In London, Vincent Monroe is a young man addicted in blood that wanders through the red light district looking for lonely people to satisfy his addiction, dropping their bodies in the Thames River. When the stripper Ruby Stone meets Vincent in a coffee shop after her show, they immediately fall in love with each other. They have one night stand and Vincent does not resist and bites Ruby's neck, freaking her out. Ruby leaves his apartment and returns to the night-club, where the psycho pimp that is obsessed on her harasses her. Vincent finds Ruby fainted in an alley and soon she discovers that Vincent has turned her into a vampire. Ruby convinces Vincent to stop drinking human blood and seek out a cure in Edinburgh. But the sadistic psycho, who has killed fifteen women, has discovered their address and is stalking Ruby. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
As a puritanical fan of cinema and the concept of vampires, I have felt woefully let down by the spate of vampire flicks in recent years. The low budget ones especially have been cringe worthy. And then Lawrence Pearce comes along with his debut feature to restore my faith. It goes to show what someone with talent and vision can do on a true shoestring of a budget.
Night Junkies banishes the supernatural and elitist aspects that are always tied to the vampire genre, and gone too is the un-relatable overly brooding protagonist. Pearce's vampires are junkies in the truest sense of the term, and it is certainly a much more disturbing context, particularly with a view to the more than psychotic character: these are just people, albeit with a very unusual addiction. It creates a vulnerability in the characters that is endearing, and allows for the humanising moral debate within the vampires on who they feed on, or even if they could bring themselves to do it at all, giving them fantastic depth instead of emotional flat-lining.
Neither the sex nor the violence are at all gratuitous although it is certainly shocking in places. Misogyny is not a keyword for this movie, but sexy certainly is. While most vampire movies flirt with the idea of eroticism, this film puts out. And the key thing to it is that it is never out of place, you never think that it is there for audience titillation; it flows smoothly with the plot, as it should.
The Tarantino references are well earned, and like all good Tarantino movies, this movie has plenty of lines to quote. The script is fantastic in fact; the dialogue is never over fussy or disjointed. And as with any script, the delivery can make or break it. Despite the general rule that low budget equals less than second-rate acting, this film refuses to conform. The acting is far superior to other low budget movies in the genre, divine in places I would go so far to say. And while the plot is certainly dark, it is never gloomy, there is a humour to it that us horror fans particularly enjoy, especially when it is done so well so as not to detract from the mood or to create moments where it becomes a parody.
I think one of the biggest joys of this movie is that it doesn't just appeal to a singular demographic or type of movie fan: it isn't limited to the enjoyment of the die-hard vampire or horror movie buff. It is enjoyable on both those levels, of course, but also for the drama and thriller audience this would hold a thrall. In fact the romance that unravels between Ruby and Vincent is truly captivating; it is a real romance, not the numb emotionally stunted whim so often portrayed in films of the genre that Pearce has managed to give the kiss of life. In short, seeing this film almost makes you feel that you have seen a number as it fills the need that each of the genres of horror, drama, thriller and romance fill you finish it feeling satiated in the best sense of the word.
I can't wait to see what will come next from this director, and I can only hope and pray for another instalment in this world he has created so expertly.
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