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Vampire (I) (2011)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  15 September 2012 (Japan)
5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 810 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 23 critic

A biology teacher looks for young suicidal women online to satisfy his taste for blood. Rather than violent, his acts are quite peaceful and always consented.

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Title: Vampire (2011)

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Jellyfish
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Helga
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Ladybird
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Mina
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Laura King
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Michaela
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Jack Hales
R. Nelson Brown ...
Nick Williams
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Abbot King
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Brian
Dustin Eriksen ...
Gargoyle
Herod Gilani ...
Eclipse
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Storyline

On the surface, Simon is a dedicated teacher living a normal life. But he has a terrible secret - he is compelled to drink human blood. Using online chat rooms as his hunting grounds, he searches for suicidal young women to satisfy his dark desire. Written by Ed

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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They're dying to keep him alive

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Drama | Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing violent content and, language | See all certifications »
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15 September 2012 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Vámpír  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Simon: What's going on? Mina. Do you really want to die? Let me ask you something, Mina. Do you know yourself? You, who decides to kill yourself, but do you really know who you are? Do you know that self? I mean, there are 60 trillion cells inside of you. Do you know that? I mean, how often do you think about that? Mina.
Mina: I don't.
Simon: Yes, you do. You think about them all the time. You just don't think about it in the right way, I mean... If your body is an apartment complex, those 60 trillion cells are ...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
If you know Iwai, you know what to expect
25 February 2011 | by See all my reviews

This is not a vampire flick. It shouldn't really be necessary to point this out, after all the summary makes it very clear. But it would seem that the reason for this film's overall cold reception is precisely that it doesn't feature supernatural, love-lorn beings to satisfy inhibited sexual desires of self-destruction. Rather, it presents an altogether uncomfortable view on real-life blood-thirst and a controversial look at suicidal obsession.

If you're familiar with Iwai's work, then neither the subject matter nor the style come as much of a surprise. Iwai's staple theme is alienated youth and the thin line between friendship and destruction. In 'All about Lily Chou-Chou', he explored bullying and underage prostitution against a backdrop of how virtual and real-life personalities differ, 'Swallowtail Butterfly' dealt with the ups and downs of a group of misfits bonding and betraying each other, and 'Hana & Alice' showed a close high-school-girl friendship with elements of rivalry over a particular boy.

'Vampire' follows a story which actually happened in Japan: a man convinces young women in suicide chat-rooms to die together with him, eventually tricking them so that he may consume their blood. The focus isn't so much on why he wants to do this (apart from ambivalent references to the quest for immortality), but rather why these women want to die - and this is where I see a continuity with Iwai's other work. It's not so much about the story itself, which takes somewhat unfathomable turns and ends up in a confusing mêlée, but rather the visuals, which create a mystified, surreal and at times even humorous perspective on death. The proverbial 'vampire' is actually seen as a perversion of this theme, which becomes obvious in a rather gory parody of the 'serial killer' image, complete with fangs and cape.

If you wonder what a Japanese film with American actors may look like, then this one may be very well for you. To me, it's been worthwhile just for seeing that the styles of Japanese cinema - character vagueness, visual rendition, and most of all quietness - can be translated into English rather well. However, if you really expect a vampire flick, better wait until the next 'Twilight' segment.


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