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|Index||36 reviews in total|
At the time that I am writing this review, this movie has an abysmal
rating on IMDb (less than five stars).
If IMDb were a room full of people with exceptional taste, I guess I would understand why. The movie is thoroughly derivative; it tries a little too hard. I get the feeling that it's supposed to be a 'Hunger' for the modern era, moody and atmospheric-- they've even traded the classical and operatic soundtrack for haze-scene and low key beats looped with synth harpsichord melodies -- and yes, sometimes it falls a bit short and comes off amateurish.
But IMDb is not a room full of people with taste, so I don't get it. There so many movies on this site with absolutely no redeeming value that have ridiculously high ratings. This movie, while not art, did try; it never came off heavy handed, overall it was approachable, and entertaining. I keep asking myself what about it is causing people to react so negatively; the only thing I can figure is that perhaps the vampire crowd are portrayed as too cultured or something, I don't know.
Ultimately I guess I'm writing this review for people like me, those who put a lot (perhaps too much) stock in IMDb ratings. As a fan of films like The Hunger and the whole 'artsy, excessively classy but tortured immortal' cliché I can honestly tell you that I didn't think this film was an utter waste of time (at least no more so than many other movies). It was a perfectly fine hour and a half spent on a rainy afternoon.
I find its current rating a bit unfair.
Sexy and thrilling! Tired of Twilight histrionics? Sick of slasher remakes? Yearn for classic dreamy elegance and melancholy of The Hunger or Nosferatu? Then dip into dreamy dripping seas in the land of this film. The last time I saw a film this personal yet gorgeous was when I went on a Jean Rollin kick earlier this year. Xan Cassavetes goes right to the European masters for inspiration. She balances spooky house atmospherics with creative humor, and a downright "queer" sexuality as it relates to traditional vampire lore. Bottom line - this is a really unique and special film. I totally encourage you to let go and experience the bliss of one. Become undone as you merge with the infinite beat.
Visually, nice and dark, as it should be, and cinematographically
surprising, considering the rating.
It is underrated to be sure. The group that created and carried through with this work should be encouraged to continue. This is not the usual treatment of the subject matter, and was a highly worthwhile viewing experience for me. This one is different, and enjoyably so. There are rough spots, of course, but on balance, it has earned its place. I am glad that I have been reading user reviews of late, because bare IMDb ratings have not consistently been reliable guides, especially in non-blockbuster situations.
"Kiss Of The Damned" is a modern Gothic vampire tale that melds
elements of classic romance with dramatic thriller edginess. The film
is directed by Xan Cassavetes and stars Milo Ventimiglia, Joséphine de
La Baume, Roxane Mesquida . In the movie Djuna falls in love with a
young man Paolo whom she tries to resist. Her desire and connection to
the suitor overtakes her convictions and she begins a relationship with
the man. Soon he becomes her companion in the world of night and
vampirism. By no means is this a horror film. "Kiss Of The Damned" is
more of an Erotic Thriller than it is anything else. Keep that in mind
when watching this film if you are expecting a "True Blood" high
intensity or gore level because you will be disappointed. That being
said, I really enjoyed the movie. Let me explain
"Kiss Of The Damned" carries us back to the golden age of vampire tales when we held a romantic and dark desire for the creature of the night. This film is what I would imagine reading one of those supernatural themed Harlequin-eque romance novels would be like. The director explored the more passionate side of daily life and love affair between a vulnerable but strong woman and a man desperate to love her in every way. It was down right Gothic and sweet. The film didn't bother getting too graphic or soft-core with the heightened sexuality of the relationships depicted in the movie but it was adult enough to be sheer supernatural eye candy. This movie is a great date movie for that vampire loving partner or person you want to kick it with. The story was compelling in true dramatic style that expresses the lives we expect vampires to enjoy. Just note that this is not a "horror" movie nor do I believe the director ever intended it to be one.
"Kiss Of The Vampire" is a film that flows more as an emotional heart- song with moments that rise to melodrama before sliding darkly down into melancholy. There is plenty of blood soaked sequences that express the true nature and conflict that lives within the vampire but it does not push the themes to the level of grindhouse or exploitation. The movie will not be for everyone and if you enter the tale looking for high octane exuberance, of ravenous creatures as monsters, with bodies writhing in guts and gore- then you will not be satisfied. However if you remember the classic view of the more romantic creature of more Gothic tales of the vampire then this movie gives you the heat, passion and- yes -the bloodstains as well.
In the countryside near to New York, Djuna (Joséphine de La Baume)
lives alone with her housemaid Irene (Ching Valdes-Aran) in a manor
that belongs to her friend Xenia (Anna Mouglalis). When she meets the
screenwriter Paolo (Milo Ventimiglia) at a video rental store, they
immediately fall in love with each other. However, Djuna discloses to
Paolo that she is a vampire and while making love, she turns him into
one. Paolo moves to her house and they happily live together. Out of
the blue, her wicked and troublemaker sister Mimi (Roxane Mesquida)
appears to stay for a week with them, turning their lives upside-down.
"Kiss of the Damned" is an underrated and sexy film romance with a good romance with an international cast where the female vampires are French actresses. The plot is well developed and the music score is classy. In 2013, Jim Jarmusch wrote and directed the cult "Only Lovers Left Alive" with a similar storyline. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "O Beijo do Vampiro" ("The Kiss of the Vampire")
If European cinema in the 1960s had access to HQ digital cinematography
and sound, then a vampire film made then would be like this. Xan
Cassavetes has crafted a deliberately retro feel to the movie and it
works. I love the soundtrack, which has variety (just listen to the
opening few minutes). It uses experimental sounds to crank up the
tension for example. If you ever loved prog-rock, and know then that
punk rock by comparison has no class, no depth, you will love the fact
(is it an in-joke?) that the baddie comes complete a with a punk rock
soundtrack. Xan reveals herself to be a delightful musical snob. She is
also firmly on the side of the vampires.
This great-looking movie is a mixture of what works and what doesn't, hence a seven. Kudos to getting French actress Anna Mouglalis to play Xena. While beautiful, Anna actually plays Xena as a character actor. What a voice! When her character 'loses it' later on in the film, Anna beautifully conveys the tics, twitches and desperation without overdoing it. She should be in more movies. The bourgeois party scenes are convincing. The film tells a conventional but slight, linear story, with a beginning, middle and end.
On the minus side, although the initial romance is convincing, a better film would have gone deeper into the romance and involved the viewer more, with more complex characters. Another better version would have gone all out to scare you, successfully. The 'horrific' bits here are not really horrific.
This is deliberate. The film is by design a mood piece. It is even relaxing in parts, making it a good film to 'wind down' to with your partner in the evening. Xan understands that relationships, even in a vampire flick, are more interesting than blood and screaming. But she is even more into the 'feel' of the movie. Viewers raised on the Texas chainsaw massacre remakes and their ilk might not want 'relationships' or 'feel'. If you can understand these things before you watch it, you should enjoy the movie.
I saw this movie at this year's SXSW. It's refreshing to see a vampire movie that features vampires in classical form... and it is even more refreshing to see a story from the vampire's perspective. This movie may not have hardcore CGI and 3D Gore splashing out into the audience, but it does however offer an interesting 'to the point' storyline and creative indie film tactics. People giving this movie poor reviews are probably looking for the next "Interview With A Vampire" or "Twilight" and are judging it on a summer blockbuster 10 million dollar budget scale. I found this movie to be plenty entertaining and worth checking out.
With passion comes great responsibility ... especially if you are not
able to control it. The main character is a very strange one and the
actress has a tough role to play. There is a stretch in what she has to
depict. The story itself is more adult than your average teenage movie
that came out lately (yes Twilight and any spawn it gave "birth" to),
but also very predictable.
I watched it at a Festival, so the audience knew or expected this to be a strange one. If you are about to watch it, you should note that too. There is a lot of sexuality and some violence in this, something to consider too. A nicely done movie about containment, self control and love in general. Also about the meaning of life ... it does have to say a lot, as you can see
Like Tilda Swinton's "Only Lovers Left Alive", this is a vampire story
for serious adherents to the genre.
No ridiculous spraying of fake blood, and I loved the philosophical discussion as to vampires' targets and the relationships between humans and vampires.
8 out of 10 stars, keep it up we the consuming audience will lap this up and clamor for more - standing ovation !!!!
If only every vampire offering had this level of thought we wouldn't be so thirsty for decent offerings...
I loved this film and look forward to more from writers and directors....
Finally, someone puts the Vamp back into bloodsuckers and does the
medium justice with Kiss of the Damned. Directed by Alexandria "Xan"
Cassavetes (daughter of John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands). the film
has recently been released to DVD and Netflix. Kiss is an homage to all
the "sexy' Euro-vampire movies of the 70's which lit-up the Drive-ins
and city theaters. It has a continental European feel, unlike the
British Hammer movies of the time, where the action was more important
than the mood. Jean Rollin would be impressed.
Hunky Paolo (Milo Ventimiglia) is a screenwriter working somewhere north of LA on his latest assignment. One night he gets writer's block and decides to visit a video rental store (making the movie a period piece) where he meets the sultry Djuna (Josephine de La Baume). Smitten by her looks, he asks her out one evening and both end up at her palatial mansion in the forest, which over-looks a lake. You know something's not right with her since we've already watched the maid come in and daintily clean blood off the marbled floor.
Djuna kicks Paolo out when he tries to get to close to her for no obvious reason. Not to take no for an answer, Paolo begins stalking her and one night just shows up at her door. She keeps the chain locked, but they begin kissing through the gap. Djuna bites his mouth, drawing blood, and he finally leaves.
This time when Paolo confronts Djuna she confesses: she's a real life vampire. Paolo refuses to believe, but, totally in love with her, chains her to the bed as the only safe way to have sex with her. In an unbelievably hot scene, Djuna sprouts fangs and feral eyes as she tries to put the bite on Paolo. Instead of running for his life, Paolo unlocks her chains. Djuna plunges her fangs into him, not to kill him, but to exchange blood, thus infecting him withe Living Dead curse.
After Paolo has been vamped, the audience discovers some very interesting things about the breed: they have extremely long lives, don't succumb to natural diseases, and heal instantly upon injury. The need to feed is a by-product of their condition, but vampires have learned to over-come their desire for humans by going after game animals such as deer (could use a whole vampire coven in the national park near me). The blood drive is always a problem and through-out the movie you see Paolo and Djuna staring at people's necks, fighting back the urge. Human servants are chosen from those with blood disorders, so the won't be a temptation. Vampirism is portrayed as alcoholism with benefits.
But Djuna and Paolo's sojourn comes to an end with the arrival of Mimi, Djuna's sister. You know Mimi is going to be trouble from the start when she arrives. Soon Djuna has placed a call to Xenia, one of the Undead Elders to find out what can be done about her problematic sibling. Xenia assures her the younger vamp is "having some issues", but she has a safe house arranged for her in Phoenix. However, Djuna has heard all this before....
There is plenty of discussion on the Internet about how this movie resembles a 70's vampire movie in its form and style. I don't feel such comments are criticisms, but an observation of how low the medium has sunk in the aftermath of Rice and Twilight. Yes, Kiss is a very Gothic movie, but Karnstein goth as opposed to Bauhaus. It has the same dreamy set-pieces which Lemora tried to copy back in 1975. Here, they work extraordinarily.
It is also a very erotic movie. The love-making scenes between Paolo and Djuna nearly melted my HD screen. But this is Daughters of Darkness sexy; the sort of scene you might have saw on the bottom half of a double bill in 1975. Subtle, not at all what you'll find surfing the Internet.
The only recurring problem with film are the accents. The director choose French fashion models to play most of the lead women vampires and their way of pronouncing words in English does add to the sexiness. But sometimes it is hard to understand a word Djuna is saying. I'll have to buy the Blu-Ray just to turn on the subtitles (watched it on Netflix).
I highly recommend this movie as an homage to all the great vampire movies of the 70's. http://cinemaofhorror.com/kiss-damned/
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