Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Requiem for a Vampire

The most successful of French horror maestro Jean Rollin’s erotic vampire films, Requiem for a Vampire centers around a pair of female fugitives who seek shelter in an abandoned castle, only to find themselves at the mercy of a vampire cult. The description on Netflix promises blood, boobs, and surrealism. Whatever happens, it’s probably better than Twilight, right?

  • When the intro for your film’s distributor is a grainy video of a female vampire biting into the neck of a topless model, you know you’re in for some classy entertainment. = +10 pts
  • Opening with the most leisurely car chase in the history of cinema: = +5 pts
  • Only two thirds of your criminal gang dressed in circus regalia? = -2 pts
  • The ladies torch their getaway car with their “dead” partner’s body in it… in spite of the fact that he was visibly stirring while they doused him with gasoline. = +8 pts
  • Ladies score some provisions off a food truck owner with poor impulse control and an even poorer grasp of object permanence. = +2 pts
  • The brunette tumbles into an open grave and knocks herself unconscious just as the grave diggers show up to start filling it in, in spite of the fact that the shots from her P.O.V. clearly show the grave digger looking straight down at where she’s lying. For displaying that famous Gallic commitment to a job well-done: = -7 pts
  • That’s okay, though, because after about nine or ten shovels-full of dirt, the grave digger and his partner (who, by the way, has not so much as touched a shovel as long as he’s been onscreen) head back to the office to drink a bottle of wine. = +10 pts
  • An inexplicably plush, fur-bedecked bed in the middle of an abandoned castle: The perfect place for two girls to strip naked and then awkwardly run their hands over each other’s backs. Pay no attention to the fact that the candle-holder in the bedroom is straight-up some dude’s arm. = +1 pts
  • Someone spent an awful lot of time setting up that skeletal monk tableaux in the chapel. Eternal life leaves you with a lot of free time on your hands. = +2 pts
  • For giving the absolute fewest number of shits possible when designing your vampires’ fangs: = -10 pts
  • It’s still pretty bright out for a vampire to be walking around outside. This isn’t Buffy or Angel, dammit! = -5 pts
  • Ladies driven straight into vampire henchmen’s rape chamber. No matter how hard he tries, the henchman with the bald spot just can’t get in on any of that sweet, sweet sexual assault action, though. For discriminating against bald men: = -4 pts
  • Apparently, all the girls had to do to escape was lightly push Lady Vampire Erika. = +2 pts
  • And now, all of a sudden, it sounds like the movie is being scored by Boredoms. A progressive musical choice for your vampire porn: = +4 pts
  • It’s a pretty great chase when, two-minutes in, all parties concerned just say “screw it” and start walking. =+3 pts
  • We know the sexy vampire wouldn’t fully have his moment until Anne Rice came onto the scene, but are you telling me you couldn’t do any better than this Steve Buscemi-looking motherfucker? = -15 pts
  • Oh, hey the vampire gang has an even bigger rape dungeon stocked with women at the bottom of this mausoleum. That’s… cool? (It really isn’t.) = -10 pts
  • There’s a lot more rape in this movie than we were expecting. Who was this made for? = -25 pts
  • Wait, seriously? Now the bats are getting in on the action? For making any viewer with a conscience permanently impotent: = -50 pts
  • Apparently, the two girls we saw lying naked in bed together just twenty minutes before are “virgins.” That’s…something else, Jean Rollin. = -5 pts
  • Lady Vampire Louisa: designated cult on-boarding officer. = +2 pts
  • Apparently the reason that the lady vampires can walk around in the daylight is because they aren’t full vampires yet. Sorry, movie, here’s your 5 point penalty back, plus a couple of points interest. = +7 pts
  • So our two “virgins” are going to get to become vampires, eventually, but in the meantime they have to go out and hunt for dudes to bring back to the castle for the others to feed on. Sounds an awful lot like a multi-level marketing scheme. (I’m pretty sure I saw an episode of Angel about this.) = -10 pts
  • Protip: If you ever find yourself in the middle of the woods when a French girl wearing nothing but knee socks appears out of nowhere and tries to lead you back to an abandoned castle, you are more likely to end up as the middle segment of a human centipede than as her lover. = -5 pts
  • Watching a girl “lose her virginity” to a guy with amazing ‘70s hair is waaaaay less sexy than it sounds. = -15 pts
  • In order to save her lover from the vampire cult, Blondie decides to hide him inside the castle where they all live. = -3 pts
  • To commemorate the ladies’ first experience of “the vampire’s embrace” (which I’m guessing is a very special hug that’s only for adults?), the vamp cult pulls out all the stops and drags the old concert grand out into the graveyard. = +2 pts
  • If you have to be a virgin to become a vampire, wouldn’t that make Vampire Steve Buscemi, like, a 50-year-old virgin? For giving us the awesomest idea for a cross-franchise prequel ever: = +10 pts
  • Vampire Steve Buscemi reveals to Blondie that the members of the vampire cult are basically just squatters. = +3 pts
  • In order to extract the location of Blondie’s illicit lover, the brunette strings her up by her arms and “tortures” her by whipping the ground. = -7 pts
  • A gentle shove is like Lady Vampire Erika’s own personal kryptonite. = +4 pts
  • How does everyone have a gun all of a sudden? = -1 pts
  • Not sure who quite makes out worse at the end of this movie. Lady Vampire Erika, whom Vampire Steve Buscemi has condemned to a slow death by blood-starvation, just so he doesn’t get bored while dying in his mausoleum, or Lady Vampire Louisa who has to be the lookout for the two of them like some kind of undead third wheel: No points, more just something to think about.
Progressive Cinema Scorecard Total: -67

Final Note: A weird mashup of ‘70s Euro arthouse aesthetic and cheap, incompetent storytelling insure a movie that swings wildly between being intriguing and laugh-out-loud absurd. The fact that rape, bestiality, and torture are played off as “erotic fantasy,” though, is…well, kind of icky. In fact the whole movie will leave you feeling like you need to sit under a shower for a day or two to feel human again.

We’d still watch it again over Twilight, though.

Score Technician: Joe Hemmerling


  1. I believe the title of this movie, if the poster is to be believed, is "Requiem Porn Vampirio." Who is your editor?

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