Wednesday, 17 July 2013



The advertising blurb for this experimental zero-budget vampire art movie suggests that it's inspired by Herzog, Rollin and Franco. I'm scarcely an expert in the field, but I'll hazard a stab anyway: while I wouldn't say one way or another on the issue of Herzog (his Nosferatu remake I haven't seen for at least twenty years), I like to think I've seen enough of Jess Franco's wildly wayward output over the years to state that a hell of a lot more happens in even his most incoherent and incompetent offerings than is on view here. And I never got that strange dreamlike sensation you usually find in Jean Rollin's nudie lesbian wanderings either.

The only connection with some of the films from those directors and Fangoria editor Chris Alexander's Blood For Irina is that Irina is a vampire, living in a tatty motel with the owner (also a vampire), who clears up the remains of the men she brings back from town and kills for their blood. It's a miserable, bleak and hopeless existence - never mind the Lost Boys' "Party All Night, Sleep All Day, It's Fun To Be A Vampire" tagline, this suggests a heavy price for immortality. (Let's not even mention Edward "Glittery" Cullen in the same breath.) Into this ennui-laden setup comes Pink, a hooker in a pink wig....

Image-driven rather than plot-driven, the film is undeniably well photographed. There are a lot of very long, languid shots of the desolate, empty, off-season motel and the mood of loneliness and approaching death is nicely conveyed. But with no dialogue save for a few snatches of heavily processed voiceover, and more emphasis placed on irrelevant imagery than narrative (several loving shots of a rusty, dripping tap, a plastic toy baby bobbing on the shingle as waves lap around it, or clear water slowly discoloured by blood), it's the kind of movie you could watch on fast forward and not miss a shot or a word (and the sonic wallpaper soundtrack would be less irritating as well). Plus it would be finished in 35 minutes as opposed to just shy of seventy - and even at such a slim running time, it's a bit of a drag, for all the nice imagery. Alexander wrote, directed, edited, co-produced and co-photographed (with one of his cast), and co-scored (with another).


Blood! Blood!

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