Vampire Blog-A-thon: A bloody awesome trio

Well, it’s Vampire-Blog-A-Thon Day, thanks to the organisational skills of Nat over at The Film Experience.



Given the topic, and especially how most vamp-themed flicks these days seem to be schlock aimed at bloodthirsty teens, I thought I’d discuss 3 of my all-time favourite filmic vampire females. In all 3 cases, the ladies are lead characters (in good to excellent films), and their performances alerted me to these great actresses.

Marie in Innocent Blood


“My first rule – never play with the food.”

Marie (Anne Parillaud) is probably one of the sexiest, but simultaneously cute and loveable vampires to ever grace the screen. Forget Kate Beckinsale rolling around in the buff with Scott Speedman in the Underworld sequel. Parillaud’s motel-and-handcuffs romp with a thin and surprisingly sexy Anthony LaPaglia is a far more gratifying sequence, in terms of sexiness and a light touch of humour.

In fact, Innocent Blood, from John Landis, is a surprisingly satisfying vampire movie, even if it’s far from perfect. The vampire-mobster combo is a refreshing take on the theme, and Parillaud effortlessly pulls off the rather difficult task of mixing vulnerable likeability and loneliness, with a vampire’s sleek power.



Miriam in The Hunger


“Forever?” “… And ever.”

In Tony Scott’s The Hunger, Catherine Deneuve portrays immortal Miriam Blaylock, the ultimate serial monogamist. Turning her human lovers into pseudo-vampires, Miriam can’t even bear to part with them when they start aging rapidly – instead, she locks them away in an attic of coffins.

Most people will remember The Hunger (based on Whitley Strieber’s novel) for the infamous lesbian sex scene between Deneuve and Susan Sarandon. But the film is from a time when Tony Scott wasn’t interested in making viewers motion-sick with his camera work. Instead, The Hunger is one of the most deliberately artsy vampire films ever made. Miriam and her current lover John (David Bowie) radiate early 80’s style and super coolness.

Deneuve gets to pump up her ice queen persona to the max as Miriam. Hardly anything fazes her, from John’s deterioration to his revenge on her next planned lover. She initiates her back-up plans effortlessly, while sitting around playing classical music and wearing tailored high fashion. It’s the kind of role and performance I’ve always fantasised Michelle Pfeiffer would give if she were to ever play a vampire.



Claudia in Interview with the Vampire


“I want some more.”

My favourite vampire movie of all time is Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. Opulent looking, with a mean streak of humour and plenty of male eye candy about, surprisingly the most memorable aspect of the film is a performance given by an 11 year old.

Interview with the Vampire made me aware of Kirsten Dunst early on in her career. And it’s been a pleasure growing up while watching Dunst mature onscreen (we’re the same age) with a wide ranging filmography.

In Interview, Dunst is stunning as a grown woman trapped for all time in the body of an 8 year old, while being treated as a ‘doll’ by her 2 devoted ‘fathers’, Lestat and Louis. Having spent essentially her whole life as a vampire, Claudia is a killing machine, polishing off everyone from dress makers to piano teachers, to whole families. She’s the ultimate manipulator, using her childish looks to get her way, both in terms of her victims, and her ‘parents.’

In fact, it’s Claudia who drives the film’s narrative, pushing melancholy Louis into action. Once she’s gone, the film trundles on blandly until the end. She’s the soul of the film, really, and her scenes with Brad Pitt and especially Tom Cruise, have real fire.

How Dunst actually pulls it off, I don’t know. With absolutely no change to her appearance (a vampire’s damnation), as a viewer you can believe that she has grown, if not into her 50s and beyond, then at least into a petulant young woman. There’s just something about the way she carries herself, a sly glint in her eye that make you believe she’s far more mature than she is in reality. In a bizarre, vampiric love triangle, she fits perfectly, and convincingly, into place.



So, yes, “I want some more” as well. Particularly of Claudia’s great transformation scene. I think I just might watch Interview with the Vampire again tomorrow in celebration of this Halloween.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Noelle...I LOVE YOUR POST!

Totally agree with what you write for me Deneuve is brilliantly cast and what an actor!

Love Seb!
pfangirl said…
Hey Seb, thanks for reading my entry, and taking the time to comment.

So much good stuff to read with this Vampire Blog-A-Thon.
Cath said…
Excellent post! Makes me want to re-watch The Hunger (I saw it one boozy evening my freshman year in college, so I'm not even sure that counts as a real viewing in the first place). Nice work!
pfangirl said…
Thanks for commenting, Cath.

I had to flip through the novel to fill in some of the gaps in my 'Hunger' memory. But I think I also have to pull out my old VHS copy of the movie and give it a fresh viewing.
guile said…
i find marie cute..
lugosi said…
vampires: http://s5.bitefight.hu/c.php?uid=32878
Self Hypnosis said…
Thank you these eye opening, hypnotic information
Anonymous said…
If you're looking for a new vampire series check out ETERNAL VIGILANCE by Gabrielle S. Faust! :)
123 123 said…
Interesting article you got here. I'd like to read a bit more about that theme. Thanx for giving that information.
Joan Stepsen
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Anonymous said…
Here is another cool vampire movie, granted it is an adult movie and french but it's funny and surprisingly interesting: http://pronto.iza.co.za/2010/09/05/vampires-les-suceuses-de-la-nuit-2001-dvdrip/

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