I don’t know what the hell is in the air, but suddenly e’ery Tom, Dick (heh), and Scary has sent me fright flicks by the dozens… #shutupstupiditsfreemovies
• RELEASE DATE: In Theaters April 1st
• WRITTEN BY: Mickey Keating
• DIRECTED BY: Mickey Keating
• STARRING: Lauren Ashley Carter, Brian Morvant, Sean Young, Larry Fessenden
I really, REALLY love when our beloved horror biz goes and gets itself all artsy and experimental. Give me a BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW over yet another tired 80s slasher throwback any damn day. Well, to that end, I have a real doozy of a flick in front of my eerie eyeballs today: a stylish lil’ number called DARLING.
DARLING starts out like a throwback to the Gothic thriller genre: a young, seemingly naïve woman comes to find herself as the caretaker of an aged grande manse (this one happens to be located in Manhattan), and of course, said estate just happens to be rumored to have a haunted past (in the form of the previous owner, a student of the occult who had tried to summon the devil). Well, before long the ol’ arcane abode starts messing with our heroine’s mind… a mind that may not need much of a push when it comes to being a bit off.
Now I admit, that die-scription above was e’en vaguer than my legendarily legendary vague summaries, but I really want you cats to check this one out. Because the easiest way to convince someone that they’ll love something is to make a comparison (and I’m all about takin’ the easy way out, as anyone that’s read one of my reviews can plainly see!), so here goes: DARLING is kinda like what would happen if Tim Burton and Stanley Kubrick got together to die-rect a version of THE HAUNTING, but they only had a vague notion as to what that story is actually about. That’s a good starting point, but the actual film is so much more interesting than that!
Filled with gorgeous black and white cinematography, disjointed and off-kilter soundtrack choices, whispering voices, shocking violence, and subliminal edits (not to mention an ever growing sense of dread), DARLING is the perfect fusion of arthouse and grindhouse, and it works so much better than you would ever assume it would. And while the aesthetics are unique and stylish, the performance of lead actress Lauren Ashley Carter really hits this one home. Surrounded by only a handful of other characters (including a great cameo by Sean Young as the upper-class owner of the house), Carter carries the film. She is in nearly every frame of the film and offers up a performance that runs the gamut from doe-eyed waif to screaming nightmare with equal aplomb.
DARLING is truly one to savor—experimental, shocking, and filled to the rafters with good ol’ malevolent evil, it’s Grade-A F’n awesome!
BLOOD OF THE TRIBADES
• RELEASE DATE: Coming Soon; check here for details!
• WRITTEN BY: Sophia Cacciola, Michael J. Epstein
• DIRECTED BY: Sophia Cacciola, Michael J. Epstein
• STARRING: Mary Widow, Chloé Cunha, Seth Chatfield
When a new fright flick comes my way that promises to channel the spirit of two of my all-time fav die-rectors, Jean Rollin and Jess Franco, you can bet my boney ass will be parked in front of it faster than panties drop in either of the aforementioned gentlemen’s films! So let’s turn our preternatural gaze upon BLOOD OF THE TRIBADES and see if it has what it takes to tickle our Euro-sleaze fancy!
BLOOD OF THE TRIBADES first and foremost is about world building; the flick is set in a reality where a vampire named Bathor turned a village into bloodsuckers, taught them how to live high on the hog, and peaced die-rectly out of there with a promise to return in 2000 years. Now, said vamps are a forgetful bunch by nature, so before long they can’t recall the great society (or its language, which suitably is French) set in motion by Bathor and become segregated by sex thanks to a real psycho vamp named Grando (played with scenery chewing gusto by Seth Chatfield… seriously, this cat is fan-freakin’-tastic) whose bag is to destroy those he feels have sinned against the way of Bathor. It is then up to lovers Élisabeth and Fantine to bring about change based on the ways of the past. Violence, bloodshed, and a lil’ sexy-time ensue.
The story BLOOD OF THE TRIBADES presents is refreshingly uncommon in today’s slasher/ghost/found footage saturated horror biz, featuring a unique, fully realized world unto its own—a world populated by vampires that roam forests and ruins, with nary a non-vamp in sight, and as mentioned above, one with its own hierarchy and class system in place. Besides the immersive mythology of the piece, the impressive array of locales—many absolutely gorgeous—on display in this film is astounding; especially considering it’s a low-budget independent flick. Also as stated previously, this film seeks to evoke the atmosphere of European arthouse/horror flick hybrids of the 1970s, and it succeeds rather admirably at that; the costuming in particular echoes the genre perfectly, as does the abundance of blood and female flesh on display (but as this is a film with a point to make regarding segregation based upon sex, the male form is equally represented, so if the D is yer thang, rock on!).
All in all this is one hell of a flick: unique, surreal and chock full of the bloody and beautiful goods that lovers of the Euro-horror genre dig like a grave!