Saturday, August 31, 2013

Blood for Irina - Death In All It's Beauty

Blood for Irina
Directed by Chris Alexander
Written by Chris Alexander
Starring Shauna Henry, Carrie Gemmell & David Goodfellow

Not Rated - Approx.  70 min.

Tag Lines:
No sir!

Alternate Titles:
That's a negative, Ghostrider.

I had been waiting for a long time to see this film.  I was fortunate enough to have a fantastic interview with Chris about the film when it was being shown at festivals.  In preparation for the film, I went back and started watching a ton of Rollin and and Franco films.  At long last I was finally able to sit down and watch Blood for Irina....and I was not disappointed.

A slow burn film, which follows the last days of a dying vampire as she stalks the streets for her last victims.  She resides in a broken down motel by the sea, watched over by the motel manager, who keeps her secret.  The motel is in complete disrepair and it is at once melancholic and beautiful....and it beautiful mirrors Irina, who is also beautiful, but dying.  In Irina's nightly excursions, her path crosses with that of a prostitute who looks like she may not be doing much better.

The film is gorgeously shot and drips atmosphere with every frame.  The mood is further cemented by the minimalist, yet haunting soundtrack, also written by Mr. Alexander and in the seventy minute running time there is almost no dialog.  Don't let that sway you I truly believe that dialog would have gotten in the way of the story.  It truly is most impressive, as even the silent films of the early days of cinema would rely on text cards to help tell their stories or deliver some dialog, that Blood for Irina can make such a powerful connection to the viewer with out it.

Midnight Cinephile Tally

Death Toll:  This is not a high body count film.  I'll be honest, I meant to keep track of the body count, but was so entranced with the film that I completely forgot!  We'll say that it's more than one and less than ten!

Nude-O-Meter:  No nudity, but there is much sensuality to be found in some of the scenes.

Things That Go Bump In The Night:  I hate to put Irina in this category, despite the fact that she is a vampire.  She is quite possibly the most sympathetic vampire character that I've seen.  I truly felt as though I was dying with her.

Final Thoughts
So I know what you are thinking....if I loved this film so much, why such a short review?  Well, I'll tell you:  First of all, I think that the less you know about this film going into it the better.  This film is a tapestry that is best unraveled on your own.  There is much to be interpreted for yourself, and I don't want to sway your impression of the film.  I found that it touched me on a very personal level, and I hope that it has the same effect on you.

This film is achingly beautiful and you would be remiss to dismiss it as just another art house vampire flick.  I know that there are those who will not like this film and that's cool....we can't all like the same stuff.  But I am going to go out on a limb here and say that if you read this blog regularly, then you owe it to yourself to watch this film.

Final Rating
Five out of Five Pizza Rolls

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