Welcome back to B-Movie Enema’s October Vampire Halloween Theme thingy. I think I’ve called it something different for each reference I’ve made. I can only imagine that will become a running joke this month.
ANYway… This week’s vampire flick is something new. It’s not a popular movie and I’m curious if even that many vampire movie superfans know about it. It’s called Night Fangs and it’s yet another movie brought to my attention thanks to a subscription to Bizarre TV on my Roku device.
This is directed by Ricardo Islas from Uruguay who’s been directing movies on the reg for about thirty years now. He’s a bit of a do-it-yourself kinda guy as he also wrote the movie, produced it, edited it, and stars as Professor Nashy. He definitely has a real care for the genre as he takes his character name from the legendary Spanish actor Paul Naschy, who stars in next week’s vampire flick. He also seems to have a real Roger Corman take too by taking on all sorts of roles in the production of this movie to help make this as much on the cheap as he can.
I’ll most definitely point out some glaring inconsistencies with this movie’s story, but I gotta give it to Islas, he gets an A for effort with this flick.
The back of the DVD box tells us: “Two lesbian art teachers obsessed with eternal youth have managed to get Elizabeth Bathory’s diary. Performing bloody rituals, they accidentally unleash an ancient evil that will devour their flesh and souls… This rare, raw, and extremely violent independent feature revisits the vampire myth and presents an outrageous new take on the theme, taking audiences into a world of nightmares that resemble the style of an old Hammer classic and the gore and darkness of European cinema. A new-born cult classic.”
Let’s get started, but I know from previous viewings that the only real thing that is true after the ellipses in the above synopsis is that it is an independent feature. The rest of it is… kinda bullshit.
Still it gets a fucking A for effort.
We are introduced to two lesbians chatting up a guy in a chat room. One lady looks kinda like Virginia Madsen and the other is a maybe Asian or maybe black, but whatever she is, they invite the guy over for some making out. The scene cuts to some shots of this little town. There are scenes of a car driving down the street mixed with shots of a spider capturing some prey. You get what’s going on here? The two lesbians are the spider. The poor son of a bitch they were chatting up is the prey. Get it? I’m smart and stuff. So they meet this guy and take him to their place. They talk some psuedo sexy talk on the way back to their house. When they get him home, they cuff him and blindfold him. The Virginia Madsen chick suddenly gets nervous and agitated. She even gets a little disgusted when kissing the guy’s body. They get him all excited and talk to him about some shit Lupe, the non-Virginia Madsen girl (who is named Jennifer), learned in Bombay. When the guy finally realizes these ladies are kinda weird and, ultimately, wants to leave, they strangle him and start making out over his carcass. Which kind of reminds me of how my last few dates went.
Later, Jennifer and Lupe are in the bath talking about some book and when the camera pans, it doesn’t just give us a shot of their naked bodies but also reveals they are bathing in the poor guy’s blood. It would seem Jennifer was all about getting the guy over, but it seems killing the guy got Lupe hot and bothered.
The following day, we learn Jennifer and Lupe are art teachers and show a particular interest in one student, a hot young Latina named Amy. Her boyfriend, we’ll call him Dime Store Michael Cera seems a little bit suspect of how much attention Amy is getting from Jennifer. As is Lupe. Dime Store Michael Cera, who plays Steve, starts to grow even more pissy about how Amy gets the attention from Jennifer.
Later, Lupe meets with a guy who has some sort of book or something that they are buying from him. Lupe kills him after he makes some shitty comments about her being a dyke and how she needs to get fucked by a man dick. He also knife fucks the dude in the butt. That’s hardcore… and kinda sexy on her part. Errr… I mean… Ew, that was pretty gross and uncomfortable to watch.
Now, let me take a moment to say that I only know what is going on because I know what is going on. I’ve seen this movie before, and that’s the only excuse that I know the girls are most definitely lesbians from the get go, they are buying a book from some dude, and what have you. If you were watching this with no prior knowledge, you would only have the title, Night Fangs, to work off to know there’s some vampire shit in this movie. Otherwise, you wouldn’t know if they were witches or just some crazy broads. You would probably know they are lesbians, but are you sure of that? If you’ve not seen the movie before all this shit would be baffling to you for a little bit. At least until you find out they were buying Elizabeth Bathory’s personal diary from the dude with the knife hole where his asshole used to be. If you know who that lady was, then you know there’s some vampire shit about to happen.
In Professor Nashy’s history class, he gives some basic history about the fall of Vlad the Impaler. Jennifer and Lupe, who are just hanging out in the back of the room, ask about Elizabeth Bathory. He then gives background on that after Amy asks about her. One of the girls in the class leaves a sexy note for Professor Nashy – played by our writer and director, who is not particularly attractive. What an asshole.
So Nashy helps translate a passage about the blood bath ritual about how she was able to stay young by draining a young virgin of her blood and bathing in it. This makes Jennifer think about our sexy lil’ Amy who surely is a virgin because she’s dating Dime Store Michael Cera and no one wants that shit.. We cut to Amy, who is practicing flute. We get to see a little bit of her wild side start to come out as she gets distracted by some heavy metal business happening on the MTV and she starts to rock out a bit, cutting loose, and becoming a woman. A sexy, sexy woman. (Note, our writer and director is ultimately saying that heavy metal turned her from a flute blowin’, good, straight, girl into a girl who wants to spend time with lesbians, ultimately reveals she isn’t so sure about her own heterosexuality, kisses one of the lesbians, and becomes a vampire. Oh, and Spoiler Alert.)
Jennifer and Lupe plan to chloroform Amy and sacrifice her, but that plan is thwarted by Dime Store Michael Cera. Lupe asks if Amy is definitely a virgin. Jennifer confirms she is but maybe not for much longer after seeing her doofy boyfriend touch her butt. While the lesbians make their plans, Professor Nashy has a sexy dream about the extremely plain girl who left him a sexy note being sacrificed to Elizabeth Bathory. It’s weird and kinda funny.
Amy gets duped into going over to Jennifer and Lupe’s to work on a piece of art for a supposed contest that Jennifer thinks she can win. The rub (heh), though, is that she has to go over that night to complete the piece because the contest pieces need to be taken in the morning. Doofus gets mad thinking he’s going to lose his girlfriend to the lesbos. She warns that if he tries to take her out of their place before she’s done, he will never see her again.
Here’s where things take a weird, but very sexy, but very odd, but very sensual, turn. Amy is working on this piece while Lupe and Jennifer watch. Lupe wants to kill her straight away. Jennifer wants to wait to find out if Amy is a virgin. Lupe is now getting just as jealous as Amy’s shithead boyfriend. So to find out what’s going on with Amy’s loins, Jennifer nuzzles up to Amy and uses some seduction techniques to help guide her into questioning her own sexuality. It’s a surprisingly tender and sensual scene in this dirtbag movie. What I mean is that this movie relies heavily on the idea of a couple lesbians doing lesbian shit and involving vampires. So I guess in a way, it does hearken back the Hammer horror movies of the early 70s by using lesbianism and vampire lore and all that jazz. In other words, Mr. Islas is definitely preying upon sexiness and fetish to advance his movie.
Though, I will definitely admit to having a serious thing for Ruby Gonzalez (Amy).
It’s during the heat of this moment when it’s revealed that Amy is a virgin and she’s maybe gay…? When Amy turns to make out with Jennifer, Lupe, who is already a pretty unhinged chick, goes insane and suffocates Amy by smashing clay into her mouth. It’s actually pretty brutal. Not only that, but here we thought this girl was going to be a heroine, only to be straight murdered. Kinda.
Dime Store Michael Cera is hanging out with two guys and two girls who I guess are his pals. Yet, these four people are goddamn horrible people. They are nothing but a couple girls who can’t stop talking about sexy guys and the two guys are nothing but a couple gay bashers and prick shitholes. Amy’s death pretty much took out the only person who we could root for. The two lesbian ladies are crazy. The teacher fantasizes about a student of his. The boyfriend is a doofus. His buddies are utter asshats. This movie is full of assholes.
While Lupe (who one of the assholes that hang out with the doofy boyfriend says is Mexican, so I guess she is a Mexican and not black or Asian as I originally thought) and Jennifer prepare the “altar” for the blood bath ceremony, Steve and his friends realize the first guy the lesbians killed was a local guy that one of the dudes chatted with. Back at Jennifer and Lupe’s, Amy suddenly comes to life. Having shit under control, Lupe drowns Amy and slices her throat to start the ceremony. Jennifer is really starting to freak out about the people they’ve killed and what they are looking to do. She says she doesn’t feel anything different. Lupe says, “Well, let’s find out by me trying to kill you” because she is well hinged. That’s exactly what she tries. She tries to drown Jennifer, but she fights her off. In the ensuing fight, Jennifer kicks Lupe against the wall causing her to hit her head against the hard surface. When she bleeds into the water, it activates some of that vampire shit we’ve been teasing for half the goddamn movie and turns Amy into a straight vampire demon chick! She bites Lupe. When Jennifer goes into the bathroom to see if Lupe has chilled out, Lupe rises from the tub in what can best be described as the creepiest moment in the movie because it was actually shot well, and I’m starting to think this is something I could really go for. Hot Latinas who are also vampires? I could probably go for that.
Now, outside Steve and his douchebag friends are trying to get into Jennifer and Lupe’s house to save Amy. Inside, Amy has turned Lupe into a vampire who, in turn, made Jennifer a vampire. Things are not lining up well for our intrepid idiots who are trying to save Amy – who is already lost anyway. Two of the dumb friends find Jennifer. She comes to life, knocks out the guy and bites the girl. Steve and the “horny” (because there is always one in a group of horror movie friends) gal pal investigate the upstairs, but she’s taken by Lupe. Steve finds Amy outside rocking ally creepy like in a rocking chair.
This is actually all kinda well done. This is where the A for effort comes in. First, the steady build up to Jennifer coming back as a vampire makes for some good tension. How she straddles the girl and drinks her blood is both kinda sexy and also kind of primal. The horny girl is attacked by way of Lupe crawling down the wall like a spider and surprising her. So far, Lupe has had all the best horror moments from stabbing a dude in the asshole to climbing up out of the tub to crawling down the wall to get one of the girl victims. Then, Amy is shot in a lovingly cute and gorgeous way when doofus finds her rocking in the chair. She uses that to put a whammy on him so she can bite him. Well done, Ricardo Islas. You actually put together a pretty great sequence despite nearly losing the entire audience by having our “heroes” be utterly horrible people and killing the one good girl in the whole damn movie.
Our so-called heroes are only able to escape when vampire Lupe and vampire Jennifer initially only go after the girls. One of the d-bag pals is only able to escape when he is able to chop off Lupe’s hand when she tries to grab him. This causes her to cry out in pain which causes Amy to stop feeding from Steve. This causes Steve to be kinda monstery for a bit, but not a permanent vampire. Steve’s surviving guy pals decide to enlist the help of Professor Nashy who seems to know a thing or two about vampire shit. They go to Nashy’s house where they see the one girl who left the note for him leaving and seemingly pretty cheery. Gross.
They tell him about the girls and Nashy doesn’t really believe them. He just thinks that they are pulling his leg and there’s nothing he can help them with that isn’t already in 100 years of movies couldn’t tell them about. They take him to see Steve and when they go into the house where they are keeping him, it smells bad leading to Nashy asking who farted. Really move? Really? You want to tell a fart joke? Okay, I see how it’s going to be.
At this point, it’s fairly standard vampire movie fare. Nashy is convinced after seeing Steve and when he’s a bit more lucid, they discuss what happened and seem to think that Steve being “better” is due to the sun rising and kinda burning it out of him or something? When worried that the girls may come after the guys, they all decide that maybe they need to go on the offensive. So they arm themselves with wooden stakes and crucifixes and what have you. Oh, I should add that Nashy buys all this at a goddamn store. You know stores that sell vampire hunting shit. Okay, I definitely see how it’s going to be, movie.
When the sun goes down, the horny friend who became a vampire and Amy decide they are going to eat Lupe. Yeah. It’s fucking gross too. It starts by Lupe awakening to find the horny friend nibbling on her nub of a hand. Then Amy comes along and decides to help wrestle Lupe down and chew into her. The horny friend actually bites Lupe’s nipples off. I nearly barfed. They then eat Lupe’s guts so I guess the most unhinged human ever was not a very successful vampire when it was all said and done.
That night, the girls do go on the attack. Steve is still kinda under Amy’s control and she is able to get him to go outside so she can feed on him some more – this time by making out with him and biting his tongue. As for the rest of the guys, all that vampire shit they bought at the vampire hunting store hardly helps them as the girls are able to get inside the house anyway. At least the wooden stakes work when Nashy uses one to take out the horny friend. Unfortunately, of the d-bag guys gets turned and he’s decapitated by Nashy.
The following morning, Nashy, Steve, and what I can only describe as “the black friend”, since I never took the time to learn the d-bags’ names, go to Jennifer and Lupe’s house where a trap is laid for them by having the black friend’s sister waiting for them in what appears to be a precarious position where she is tied up and close to being hung. Of course, we know what is up with that because we saw her get bitten and what have you. Nashy, though, didn’t see that and is easily tricked by the ruse. When she tries to attack him, he’s forced to kill her by dragging her out into the sun and beating her to shit in front of her brother.
For some reason, Nashy says that for them to know where Jennifer and Amy are they have to understand Elizabeth Bathory’s way of thinking. Like all vampires are psychically linked to her or something? Anyway, they learn that Lupe and Jennifer had a restoration contract with a cool looking theater in this small town because whatever. Of course they do, and also there are no windows in the theater. And also, because Nashy is a horrible hero, he lets Steve and Black Friend go in alone because he knows it’s a trap. Basically he just says, “Fuck you! I’m gonna wait in the car.”
After thinking about his dream of Bathory and the girl he fucked from his class, I guess he grows some balls and enters the theater to, like, win the movie or something…? Sadly, he’s already led Black Friend and Steve to their slaughter. Seriously? The fuck is this guy’s problem? Why is he so terrible? When he finds the corpse of Black Friend, he’s shocked. Ugh… He’s just the worst hero ever. Even better, in a fit of rage he starts punching vampire Amy over and over in the fucking face, in front of Steve, until Jennifer shows up to to hold him down while Amy kicks him in the face repeatedly. Steve is our big winner as he moves a board to let sunlight enter the room in to try to save Nashy. Amy burns to shit. Elsewhere, Nashy nearly defeats Jennifer using sunlight as well, but she makes him think he is seeing the girl from the class that he fucked which drops his defenses so she can bite him and turn him into a vampire.
This guy was just terrible.
Not only does all our conceivable good guys turn out to either be horrible pieces of shit or they turn into vampires, but it also contradicted itself in a really really bad way. The whole point of the vampires hiding out in the theater was because supposedly there were no windows. Nashy points htis out, and also, as the actual director of the movie, shows us this by giving us a shot of a brick wall with no windows. How do they try to stop the vampires inside? With windows. What the fuck. Did you forget that just a few pages before, you said there were no windows and went to the lengths to say that as a line AND show us there were no windows?
Still, I do have to give this movie an A for effort. Yeah, it’s pretty dumb. The acting isn’t that great. The heroes are fucking awful. But there are still some nice pieces to the movie that can’t be ignored. It uses Elizabeth Bathory as the actual basis for these vampires. There’s a goal to find a fountain of youth. It just goes horribly wrong because completely unstable people are trying to play God. Kinda makes sense. Plus, there’s some sexy shit in here from Cyn Dulay (Lupe) and the lovely, lovely Ruby Gonzalez (Amy) – for real guys, I’m really into Ruby Gonzalez.
The main problem, though, is that the script feels like four different movies. A witchcraft type of movie with this ritual to live forever and Jennifer and Lupe are kinda witchy. There’s the obvious vampire story that comprises of basically the entire second half of the movie. There’s a tender lesbian-y type of story that feels like something that would have been featured in Emmanuelle or something of that ilk. Then there’s a weird comedy angle too. Everyone wants to crack a joke but because this is written by a guy from Uruguay, the jokes aren’t really jokes. The characters aren’t built in a way to be likable so we can laugh at their jokes. So we have these four different movies that are all competing to be the A genre and it’s obvious and problematic.
Anyway, we’re going to move on. This movie was pleasant when it was good, but it’s time to actually shift gears and take a look at a movie that isn’t just European in flavor but made in Europe by a for real heavyweight monster movie star – Paul Naschy. Name looks familiar, huh? Come back next week when I take a look at 1971’s Werewolf Vs. the Vampire Woman!