Dir: Abel Ferrara With: Lili Taylor, Christopher Walken, Annabella Sciorra
New York University philosophy
grad student, Kathryn (Lili Taylor) is bitten one night by a female vampire (Annabella Sciorra) in the shadows, and soon develops
a vampire's need for blood
First she draws blood from
a vagrant using a syringe, and then when she gets back to her flat she injects it. Low and behold - the next time she looks
in the mirror she can't see herself (has she become a vampire or the invisible woman though?)
Next time we see her she's
wearing dark glasses and is not too keen on daylight (guess that means she's a vampire and not the invisible woman then!)
Her vampiric condition also causes her to take up smoking too (I suppose that's what you call: unholy smoke! Sorry couldn't
Soon she starts stalking
the campus, and infecting others with vampirism.
Her second victim is her lecturer
who she manages to lure back to her place for a fix. Once inside she says: 'So do you want something to drink,' to which he
replies: 'What have you got?' 'Anything you want,' she says.
After this she decides to
get a bit traditional, and from here on in begins to bite her victims in the neck (I guess she's an old fashioned girl after
all!) preying on victims who can't tell her, with feeling - like they mean it - that it's not what they want.
Her next victim is a girl,
a fellow student who she gets talking to in the library. When Kathryn gets her next feed, the girl is a bit miffed about the
mess that our Kath has made of her neck. On which she comments: 'Why didn't you tell me to go?' and adds: 'Why didn't you
tell me to get lost like you really meant it.'
Halfway through the film
she meets another vampire (Christopher Walken) and he tells of the nature of blood addiction and gives Kathryn metaphysical
tips on ways to best deal with her habit and her immortality. All through the movie vampirism is presented as an "addiction"
like that of heroin use, especially here. 'Have you read Naked Lunch?' he asks her.
A great scene comes towards
the end when Kathryn hosts a party to say thanks you to the faculty, and half the guests there are - of course - vampires.
She announces that she's going to share with them a bit of what she's learned from her studies, then proceeds to bite into
the unfortunate person standing next to her. The rest of the vampires then follow by biting the remainder of the unconverted!
An orgy of bloody neck-biting ensues!
This is not really a vampire
movie, as not once is the word "vampire" mentioned. There is nice use of shadows in some scenes and Taylor's performance is
brilliant as an "embodiment of evil" (and I didn't have to study philosophy to come up with that phrase!)