What I'm Watching: Family Blood

A morning driving around in sunlight and dealing with the morning people made me wish for eternal darkness. Skipped over some bullshit soap operas and Buffy ripoffs with teenage vampires, found one adult vampire flick on Netflix.

Family Blood: Starts with the last moments of a vampire wrecking a family, so you know what kind of people this'll be about…

Then jumps to junkie mom Ellie in AA (which doesn't work) and new guy "Christopher" (from the last scene) who talks about "torn thru so many people". Then very long slow never-throw-out-b-roll shots of nothing interesting happening with her teenage kids.

Whatever city this is has "sketchy" neighborhoods of parks and great big houses with multiple floors and spartan concrete murder basements, ideal for serial killers/vampires; the black neighbor is right to be worried about gentrification, they'll just drain the lifeblood from your community.

Then Christopher turns Ellie by dripping some blood in her and snapping her neck; clearly the writer learned about vampires from Vampire the Masquerade, which this is the slowest fanfic of ever. Hours, days of footage later, Ellie starts to turn.

"I turned you into whatever it is that I am", says a guy who doesn't know he's a shit-sucking vampire? Everyone has known what a vampire is since Dracula in 1897 (earlier vampires just didn't get the reach of Stoker's novel). The boy who draws horror art all the time does recognize the symptoms, but doesn't say the V-word (Vampire, not vagina, tho he doesn't say the latter either). I hate this MacBeth-level actor bullshit of not naming the thing because it's "bad luck".

Also, apparently nobody uses their cellphone, because that would complicate a "plot" consisting largely of people slowly wandering around. "Dad" is seen a couple times but has no lines, probably to avoid paying scale. The speaking cast is very minimal.

It's very inconsistent about mythology. They don't have reflections, which is a strong supernatural power; it basically means they're just in your mind. They regenerate from any injury. They're superhumanly strong & fast. But sunlight & crosses do nothing, which usually work on any supernatural vamp.

The boy makes his first stake, and it's the best stake ever, stabbed with many times (but not left in the heart like you should do; I actually yelled at the screen), and then is still sharp as a razor multiple stabbings later. When I make a stake it doesn't last that long because wood's soft.

There's a few good vamp-on-human action scenes, but the only vamp-on-vamp is behind closed doors with just foley and shadows. Laaaamme. Builds up, but does not deliver.

★★☆☆☆ - I like the small personal stories, I could take the glacial pacing, if they'd shot just one good vamp-on-vamp fight scene.

There's a Turkish series "Immortals" which looks vaguely interesting, but Turkish shows tend to be pretty awful—badly written, badly acted, racist, sexist, and closeted gay/homophobic—the recent "Protectors" series as case in point—so I dunno if I'm up for 8 eps of that. If they made a 90-minute movie I might try it.

You know what was my favorite vampire movie? Dance of the Damned (1989). It has two speaking roles really, the sets & effects are minimalist, Roger Corman no-budget film. Just a sad stripper and a lonely vampire, for one last night. But it's perfect, never boring or filling dead screen time, and tense up to the last second. That's a ★★★★½ at least.

Near Dark (1987) is amazing, too, best vampires-as-hobo-junkies ever, but kind of sprawls out with the vampire pack, and the ending is absolute bullshit, shoulda been the girl bites the boy and they unlive unhappily ever after. That's also ★★★★½ but as utterly unlike DotD or FB as you can get.

I hated the Interview with the Vampire (1994) movie; the books are great fun, but cool badass mofo Brad Pitt as whiny useless Louis, and tiny neurotic anal-retentive $cientology cultist Tom Cruise as badass rock-star Lestat, was the dumbest casting fuckup in the history of bad casting. It's utterly unwatchable because of Tom Cruise squeaking out lines from his tightly-clenched sphincter-face that should be Lestat's. I know they beat Anne Rice with sacks of money to stop talking shit about it, but I think this film is why she went crazy and found Jesus. Also the sequel, completely skipping the book "The Vampire Lestat" and making Queen of the Damned (2002) which is sub-direct-to-video soap opera garbage.

I'd really like a new Castlevania season soon.

In 30 years, nobody else can make anything good about bloodsucking fiends?