Xan Cassavetes (shown at right and, yes, she's the daughter of John and Gena), the movie is her first try at full-length narrative. Almost a decade ago, Ms Cassavetes made the excellent and very entertaining documentary about the Southern California-based grand-daddy of pay-cable movie stations, The Z Channel: A Magnificent Obssession, and now she's back with this odd but interesting riff on vampire habits concerning eating, drinking, dating, sleeping, sexing, love, death and family. And after a little too arty a start, Cassavetes and her well-chosen cast settle down and pretty much deliver the goods.
Milo Ventimiglia) and vamp heroine (above, bottom, and clearly chosen for something other than her looks, acting-talent or pronunciation of English, Joséphine de La Baume), must figure out how to handle the situation.
Anna Mouglalis (above, left), a performer skillful enough -- she played Coco Chanel opposite Mads Mikkelsen's Igor Stravinksy, after all! -- to convince us that she could be worshiped internationally while still adhering to the vampire lifestyle. That's right: She doesn't do matinees.
Roxane Mesquida, above, who is always fun to watch and who does not disappoint here, Sis has a favorite activity: reminding these mostly tamped-down vampires about what they really crave. The little blond virgin (Riley Keough, below), for instance, is her surprise gift to our famous actress.
Michael Rapaport as the Ventimiglia's character's agent (did I tell you Milo plays a famous writer?) who stops in to the old homestead for a chat with his client.
If Ms Cassavetes had only stuck more to her story and less to her "style," Kiss of the Damned would have been a better movie. In fact, she seems to do just this as the film moves along. Initially, though, it's pretty tough going. Talk about a roving camera: This one is all over the place! The film begins with a shot of a bird flying. Suddenly the camera backs up. To what? Nothing. We also get a clichéd sex-thru-the-fish-tank shot which the movie could easily live without. The filmmaker also seems to love very loud, twangy music, so occasionally you might want to cover your ears. Finally, the movie proves repetitious and "arty" enough to have lost maybe ten minutes of wasted space.
Magnet Releasing arm of Magnolia Pictures and running 97 minutes, the movie opens this coming Friday, May 3, in New York City at the Sunshine Cinema and in West L.A. at the NuArt. You can find all currently scheduled playdates by clicking here. As with many of the Magnolia/Magnet movies, this one, too, is currently playing via VOD -- in case you'd like to sample from the comfort of your couch.