FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE...beware yon spoilers!

Mar 15, 2010

like a big pizza pie


Once upon a time, I made a short film about zombies and pizza and entered it into a contest. Because the film was essentially an advert for the pizza, it had to feature the pizza. This particular establishment was not local to me, and therefore I had to procure some of their frozen pies to use. When all of us gathered to make movie magic ate some of this pizza, we came to a startling realization: it was fucking gross. This hurt me deeply in my heart place because as you know, I love pizza. When pizza is disgusting, I'm not exaggerating when I say that I consider it to be a tragedy. I want the offending dough-cheese-sauce thing to be stripped of its "pizza" moniker. I want to emblazon it with a scarlet C (for crap) to warn others away from it, lest they feel the disappointment I feel.

In short, bad pizza makes me want to cry.

I don't understand how anyone could get it wrong...I mean, there's a formula, right? That formula gives you a nice solid foundation on which you can add your own flair (by "flair" I mean "black olives"), making it even better.

Okay, maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. This is all some awkward, post-lunch metaphor for formulaic horror movies- you know, like slasher movies and lesbian vampire movies. When the formula works, it's delicious. I'm not one to decry the same ol' same ol' when it's done well- and baby, Jose Larraz's Vampyres (1974) is done well!

Phew, awful metaphor over.

Vampyres opens with a cryptic scene that finds a figure, seen only in shadow, unleashing bullets (from a gun!) on our heroines, who happen to be engaging in some naked lesbionic antics. Questions abound: is this a flashback, or a flash-forward? Why would anyone shoot a couple of innocent, cavorting lesbians?

After this explosive, nudetastic intro, the movie becomes your typical lesbian vampire movie: a young couple runs into mysterious women, the mysterious women lure young men back to their castle, the young men are wined and dined (on), the mysterious women get it on with each other. Like I said, Vampyres is typical and formulaic, and the plot, as it were, is bare-bones...but who the hell cares?

This is an entertaining, stylish erotic horror movie that hits all the right notes for its genre: the women are gorgeous (the men...err, less so), the sex is racy, the blood and violence ample, the cloaks are velvet, the castle grounds are lush and mist-covered...essentially, it's everything you could want in a lesbian vampire movie.

In the end, you'll undoubtedly be left with questions, some of which are more frustrating than others. Are Fran (Marianne Morris) and Miriam (Anulka) really vampires? If so, where are their fangs...and more importantly, why do they spend so much time in the sunlight as they frantically attempt to get out of the sunlight? Of course, this may all be Larraz playing around with vampire tropes- although the scenes that bookend the film indicate that the women may not be vampires at all.

Look, I've got to get through a lot of lesbian vampire movies to fulfill Category 5 for Operation: 101010, and I know they're not all going to be gems (bad lesbian vampire movies make me want to cry). Believe me, that's almost as depressing as that shitty frozen pizza I was talking about earlier. I'm already imagining a future time when I'm on...oh, let's say entry #8 in Category 5, watching some horrible movie from 2007 that gets the formula oh-so-wrong, when I'm crying out that it shouldn't be that hard to get the formula oh-so-right and why can't actresses have real bodies anymore and why did I make this subgenre a part of Operation 101010...that's when I'll think back to Vampyres and I will smile. I will smile the smile of a gorehound-letch who likes to watch sapphic bloodsuckers...uh, suck blood and be all sapphic and stuff. And really, isn't that all of us?

16 comments:

Midnight Fright said...

I like pizza with jalapeno peppers...which, I imagine, is analogous to the films of Jess Franco...or Traci Lords.

A Case of You said...

Oh, heart! heart! heart!

yeah, that's all i've got.

The Creep said...

"Were Fran and Miriam really vampires?"

I saw this as a teenager ... let's just say I wasn't asking any questions while watching this movie. I was just grateful for the nudity.

B.E. Earl said...

Ya ever notice that even good pizza tastes bad when you heat it up in the microwave.

Lesbian vampires probably blow up when you heat them up in the microwave. You'd need a pretty big microwave though. Hmm...

Will Errickson said...

Love this movie! Genre films that play by the rules in just the right way are a pleasure. The two ladies in this truly are a delight.

Stacie Ponder said...

I highly recommend the Blue Underground DVD edition...there's a 15-minute interview with the ladies and they're STILL a delight. So charming.

Man, the pizza/lesbian vampire movie similarities are practically endless!

Alan Ritchie said...

I never understood the whole 'Sex is like Pizza, even when it's bad it's still pretty good' saying, as I've had some majorly disgusting pizzas. As for the sex...

Ahem... yay, lesbo vampires! I hope you don't have to sit through Lesbian Vampire Killers. It's absolute balls.

Stacie Ponder said...

I think I can scrounge up 9 more titles before I get to that one- I've heard it's not so good. Also, for the American release it's been re-titled Vampire Killers.

mr. gordo said...

I might have suggested this before, but u definitely need to watch "Vampyros Lesbos." It's like a David Lynch movie about lesbian vampires, complete w/ the super-cool jazzy score. Also, the coolest strip scene you'll ever see...maybe. (I might have to think on that one...) Also good: Jean Rollin's stuff. I'm partial to "Fiancee of Dracula" & "Two Orphan Vampires", but he has plenty more (& more 70's) stuff about lesbian vampires where that came from. U owe to vampire lesbian fans everywhere to review at least 2 Rollin flicks. Or something.

A Case of You said...

Dude, Gordo, I can't get down with that. Vampyros Lesbos is one of the most boring affairs I've ever witnessed. They took an exceedingly sexy woman and drained all of her sexiness. It was a bloodless, sexless event, and it took all my strength to not hurl my DVD player from my window.

That, my friend, was one shitty pizza.

John said...

I've always felt like even the director didn't know this was as good as it is...
"Naked girls and lots of blood, that's what Vampyres is about" - Larraz

The Dreaded Rhubarb said...

I'd recommend Nadja, a 90's indie remake of the Dracula's Daughter. It's a bit of a love it or hate it proposition but it's one of the most beautiful films I've seen and it contains my favorite dialogue exchange ever (which I will refrain from spoiling, even though I'm dying to).

Avoid Lesbian Vampire Killers. Even for a laugh, it's not worth it.

AcademicLurker said...

Nadja is an excellent recommendation. Seconded.

michaelpetrik said...

Oh, you are right on, Stacie. Unfortunately that pizza is local to me, and since I also made a video for the contest, I had to force down a few slices. Never again. I get sick every time I pass it in the frozen aisle.

Caption Comix said...

hey, this is a neat blog! I stumbled upon it, because I googled "zombies and pizza", because I'm making a film with that name :) It's an almost no-budget film and will be shot in West Chester, PA, in August! I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog entries :) -Daniel Pevar

dementia13 said...

Mmmm, pizza without black olives is like a day without sunshine. Unless you're a vampire, then it's like a day with sunshine. Anyway, I'm glad to see the love for this movie. I see too many negative comments on this one, and I think that it has to do with some kind of American sex shame: a lot of people look at something with a lot of nudity and assume that it's trash (see also: Lifeforce), and never revise that assumption. Such people wouldn't recognize a good movie if its boobs poked them in the eye. This, to me, is what a vampire movie should be like, and not just because of those awesome women. The atmosphere (which is too often a code word for "slow and boring") in this movie is perfect, and the violence is violent. This is one fine filmic pizza.