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, so beware yon spoilers!

Jun 22, 2010

when the impossible becomes possible

I was recently playing a video game (shocking) wherein one character says to another, "Many things are impossible until they are done." I didn't understand this sentiment truly until I watched the 1996 disasterpiece Caress of the Vampire. See, I thought it impossible to screw up the simple premise "lesbian vampires from outer space", but director Frank Terranova has gone and done exactly that, proving me at least 150% wrong. Caress of the Vampire is a complete failure in every single way- it's not so much a movie you watch as it is a movie that happens to you. I say this despite the fact that it stars the prettiest strippers in all of Glenwood, New Jersey!

After a few minutes of credits over Windows 3.1 Starfield screensaver, we are treated to a chilling Star Wars-esque opening...well, it doesn't crawl, exactly, but the words are there and as I said, they're chilling.

I know what you're thinking: why is "ago" capitalized? I'll tell you now- you need to let that go, because you'll never find out.

The most seductive force in the universe comes to Earth via some decidedly made by a student enrolled in their first semester of DeVry's computer graphics program effects. Mind you, I'm not saying this is bad- if anything, the spaceship certainly raised my anticipation of the story that was about to unfold.

We are never told that said unfolding story takes place in the present day; therefore, we can only assume that it takes place "Long Ago". If that's the case, then it turns out that "Long Ago" looks just like New Jersey circa 1996. I knew it!

A leather-clad lady strolls innocently down a boulevard one fine evening. As her constitutional ends and she's about to climb into her Trans-Am, she's accosted by a couple of ne'er-do-wells. Little do the hooligans know that they're messing with the wrong leather-clad lady...she's no innocent- she's a vampire!

I know what you're thinking: why would an alien have a tongue piercing? I'll tell you now- you need to let that go, because you'll never find out.

Cut to: a bedroom! Leather and another woman wear thongs and show some boobs (their own boobs- it's not, like, a demonstration) as they crawl around on a bed. I guess this Actually, everything about the scene- from the bedroom that's just so obviously someone's bedroom to the completely inappropriate action-flavored music- renders it all the polar opposite of sexy. The women are supposed to be lovers, but the actresses don't seem to feel comfortable actually touching one another- they sort of circle each other, roll around, rub each others arms, and come super close to kissing without, you know, kissing. Eh, maybe Caress of the Vampire takes the word "caress" very seriously- or maybe things will heat up later! [SPOILER: things don't heat up later]

After they're done rolling around, Leather and Other One stand at the window to spy on their new neighbor, whom I shall call Plaid. This is the best I can do, for none of the characters have names. It's not just that I don't feel like remembering their names- it's that no one in the movie has a name. Hell, when all is said and done, Other One doesn't even speak...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Apparently Leather and Other One find Plaid's stretch pants, plaid shirt, and top-knot very enticing. They...stare at her as she unpacks her groceries, which makes Plaid's kitchen get all negative-looking.

I know what you're thinking: why do the aliens need a calendar? I'll tell you now- you need to let that go, because you'll never find out.

The stare of the outer-space lesbians induces a sudden wave of total horniness in Plaid, which, as you may have guessed, causes her to immediately masturbate. Well, she doesn't masturbate, exactly...she does this, which, I don't know what the fuck she's doing.

Finally Plaid is released from the spell and she goes back to her chores none the wiser- which can only mean one's time for dialogue!

Leather is clearly smitten with Plaid, for she heads over to introduce herself. She puts Plaid under another spell and sort of...gropes her briefly. Plaid snaps out of it and immediately invites Leather to dinner the next night.

As Plaid is chopping carrots for the salad, she cuts her finger. This is to be expected, as the vampire can't resist the drop of blood and must show their true nature scene dates back to the days of Bram Stoker. Leather can't resist the blood and promptly begins sucking on Plaid's finger and says, "I'm used to blood- I used to be a nurse." Now, I've never gone to the emergency room while bleeding, so I don't know...maybe this is standard procedure for the treatment of cuts. One thing's for sure- it's sexy!

Wait, I mean it's nauseating.

Meanwhile, next door...or...somewhere, Other One is giving some dude a lap dance. Who is he? We don't know. There's no conversation. Why does this guy assume the standard strip club you no touch the dancer position while he's sitting on a couch in someone's home? We don't know. Other One takes off her dress to reveal an uncomfortable-looking outfit composed of straps, she gives him a lap dance, bites him, the end.

Meanwhile, a couple of homicide detectives are looking into the series of apparent "vampire murders". They catch a break when surveillance video of that first murder- you know, the one by the Trans-Am- is discovered. Here's a still from said video:

Yes, it seems that we were actually watching the scene unfold through the surveillance camera! Frank Terranova certainly toys with our notions of reality.

At any rate, we're treated to more rolling around by Leather and Other One.

Leather has invited Plaid to an after hours club. When it's time to leave, however, Leather decides she doesn't want to go- she'd much rather stay on the couch and grope Plaid's Kmart-bought breast implants.

The homicide cops go on a stakeout at the parking lot they saw in the surveillance video. Lucky for them, Leather is once again just a-strollin' down the boulevard; of course, this is just recycled footage from the beginning of the movie. See, Frank Terranova really does toy with our notions of reality and time!

The cops follow Leather to her home. They enter her basement and find some fruit punch blood in a Rubbermaid thermos. They go back outside just in time to see the garage door open and the spaceship zip off into the stars.

I know what you're thinking: what about Plaid? Well, finally my friends, we've got a question that can be answered. You see, Plaid is now a vampire! Gone is the top-knot! Present is the cleavage! Present are the fangs!

She introduces herself to her neighbor, who seems rather pleasant and has exquisite taste in art. Thus, the cycle continues here on Earth, while we can only assume that Leather and Other One have gone to some other planet to pursue their penchant for rolling around.

The best thing I can say about Caress of the Vampire is that it's mercifully short, clocking in at about 44 minutes. I've never seen a film with less plot, and I've certainly never seen a film featuring characters that don't even warrant names. What little dialogue there is between the women is atrociously dubbed, while three music tracks are constantly recycled throughout. If you're thinking there's at least some decent softcore action here- a natural assumption given the whole strippers as lesbian vampires angle, then you're thinking wrong, friendo. There's more eroticism to be found in a commercial for the Shake Weight.

Unless...wait! Maybe I'm under some sort of spell and Caress of the Vampire is actually awesome! Maybe it is impossible to make a terrible movie about lesbian vampires from outer space! I do seem to have a sudden urge to go climb atop my kitchen counter whatever it was Plaid was doing...


Ghidorah said...

Stacy, I can't wait for your review of Caress of the vampire II!

Stacie Ponder said...

Couldn't make it through that one. Won't be reviewing it! :D

Jason Adams said...

Are you absolutely sure this isn't the greatest movie ever made, Stacie? Because looking at those images and listening to the description, I find it hard to believe this isn't the greatest movie ever made. I mean, did Scarlett O'Hara or Charles Foster Kane climb on top of their kitchen counter and stretch their tank top all out in some kind of epileptic sexytime fit? I think not.

Verdant Earl said...

Damn. And you were so looking forward to this one when you talked about it on The Scare-ening last week.

Stu said...

That looks terrible! Have you seen "Dracula's Guest" (2008)? It's abysmal, I assure you. The guy playing Dracula spends the majority of his screen time trying to keep his cheap fangs in.

Thomas Duke said...

Now I have to see this. Thanks alot:)

Andreas said...

Oh, how can there be so many bad lesbian vampire movies? And now from outer space, too? At least there's still The Vampire Lovers - and nothing can take that away.

Anonymous said...

I find your review rather biased and prejudiced. What exactly qualifies you to decide if girl-vampire-on-girl-vampire petting is erotic or not? It's possible men might be highly turned on by their actions of passion...

Oh, and obviously Plaid was pulling on her shirt so the fabric would rub against her nipples. It's a very erotic action, usually done in places where women wish to excite themselves but are unable to go "all the way" due to fear of being caught...

That all said, I'm getting the feeling the guys who make "Girls Gone Wild" might have gotten their start with this film...

Stacie Ponder said...

Are you serious with this? Yes, my review is decidedly biased and prejudiced, as it' opinion.

My opinion is that my eyeballs and brain qualify me to decide if it's erotic to me. I'm not speaking for all men, nor all women. I'm sure some people out there would find this film erotic. There are people out there who find adults dressed up like babies erotic, and people out there who find people pooping on other people erotic. Everything appeals to someone. However, I found no eroticism in Caress of the Vampire. I'm sorry if this somehow offended your sensibilities, or if you happen to think that my being female somehow precludes me from having a valid opinion on the topic.

I can't even address your comment on the shirt thing. I guess we just have different opinions, yes?

Banned In Queensland said...

The large rock formation that the space ship is flying over looks a hell of a lot like Ayers Rock (aka Uluru). Of course, if illegal aliens tried to land in central Austrtalia, the government would throw them straight into a detention centre (Australian euphemism for prison).

Hmmm... maybe if Caress Of The Vampire had been a prison lesbian alien vampire movie it might have been better?

Stacie Ponder said...

Only if it features Sybil Danning as the evil warden!

Michele (TheGirlWhoLovesHorror) said...

Okay, can't stop laughing! I'm not sure if it's just your review or the thought that there really is a movie like this out there.

T.S. said...

you know they made a sequel right?... yeah... ANOTHER one.....

Anonymous said...

This is reminding me of my ill fated date with Edge of Darkness.

The movie has, er zombies I guess, a computer that eats people, vampires... I guess and Satan in the body of a little african american boy and er... priests that want to end the world.

I KNOW that sounds like the most amazing movie ever, but trust me.

I thought you couldn't go wrong, just as you thought about Caress of the Vampire and even after it was done, lord help me I thought the same thing.

You aren't, it's horrible, move on.


scarina said...

So a race manages interstellar travel, despite the fact that their ship looks like it burns coal, and they still wear lingerie from the Hot Topic remnants bin? Shennanigans.

01tarheel said...

I may need to check this one out.

Andrei said...

Now that... was hilarious! Great article, wish I could say the same about the movie.

Ruben Romero said...

Best Post EVER

amanda said...

Oh my god, this review is so prefect.

"Leather and Other One stand at the window to spy on their new neighbor, whom I shall call Plaid."
brought tears of laughter to my eyes.