Combustible Celluloid
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With: Anna Walton, Morven Macbeth, Jamie Thomas King, Kate Sissons, Justin McDonald, Keith-Lee Castle
Written by: Phil O'Shea
Directed by: Mark James, Phil O'Shea
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence and bloody images, sexuality/nudity, language and some drug material
Running Time: 90
Date: 03/23/2007

Vampire Diary (2007)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Baby Bump Bite

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In England, Holly (Morven Macbeth) wishes to make a documentary about so-called "weekend vampires," revelers who dress up in makeup, black clothes and fake pointy teeth for nights on the town. Not surprisingly, she meets a real vampire, Vicki (Anna Walton). Surprisingly, Holly and Vicki fall in love and Vicki turns out to be pregnant! Imagine a normal, moody pregnant lady and then picture her as a vampire, needing fresh blood to feed herself and her baby. It's a good idea, and Walton (who recently appeared as the beautiful, creepy Princess Nuala in Hellboy II: The Golden Army) is a truly alluring, mesmerizing presence, beautiful, gentle and dangerous. But unfortunately, the co-directors Mark James and Phil O'Shea have decided to shoot the movie using only Holly's video camera (and other video cameras that happen to be nearby). The movie is thereby grainy, subjective and cramped (including the sex scenes). Worse, the filmmakers offer no logical justification for this approach other than that Holly is "making a documentary." (Also, there are never any issues with dying batteries or filled-up tapes.) The movie also breaks these rules for flashbacks and other bits. When George A. Romero used the same tactic for Diary of the Dead earlier this year, he incorporated the style into the fabric of the film itself. Here it's just a low-budget gimmick, and it detracts from the story. Likewise, the screenplay is a tad overwritten, but the acting is fine, and die-hard vampire fans will want to check it out. Producer Margaret Matheson also made Sid and Nancy (1986). The American DVD from Monarch comes with no extras and no optional subtitles.

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