(director/writer: Travis Stevens; screenwriters: Kathy Charles/Mark Steensland; cinematographer: David Matthews; editors: Aaron Crozier/Travis Stevens; music: Tara Busch; cast: Barbara Crampton (Anne Fedder), Larry Fessenden (Pastor Jakob Fedder), Mark Kelly (Bob Fedder), Bonnie Aarons (The Master), C.M. Punk (Deputy Colton), Angelie Denizard (Eli), Nyisha Bell (Amelia Humphries), Sarah Lind (Carol Fedder), Robert Rusler (Tom Low), Jay DeVon Johnson (Sheriff Mike Hess); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Barbara Crampton, Bob Portal, Travis Stevens, Inderpal Singh; RLJE release; 2021)
“Perhaps it’s something you can enjoy as a guilty pleasure.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The grisly feminist vampire black comedy of a troubled marriage comes with a theme of misogyny. It’s directed and co-written by Travis Stevens (“The Girl on the Third Floor”), with deep pockets of revulsion over the wild domestic scene elicited. Co-writers include Kathy Charles and Mark Steersland. They work the neck biting comedy to the core, unafraid if they turn off the less than horror pic buffs with such a gruesome story.
The mousy Anne Fedder (Barbara Crampton) has been married for 30 years to Pastor Jakob Fedder (Larry Fessenden) in a small-town and though bullied and upstaged by him never complains. One day she decides to pursue what she wants and not what he wants, and reunites with a guy she dated in high school, Tom Low (Robert Rusler). After a dinner date with Tom, a big -time real estate developer, he takes her to the project he heads of developing an abandoned gin mill that will soon be turned into a retail and housing development site. It’s an environment friendly project, as instead of tearing down the historic site Tom’s group will develop it.
When things get sexually hot and heavy between Anne and Tom, a mysterious figure, new in town, called “The Master” (Bonnie Aarons), suddenly appears in the mill and turns Anne into a vampire. Rather than being grief-stricken, Anne digs how being a vampire makes her feel powerful and that she no longer has to take her slimy hubby’s shit. The detestable pastor tries to stop her bad impulses and get her to return to normal, but to no avail.
Well, if you can handle this ridiculous conceit and love Crampton and Fessenden as a team, you might say the hell with its terrible over-the top third act blood-letting frenzy, and will welcome something so unique and entertaining. Perhaps it’s something you can enjoy as a guilty pleasure.
REVIEWED ON 4/23/2021 GRADE: B