Update 10/05: An honest special edition release is now available. Recommendation for this OOP disc lowered accordingly.
Jake West is a real sicko. I mean S-I-C-K. He's this pale fella from across the pond who wrote, directed, edited and basically gave birth to the best female- bisexual- kung fu- vampire-assassin flick to come out of the land of rotten molars since, well, forever. It's called Razor Blade Smile (1998, 101 minutes) and he made the sucker for about 10 bucks and change. The 28-year-old British filmmaker's debut is slick, sleazy, funny and damned entertaining. And filling out a stunning array of sinfully snug catsuits, is the can-tastic Eileen Daly (as Lilith Silver) in their first leading role. CineSchlockers will recognize Eileen as Redemption Films' answer to Elvira and as Curare in Pervirella. Razor is so wickedly sharp, I'm thinking of starting a collection for the sequel. So Jake, call me, buddy. Let me know where to send the mulha. Without further hiney kissing ...
The movie: Lilith Silver would be your average '90s gal with a pesky ex-boyfriend, except for the fact they're both vampires and huge overachievers. She's moonlighting as a hit chick and he's trying to take over the world. Lilith mostly cats around her favorite haunt, Transilvania, debating the truths of vampirism with the bar's mortal patrons, "F@%#! Bram Stoker ... morphing into a bat is a nice idea, but save it for the movies." She's not content moping around "looking gloomy" for all eternity, so she's opted to hire herself out as a contract killer. Scotland Yard dubs her the "Angel of Death," and she not only gets paid for hits, she also scores easy meals. Not all of her victims are choice, and she makes a running joke of grading each of them ... C-, F, B+, C. "It's a pisser when you can't complain and send your meal back to the kitchen." Lilith practices the ULTIMATE in unsafe sex, cuz most of her playthings don't survive. One particular session busted my Vomit Meter when wide-eyed goth chick Ariauna (Heidi James) confesses, mid-diddle, "It's my ... time." Uh huh, well, apparently THAT is kinky vampire-nip. Lilith gets all crazy, and pretty soon there's boobs and blood going ever which way, along with my lunch. And remember that infamous scene from I Spit on Your Grave? The one that makes an average male walk funny for a week just from WATCHING it? Well, in another Razor scene, you'll vow to think twice before accepting certain FAVORS from a vampiress ... if you know what I mean and I think you do. And I haven't even said anything about her marksmanship or swordplay. Anyway, ever now and then Lilith talks to this burn-out computer geek over the V-net, and he tells her stuff about these Illuminati folks. Masons, or some such. Turns out her ex, Sir Sethane Blake (Christopher Adamson), is running the secret society. Besides being really into gaudy costume jewelry, he's got some sort of plan for world domination. Figures. There's also this Fox Mulder starter kit called Detective Inspector Price (Jonathan Coote) who becomes obsessed with his belief that the Angel of Death is a real-deal blood sucker. There's a little too much plot getting in the way of the story, but ol' Jake makes up for it in the final reel with a couple great butt whuppin scenes and a Vamp-tastic ending.
Notables: Four breasts. 14 corpses. Vampire photo shoot. Jugular ripping. Gratuitous slow-mo. Whangdoodle munching. Chest carving. Gratuitous fast-mo. Stake to the belly button. Neck twirling. Lesbian tongue rasslin. Heads tumble. Aunt Flo fu. Gratuitous Bauhaus. Two-fisted gun shooting. Bed burning. Sword play. Much-o vampire hissing.
Quotables: Cheers to Jake for having Lilith say stuff like, "Beyond sex lies a greater orgasm. That of taking life. It may seem cruel, but for the right victim, I can make it the most beautiful way to expire. To die of pleasure." To the weasley Grahame Wood (as Student Photographer) who tries to coax some levity from the grim Goths he's photographing, "What are you people? The undead?! How about giving us a little smile?" To Gunman No. 1 who snaps at Lilith, "I don't CARE how sweet your ass is!"
Time codes: Lilith gears up for a hit (9:00). Time out for mortal nookie (26:50). Inspector Price catches up on his Dracula lore (31:52). Lilith diddles a goth gal (39:00). Horny photographer deflated, permanently (54:20). The Illuminati leave their mark (1:09:00). Two-fisted gun battle against four thugs (1:15:30). Price self-medicates (1:24:50). "Off with her head!" (1:31:00).
Audio/Video: From what I've read, the movie is a patchwork of donated 16mm film stock, but it certainly doesn't look it. The widescreen image (1.85:1) is usually crisp and often vivid. There's a lot of visual effects (digital, blue-screen, optical and CG imagery) that usually look just fine, but some of the freeze-frame stuff pixelates a bit ... nothing that detracts from the movie. Audio is typical Dolby digital and steady (no need to monkey with the volume). There are no bonus audio tracks.
Extras: Grossly lacking for a Special Edition. But the animated menus are cool. There's also some trailers for other horror titles from A-Pix Entertainment ... including Jack Frost and Rutger Hauer's Bleeders. And the man has FANS. I know because they send me nasty notes over my Hitcher review. Even though I said he was the best dang thing in it.
Final thought: Christopher Adamson is particularly fun to watch as the 1,000-year-old vampire, Sethane. He speaks in such an amusingly slow, halting way, it's as if he's afraid his fake choppers will pop out. But it WORKS. Like just about everything in this sometimes campy, but very cool flick. Highly Recommended.
G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.