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Dracula's Dirty Daughter
Many have said it, but it bears repeating - why is the vampire considered sexy? While the tendency toward neck nibbling may explain some of the attraction, their undead blood drinking qualities should shut down any sensuality ASAP. They're monsters, people, not cast members from I Love New York! Still, the movies love to make this claret craving fiend into a suave, debonair aristocrat, or on the female side of things, a saucy supernatural nymphomaniac. Indeed, it's frequently hard to separate the paranormal from the passionate. Dracula's Dirty Daughter is a perfect example of such a sexed up spook show. It wants to tell a tale drenched in voluminous vein juice and past life parameters. But it does so via some lumbering lesbian leanings. The end result is a temperament testing mess that's both wholly unoriginal and frequently unappetizing - save for one sole saving grace.
It's been hundreds of years, but undead diva Vamparina has finally found her prey. The man who killed her father - the children of the night's original master - has been reincarnating in the persona of John, your average underachieving college kid. In order to steal his soul, she must get the amiable undergrad to fall in love with her. Then, she can perform a dark ritual, eat his heart, and everything is right in the underworld. Naturally, it won't be easy. John is rather dense, and Vamparina prefers the company of women. Still, she will do anything to avenge her daddy. She's not known as Dracula's Dirty Daughter for nothing.
Featuring a potential star making turn by Alysabeth Clements in the title role, and little else, this 2007 renaming of 1999's Mistress of Seduction proves that, when done properly, softcore sex films can be vey alluring. Unfortunately, Michele Pacitto's movie is the cautionary example, not the successful illustration. There is a decent idea for a low budget horror film buried inside all the Sappho shenanigans, and when he's not rubbing Vaseline on his lens to create the proper carnal mood, this director has a way with basic b-movie schlock. But as a flesh peddler, as someone trying to link the coital with the creepy, he fails miserably. This doesn't make Dracula's Dirty Daughter a complete fiasco, but it doesn't help matters much, either. In retrospect, Pacitto needed to formulate his plot first, and then toss in the random acts of lesbianism. By doing the opposite, he undermines both his erotica and his fear factors - though it's obvious which one he's really concerned about. Indeed, for those hoping that the normal Nosferatu narrative is given a novel, naughty twist, there are just too many unresolved elements to make this anything but a collection of girl/girl grinding.
Take the whole reincarnation premise. For a while, Pacitto gets good mileage out of it. Clements' vampire character even has the ability to 'read' people's pasts. Yet instead of incorporating it fully into the storyline, making it a part of an overall design, the script treats it like a throwaway - good for a laugh and a main motive, but that's about it. Similarly, the whole disgruntled roommate/Peeping Tom angle never really gets resolved. It's the screenplay equivalent of busy work, antics kept in to guarantee a longer, feature length oriented running time. And then there is the acting. Aside from Clements, who has an intriguing quality to her basic sex slut Goth gal persona, the rest of the cast is inept at best. Now, no one is challenging the quality of an amateur company, especially when they're not given much to do. But shouldn't the ability to deliver basic line readings be part of the performance package? On several occasions, Home Shopping host wannabe Matt garbles his dialogue, while avenging sister Corina is stiff and unresponsive. Clearly, the concern for racy realism in the sex scenes took precedent over basic human characteristics.
Yet it's difficult to say if Pacitto is successful with his onscreen scintillation. Clements, whose clearly the most appealing here, is more of a passerby than a participant, and the movie constantly calls on a trio of talent to exercise their wanton, lustful lady desires. When a new gal is brought into the mix, she gets her skin flick showcase moment (on a bed, in a shower) and then we cut to more formless vampire hunting. As a director, Pacitto makes the mistake of shooting all the sensuality through a veil of gratuitous gauze, and the abrupt visual shifts can be disconcerting at times. And yet thanks to the strong center provided by his lead, and the standard attraction of the material, Dracula's Dirty Daughter manages to entertain - if only just barely (forgive the pun). It's not the greatest bit of babe to babe breast-stroking available, and the horror is as humdrum as it is chilling. If you love the notion of pale skinned honeys going Musique on each other, all in the name of some derivative demonic daring do, then by all means, sign up for this rather flaccid film. If you need some real gonzo girlie lovin', simply head on over the 'Net. Some curvaceous Cure fan probably has a better sampling of she-love on her MySpace page.
Clearly created on a camcorder eight years ago and now ported over to the digital domain, Secret Key Motion Pictures' transfer of this title is acceptable at best. There are lots of analog issues - grain, flaring, occasional coloration problems - but the 1.33:1 full screen image is more or less watchable. For your average horny home video fan, the stable skintones will be all that matters.
On the sound side, Dracula's Dirty Daughter has some aggravating aural aspects. The in camera recording technology renders a few of the conversations inaudible or buried in a discordant buzz. Other times, the tacky techno throb musical score masks everything that's going on. Granted, not everyone is coming to this film to hear its words, but when trying to sell a storyline, comprehension is usually a good facet to foster. You won't miss much here, but when you do, it's very frustrating.
There's also very little going on in the way of added content. We witness about six minutes of audition tapes (proving that casting can paint a performer in a totally different light) and another sequence of onset outtakes. Listening to Pacitto guide the actors through their sex scenes is interesting, and the back and forth between actor and auteur certainly illustrates the collaborative nature of the process. But that's all when it comes to Dracula's Dirty Daughter. The rest of the bonus features - trailers, something called a Retro Sampler - are all Secret Key Motion Pictures come-ons. In fact, the extras here are about 50% substance and 50% shilling.
You'll either find your post-adolescent longings revved up and rejuvenated by Dracula's Dirty Daughter, or you'll quickly understand the inherent value in professional porn. A single significant star and some intriguing narrative subtext are just not enough to elevate this effort into something recommendable. But there is still enough here to avoid being dismissed outright. Therefore, a Rent It is required. It offers the same sort of up in the air appreciation that a flimsy film like this demands. It's a shame that the IMDb lists Mistress of Seduction as Alysabeth Clements' sole movie role. Especially within the realm of grade-Z gratuity, she could be another Debbie Rochon (or, at the very least, a sexier Misty Mundae). Luckily, for almost everyone else here, this was their one and only moment of cinematic substance. Dracula's Dirty Daughter's dour dullness indicates clearly why their future fortunes failed. Even with all its Sappho stuff, there is only ONE legitimate reason to consider this carnal creature feature.
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