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Peep Sushi

Neither a Sucker, Nor a Blower Be

One day, I will find a lesbian vampire Smithee movie worthy of the subject line "Fangs For The Mammaries" -- Night Fangs is not that movie.

Much to my surprise, Night Fangs was quite good for a low-budget vampire movie.

I have thought about this a lot, and I think that what separates a bad low-budget vampire movie from a good low-budget vampire movie is that the good low-budget vampire movie succeeds in all the small things. Neither movie is going to have mind-blowing special effects or actors on par with Daniel Day-Lewis or Meryl Streep, but the good movie will have actors that are at least decent. The script (and/or director) won't ask the actors to do any acting that's beyond their abilities. The effects will be (not to put too fine a point on it) effective, creepy or disorienting or erotic or whatever they're supposed to be. Finally, the good low-budget lesbian vampire movie has characters that are internally consistent, and don't act like douchebags for a cheap laugh (which is invariably never actually funny or illuminating). They don't all have to be friendly or even likable -- but they can't cross over into "I the Audience Hate You and Want You To Die" territory, not even the villain.

All of which is an incredibly roundabout way of saying that as this movie went on, I found myself liking it more and more. Enjoying it. Rooting for the characters to survive instead of my usual rooting for them to die.

Two lesbian art teachers (Lupe and Jennifer) decide that they want to live forever. They uncover a connection between the Thuggee cult (Lupe is a serious member -- Jennifer is more Thuggish) and the legend of Elizabeth Bathory. But after bathing in the blood of a skeevy guy they picked up via a chat room, nothing happens. They decide to straight to the source.

They kill to acquire Elizabeth Bathory's diary, but need to ask a fellow professor (Professor Nashy) to translate it for them. Their error? The blood needs to be from a virgin.

Jennifer asks one of her gifted sculpture students (Amy) to stay late and finish up a piece to be entered in a national competition. In the course of the evening's work, Jennifer comes on to Amy, and Amy admits to being a virgin. Lupe then chokes Amy to death, and cuts her so that her blood flows into a large bathtub.

Jennifer and Lupe bathe in the bloody tub for a while, but nothing seems to be happening.

Jennifer: "How do we know if this worked?"
Lupe: "I will kill you, and you will rise as a vampire. Then you will kill me so that I can rise as a vampire."
Jennifer: "But what if it didn't work?"
Lupe: "If you don't rise again, then I will kill myself. I love you, Jennifer."
And Lupe's eyes flash the love of the crazy.

Jennifer doesn't like this idea, and she and Lupe struggle. In the struggle, Amy's corpse is knocked into the bathtub.

Amy rises as a vampire, and ensures that Lupe and Jennifer will become vampires themselves.

Meanwhile, Amy's boyfriend (Mike) and some buddies discover through a rather circuitous line of circumstantial evidence that (a) skeevy guy is dead, (b) skeevy guy was headed off to a threesome with "AT&T WorldNet Screen Name That I Don't Remember," and (c) one of the art teachers also has the same AT&T WorldNet Screen Name.

Dun Dun Dun!

Mike had been freaking out a little before, but now he is in full-on freak-out mode. His buddies agree to go get Amy first, rather than going immediately to the police. It's the only way to calm Mike down -- he can't stand the thought of taking time to explain when Amy might be in imminent danger.

At Jennifer & Lupe's house, nobody answers the door. Mike and friends break in, then split up (in groups of two) to search the house. People are eaten, Mike gets bitten, and only three of them escape the house (two unscathed, and Mike on the verge of becoming a vampire).

The unscathed guys decide to recruit one of their history professors -- Professor Nashy -- in hopes that he can turn their buddy back from the dark side.

Long story short, Mike returns to human, the four guys await the attack of four vampiric females in the Professor's house, bite bite, stab stab, the (at this point) three survivors knowingly walk into a trap in an attempt to kill the two remaining female vampires and revert Amy.

How does it end? Well, not everybody dies. And the final twist? The inevitable betrayals? The unexpected-yet-logical-in-retrospect reversals of fortune? Well, you'll just have to watch the movie if you really must know. For my part, I'm going to hunt down more Ricardo Islas films. He seems to do well with what he's got, even when he doesn't have a lot.