There is an interesting trend now happening in horror, that I happen to quite like, where filmmakers are making films that are decidedly retro without having to make the movies “look” retro which can come off as obnoxious. Yes, these movies “feel” retro, still shooting with modern moviemaking technology. Movies like IT FOLLOWS and TURBO KID haven’t sacrificed the modern gloss for their nostalgic works. Instead they rely on music, atmosphere, and performance to remind us of the glory days of genre’s past. The new film BLOOD OF THE TRIBADES, available on Amazon and Vimeo today, falls into that exact category.
It may be more apt to compare Blood of the Tribades to a movie like last year’s horror hit, THE WITCH. It’s not only the type of movie you don’t see being made much anymore, but it’s a female led story with sociopolitical subtext that you can’t help but want to dig out.
Tribades is the story of two warring groups of vampires, one men and one female. The male vampires blame the females for an illness that they have all succumbed to, and they begin hunting the females down one by one. Once aided by those they had formerly banished, the females begin to fight back against the male vampires. Centering on two female lovers, the film is ultimately about a society divided that has lost its way. So, in other words, this film is more timely than ever.
The film chooses a feminist gaze to present the film. This was something I was immediately attached to. The start of the film introduces us to the beliefs of the male vampires. We know almost immediately they are the villains. In the next sequence, we see a beautiful vampire inexplicably taking a sexy bath before she is murdered by two diseased bad guys.
One thing I’ve got to say for the movie, it’s got a lot of nudity in it. And the filmmakers aren’t shy about showing the audience full frontal shots of both their male and female cast. It was nice to see a balanced amount of nudity in a horror film for change.
This film is clearly paying homage to European vampire movies of the 60s and 70s and that’s where the nudity comes into play. The filmmakers clearly love films like SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY and THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, where the plot doesn’t matter as long as there’s cool visuals and plenty of skin on display. In that regard, this film delivers.
One of the things missing in this film is the gore. Now, I don’t think every movie like this needs to have gore or any blood at all for that matter. However, this film kicks off with an amazingly gross eye trauma sequence that would make Euro trash filmmakers proud. After that, we never really see much blood outside of a couple of needlessly long torture scenes and some vampire bites.
This film also drags in the middle act a little bit. Once it is established what’s going on between the two warring gender clans, it takes awhile before we move on from picking off vampire vixens one by one. Once we do, the film leads to a solid conclusion with a satisfying twist ending. It isn’t so much a twist ending as it is a great “a-ha!” moment in the film.
Keeping things moving is the pumping retro score. It sounds like music from a low budget horror movie you picked up on whim on VHS from your local video store. I of course only mean that as a compliment to the film’s composers, Catherine Capozzi, co-director Michael J. Epstein, and Night Kisses.
Overall, I found this movie to be an interesting experiment in nostalgia. Directors Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein knocked the feel of a 60s/70s Eurosleaze movie out of the park without compromising its modern sensibilities. The feminist political perspective was a nice touch and the music in the film was spot on. If you like movies like VAMPYROS LESBOS and TWINS OF EVIL, you’ll enjoy what this film is going for. While it was a low budget film, I didn’t look like that weighed on the production in any way. I felt like the middle of the movie dragged at times, and I would have liked to have seen a more of a focus on one central character. Blood of the Tribades is still worth a look if you’re looking for something new and a bit different.
Check out the trailer here:
Find out where you can watch the film on Demand HERE: http://www.bloodofthetribades.com/watch/