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Released: Sep 01st, 2000
Running Time: 91
Director: James Avalon
Company: Cal Vista Films
Distribution Companies: Metro Distribution
Cast: Violet Love, Jack Hammer, Brick Majors, Wendi Knight, Ava Vincent, Brandon Iron, Syren, Samantha (I)
Critical Rating: Not Yet Rated
A bona fide blue-ribbon entry. Get on the bandwagon.
Borrowing its title from the French underground film of the '20s, James Avalon's Les Vampyres is a delightfully creepy throwback to the days of Dark Shadows where just about everybody in that cast packed incisors shaped like icicles. And Avalon's film should likewise come equipped, but with its own proviso – about checking out those AAA Guides real good before booking a room at your next bed-and-breakfast. That's what Joel Lawrence and the stunning Ava Vincent should have done, although stunning doesn't even begin to describe Vincent, who sets the screen ablaze with her ethereal beauty in this modern Gothic masterpiece. The woman mesmerizes and is a perfectly-cast counterpoint to the exotic Syren and this, in essence, rates a dead heat for both ladies in the Best Actress pre-nom category. Syren's vocal rhythms are a sinister lullaby, and hers is as convincing a portrayal of the dark side as any menstrual convention.
There's been a series of ritualistic murders in northern California, the implication being that guys are randomly losing their shafts after trysts with vampires of the female persuasion. At least that's what hapless Brandon Iron discovers in the film's opening threeway with the Transylvanian-inclined Violet Love and Wendi Knight, Syren's consorts.
Lawrence, meanwhile, has landed a job, and he and Vincent find a little hideaway along the coast to celebrate. The fact that rooms are abundant (off season, we're told) and innkeeper Nic Orleans would give shivers to a shark should probably have served as first clues. Then, of course, Vincent gets the Bela Lugosi stare from Syren, along with the Nosferatu hand-puppet shadows on the wall, so all will realize this is going to be one big party as a celebratory bottle of domestic drips down Vincent's bosom. Knowing that vampires never drink – wine – it's only a matter of moments before Lawrence becomes the odd man out in the Sapphic love equation, even though he and Vincent have thrashed about in one of those amber-hued scenes that give goose flesh to the couples? market and AVN Awards voters.
As we discover, Vincent and Syren have history, and a flashback comes equipped with lightning, candles, pearls, Victorian finery and gooey tongue kisses that supply... what? Goose bumps to the cable market and AVN voters. Adding to the shivers is a turn by vampire hunter Jack Hammer, and this might be the only time in history an adult audience would pray for an adult performer to stay on screen as an actor. Unfortunately, Jack gets dirty-talked into sexual congress by vampire Samantha, and that's all she wrote for the stakes-and-garlic business. Lawrence's future is also in doubt when Vincent, convinced by Syren that he's a cheating sack of shit, catches him in the midst of one of his indiscretions in a shower stall. But not before Vincent and Wendi Knight give him a sendoff he won't – nor will the viewer – be likely to forget, in what might be Avalon's finest moments as an adult filmmaker.