Kiss of the Damned 

Sexy, stylish, misbehaving vampires return to the big screen


Zombies have received so much press lately, we've forgotten about the other undead we used to love — vampires. Fans of the sexy, Eurotrash strain of vamps — perpetual life is so languid, dahlink — should be pleased with this latest entry, a melodrama from Xan Cassavetes (daughter of the late filmmaker John).

Flame-haired Djuna (Joséphine de La Baume) is bunking down in a Connecticut estate. She meets a handsome screenwriter named Paolo (Milo Ventimiglia) at the video store (!), and the pair become instantly enraptured, so much so that she confesses she's a vampire. He doesn't care, so she half-bites him and they become forever lovers. 

Their idyllic nights are shattered when Djuna's bad-girl sister, Mimi (Roxane Mesquida), turns up. (After causing some bloody trouble overseas, Mimi's on her way to vampire rehab. It's just a throwaway line, but there's an Intervention spinoff I'd like to see.) Mimi's bad behavior ripples throughout the Greater New York-area vampire community, where, it seems, the good manners of the genteel blood-sucking set are very fragilely maintained.

It's all rather stylishly filmed, with just enough sex and dripping blood to make this unsuitable viewing for the Twilighters. It's a bit soapish, but then again, the questions of commitment, betrayal, love and amorality that are pondered here are fair game in any genre.


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