Kiss of the Damned
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Beautiful vampire Djuna tries to resist the advances of the handsome, human screenwriter Paolo, but eventually gives in to their passion. When her seductive and highly volatile sister Mimi unexpectedly comes to visit, she threatens Djuna's new relationship, and the whole vampire community becomes endangered.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This won favorable attention at the Venice Film Festival, London Film Festival and SXSW Film Festival. In other words, it has a strong European influence, consistent with the Cassavetes family background. As the lead male said about reading the script and accepting the role [I’m paraphrasing I’m sure] “I realized this is like a classic European love story—with a little bit of vampire thrown in. Nobody makes these kind of movies in the US anymore. So I said yes, immediately.” That lead male incidentally is Milo Ventimiglia, who plays the character named “Paulo”. The other main characters are Josephine de la Baume, whose character is named Djuna, and who falls in love with Paulo (and he with her), Roxane Mesquida, who plays Mimi her sister, and Anna Mouglalis who plays Xenia, who is like a mother to Djuna and Mimi—probably not their biological mother, but at least emotionally so.
How would I describe the film? Like a classic European love story with a little bit of vampire thrown in. In many ways, it’s like an intimate family drama film. See, there’s the essential problem with falling in love with and marrying or living with someone. You end up involved not just with them, but with their WHOLE FAMILY too, for better or for worse. Their family dynamics inevitably end up YOUR family dynamics, too.
As for the vampire business, this is not a movie heavy on gore. Mostly the vampires are more like the “Cullen” clan in the notorious Twilight series—trying not to kill humans for their survival, but surviving instead on animal blood (and even synthetic blood). There are some brief but interesting conversations among the vampires about the morality and/or superiority of vampires vs humans, which [as I’ve recently also been reading about World War I] one can easily extrapolate to the attitudes of the British, French or Germans toward the “natives” in their various colonies, like the Americas, Africa, India, China, and the Middle East…
I liked the musical score which also had a neo-classical tilt. Many of the interior scenes are extremely lavish, playing off the notion that vampires living for hundreds or thousands of years, they have plenty of time to accumulate a lot of wealth—and again one can compare this to imperial wealth earned off the sweat of subject peoples, or the more modern-day version of capitalist inequalities. The exterior scenes for the most part are at night because…well, you know, VAMPIRES…have some kind of problem with daylight, so they are generally visually much less impressive.
The dialog is almost entirely in English and the subtitling is also very well done. There wasn’t a lot to boast about in special features, though there are several interviews and a commentary track, for the terminally addicted. Audience ratings were not great; for example IMDb gave it a 5 out of 10, maybe because people were expecting a lot more vampire, and less family-dynamics going on. In that way, It’s one of those hybrid films which are hard to categorize and hard to properly advertise too, but it was way better than I feared, going in.
Boy meets girl, girl bites boy, girl teaches boy the ropes (since Vampirism 101 isn't offered at the community college). There's actually much more to it than that, but nothing particularly groundbreaking here; still, it's well worth watching if you're a vampire enthusiast. Stuff to know going in:
🌙 Kiss of the Damned begins like a Harlequin Romance and ends like one, but there's a fair amount of blood in the middle.
🌙 Told from the point of view of vampires, yet with *no flashbacks* to previous centuries.
🌙 The mostly unconventional soundtrack / incidental music is varied, fitting, generally sharp, and even may have been influenced by the use of the groundbreaking "Bela Lugosi's Dead" (Bauhaus) in 1983's The Hunger.
🌙 The dialogue is not memorable but has its moments. The philosophical conversation at a formal party helps raise this above a simple Hammer film.
🌙 Female director Xan Cassavetes is at the helm.
🌙 Despite being shot in the States, it features three French actresses (Joséphine de La Baume, Roxane Mesquida, Anna Mouglalis), which effectively sent my brain straight into ecstasy mode.
🌙 So that's where Peter Petrelli has been! (underneath and on top of attractive vampires, but mostly underneath)
🌙 There's a vampire rehab in Phoenix, AZ (who'd a thunk it?)
🌙 The scene at the end where the maid lights a cigarette is one of those quiet brilliant moments among vampire flicks.
I wasn't blown away, but Kiss of the Damned kept me engaged throughout, if for no other reasons than Joséphine de La Baume and Roxane Mesquida.
Blu-ray extras (bonus/special features)
- Commentary track with Xan Cassavetes
- Separate interviews with Joséphine de La Baume, Milo Ventimiglia, Xan Cassavetes, and *two* with Roxane Mesquida (although you need only watch one of the two since Roxane states mostly the same things in both).