With low budget independent films - those not made independently by the huge studios - you find a few gems in the muck. Thicker than Water: The Vampire Diaries is that.
It has its faults, as all films do. There's a bizarre Mayan temple start and creepy (but not in the good way) double-intro voice over situation. Then we shoot over to the cool part of the story.
Story goes...a young Goth chic, Lara Baxter (Eilis Cahill), complete with the cheerleader twin sister, Helen (Devon Bailey), live in a tourist shanty on the eastern shores of the United States.
Lara is into black and red and hangs at the local Wicken filled Freakatorium Shoppe of Curiosities. Her sister, a bubble of sunshine, has the local letter-jacketed testosteronies buzzing around her and a Pollyanna look at life.
Mom (Jo Jo Hristova) is an ex-professional skater from a foreign suppressed land close enough to Transylvania to make her immediately suspicious. And brother, Raymond (Michael Strelow) is an uber eccentric scientific loose canon channeling Crispin Glover; but with originality and less spoofing.
The family is very dysfunctional. But when Goth chic tries to give Cheerleader chic acne via some voodoo curse, perhaps Lara was a tad a heavy handed on the toad spit. Because viola! Helen becomes a vampire.
But the seemingly McHateful Clan suddenly really pull together - and pull apart others - to keep their family together. Here TTW:VD becomes unique; women leads, a cool story line, and real emotional relationships.
Underneath all this we are hinted to that there may be more to Helen's transformation than sis' ill-thought voodoo curse juvenilely involving a cut up Barbie, some hair strands, and a few cage-free eggs whipped gently with teenage hate and crested with a nice firm cow's heart.
The family believe (for now) that the spell is what has turned little Ms. DoRight into a creature of the night.
I am ignoring many of the faux pas of the Mayan jolts, and odd back-story of the dad who is instantly out of the film via divorce. Because the cast left behind are wonderful.
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