The most common debate in my and Scotty Floronic’s home is which of us is going to pick the movie we are going to watch. Typically the winner is Scotty Floronic, as he tends to have better taste and I truly don’t give a shit. As long as some beeps and screaming come out of the talking box in our living room, I am usually entertained enough to sit pretty like a good girl and watch (and by ‘sit pretty’ and ‘good girl’ I of course mean, ‘sprawl out in front of’, and ‘hot drunken mess’). Occasionally, he will throw me a bone and allow me to pick a movie for us to watch and of course I always end up totally dropping the ball (read: crying incoherently when I was high on LSD and we watched Watership Down, crying incoherently when we watched the Last Unicorn, having a full blown panic attack when we watched Hemlock Grove, and nearly vomiting during the Manson Family)- I do enjoy going on at great length about the few good movies I’ve managed to salvage out of the garbage heap that is the horror genre, but I generally tend to pick out movies that are real turds which is either coincidence or a more likely inkling into me having poor taste. Allow me to say it clear that my strong suit is the written word and little else. Scotty Floronic typically deals with my poor choice in films by indulging me like one might a petulant child with much fawning and “well ya tried” verbal diarrhea thrown about.
Only Lovers Left Alive was highly praised among the folks I follow and admire on instagram and tumblr and it has Tilda Swinton (the super androgynous looking lady who played Gabriel in Constantine) and everyone’s darling Norse god of mischief, Tom Hiddleston and this seems like the perfect match alongside the vampire storyline, but unfortunately for me, I came out the back end of this movie, somewhat confused and I felt a bit like I had listened to a very long sermon on something but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what, yet somehow I was oddly satisfied.. it was a real mind fuck, and of course Scotty Floronic hated the fuck out of it, while I adored(?) it and am actually hoping someone will come over and watch it with me so I don’t have to be shamed when my boyfriend finds me romanticizing the epic sexual that is slash would be a three way with Gabriel and Loki.. talk about ten minutes in heaven.. amirite?
Up until Twilight and True Blood ruined vampires (save for Eric Northman.. Eric Northman is flawless.. can True Blood just be about Eric and his ass for the rest of this final season.. PLEASE), I FUCKING LOVED vampires.. like any spooky girl in stripey tights worth her first edition pressings of Bauhaus records, I clearly enjoyed that particular form of the undead, what with the ankh tattoo, vampire tooth necklace and everything else ridiculous I own. There’s really something about the vampire, isn’t there? Something sexual and raw and ripped open and cold.. I devoured (pun not intended but I’m leaving it) as much vampire themed media as I could and I found that above all my appreciation for the vampire genre is only engaged when the genre is turned on it’s head – see Poppy Z. Brite’s Lost Souls, Fledgling by Octavia Butler and obviously the hilariously written vampires of the Christopher Moore universe. Truthfully, this sentiment could be given to the forms of media I like, but if something goes out of its way to be different and basically says “fuck you” to the worn out old tripe that is trotted out again and again for the pathetic and sad amusement of the audience, then I am generally onboard, even if only for a slow clap of gratitude.
So come with me oh children of the night and sink your fangs into my review of Only Lovers Left Alive:
So the movie opens up and pretty well right away Scotty Floronic starts sighing and grumbling and making disapproving noises because you can just tell that this thing is gonna be a real artsy mess – you know the kind of films of course, long drawn out shots, artfully chosen music, and of course the final drop down to our very beautiful characters who seem to be entertaining a kind of vampire ennui. Eve (Tilda Swinton) and her husband Adam (Tom Hiddleston), are vampires who have led very long afterlives and for whatever reason (like anyone who was married to someone for eternity would be super bummed out if they fucked off for a hundred years, or really even notice.. ) live on separate continents – she in Tangier and he in Detroit. Adam, who is not only ridiculously good looking with his shaggy rocker hair, that doesn’t look like the AWFUL weave he wore in Thor : Dark World, seems to have issues with wearing a shirt and pretty much only wears a pair of skinny jeans that leave almost nothing to the imagination.. they’re actually one of the more ridiculous parts of his costume, because his ass is barely covered, and he’s generally one misstep away from tripping on some piece of ephemera strewn about his house and giving the audience a cock and balls show – and let’s be serious, NO ONE would mind.. the movie could be a short film of him bouncing his dick and I would be endlessly entertained and I’m pretty sure literally every straght woman, gay man, and a few straight men would agree. I was drunk on bad red wine during this movie and I kept yelling “BOUNCE THAT DICK” so I’m pretty sure my neighbors are wondering what the hell is going on over here, but FUCK THEM.. those fuckers run the vaccuum at 2am on a regular basis so maybe I’m over here just wanting dudes to bounce their dick wondering why in the fuck someone would vaccuum at 2am when I’m trying to watch bouncing dicks in peace.
Jenna Marbles is my main bitch (sorry Rigby), and she knows that the only good dick is one that’s flopping around. Actually I don’t give a fuck.. show me your dick. Anyways, Adam, as it turns out, is more than a penis trapped in a sweaty prison of skinny jeans and during his excessive undead existence has made himself into a talented and obviously brooding musician, because really, is there such a thing as a non brooding vampire? NOPE. Add tight pants and black hair to that already boiling pot of emotional self loathing and sprinkle it with a little bit of dick and you’ve basically got Tom Hiddleston’s Adam character.. and again, none of the ladies are complaining because every woman really wants an emotionally unavailable man as long as he lounges around frequently without a shirt and plays complicated music that might reduce the members of Godspeed! You Black Emperor to commit suicide.
Adam has in fact, written much of the music that is popular and due to his vampiric nature is often not credited for his work. During this span of his life, living in a shit house in Detroit he is a reclusive rock musician who has many fans but due to his late night proclivities, he tends to keep to himself. Adam has become something of a hoarder, his house strewn with antique instruments and recording equipment, on which he writes, composes and records complicated artsy music.
I tried to find a picture that would accurately portray the hoarder level in Adam’s home, because he seriously looks like he might be on an episode frantically clutching at old receipts and pizza boxes while a nice well meaning blonde lady asked him to rate the particular piece of garbage on a scale of how he felt about it, while the camera crew and clean up people all stand around and roll their eyes. Don’t worry Tom Hiddelston, I would never roll my eyes at you. SHOW ME YOUR DICK.
Due to being a crazy recluse and hating most of humanity (Adam frequently refers to humans as ‘zombies’), Adam only has contact with the outside world through his “dealer”, a young hipster who procures obscure and antique instruments for him and acts as his sort of “manager”. Adam asks this hipster douche bag to procure for him a wooden bullet “for an art project”.
Of course the dude kinda gives him a strange look and is all “oookay.. but can you maybe release that album first” and there’s a weird exchange, but again, very few people who question a sexy man paying you vast sums of money to buy weird shit for him so hey.. whatever. That said though, if I was a male, and an immortal male, that’s pretty much my biggest fantasy come reality.. I would NEVER kill myself if I was a vampire dude.. I would spend eternity fucking my way through all the good looking androgynous broads I could, while roughly approximating my current existence of watching trash television and getting royally fucked up on whatever drugs might be available for me to get my grubby little paws on. Everyone loves a pretty face (and even more so a pretty dick), so just fuck your way through eternity and you’re basically set. That’s pretty well a solid meal ticket for FOREVER. Just go out to a bar every night and find some desperate and dumpy lightspeed ugly chick and charm your way into her Layne Bryant stretch pants and you could eat for days (the blood I mean, not the pussy.. because everyone knows stretch pants don’t breathe and pussy plus sweat is.. well it’s basically a cheese factory, and now I’m sad).
Killing yourself as a vampire male is basically the worst decision ever, but that said, he still looked foxy even when he was contemplating taking his own life, so again he has that going for him.. and as the saying goes.. live fast, die young, leave a fucking beautiful corpse, and then.. continue to live and become cantankerous and weird and then die and leave a pile of ashes.. ?
So while this little emo show is going on in Detroit, likely amid the roar of police sirens and rap music, Eve is in Tangier and she appears to be either trying on memorabilia from a showing of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat or she smoked a big fat bong long to herself.. either way the end result is very desirable.
I like the whole aesthetic choice of Eve being permanently attired in khaki and beige clothing while Adam is cloaked in gloomy haute goth wear, but the only detriment to this costumery was Eve’s awful tattered mop of hair. Clearly she is wearing a hair appliance and it is a hair appliance made of hay and white twigs, because it looks and I would assume feels like a Halloween fright wig. Adam appears fairly well coiffed and styled, which is sort of weird because he never goes out, but hey i’m sure there’s a market for late night hairdressers right? Eve, just looks like someone stapled some bark onto a skull and went, “Ok, let’s go with it.. TAKE ONE..”
Eve, and Adam are enjoying a night blissing out on blood and Eve decides to FaceTime Adam and they decide they miss one another and Eve books a night flight to Detroit to see him. Eve’s vampire blood dealer, played by a very craggy John Hurt advises her to bring Adam back with her “because you two can’t live without each other”.
The next.. very long portion of the movie is spent with a lot of shots that resemble this:
Which is to say, two very tired, very androgynous people laying around in bed mumbling at each other. The movie sort of crumbles at this point, because it’s trying to create a feeling of slowless and boredom and atmosphere, but it just sort of trails off into the black abyss of tedium. The reunited lovers, of course need blood to surivive and so Adam, as the true provider he is, rolls out his doctor costume and hits up the local blood bank.
And then they make BLOOD POPSICLES,
Yup. Blood popsicles. I think these scenes are trying to be adorable/show the domesticity of the couple and I will hand it the quirky factor, but the fact is that most of these long and drawn out scenes could be cut out and the movie would be similarly relevant. I don’t know, I’m not really one for art movies.
Just as the tedium moves into unbearable, Eve has a dream about her sister and out of the ether rolls a haggard as skanky vampire who has poor impulse control and looks like she rolled around in a thrift shop dumpster in Portland. She is unable to provide herself with blood and needs constant babysitting – she’s like the constant drunk mess in your friend group who gets way too hammered no matter if you’re at an all night rager or having casual appies.. We all know/have been that person.
In between their nights spent driving around Detroit, pointing out landmarks like Jack White’s house, the trio of vampire decide to hit up a shitty night club and all show up wearing identical sunglasses and I almost lost my fucking mind.. It’s like they didn’t have sunglasses originally written into the scene and then someone realized they needed sunglasses and sent someone on a dollar store run and they all came back with identical shitty sunglasses.. it’s pretty amazing.
There’s a lot of vampiric spookiness and Adam’s hipster friend ends up eaten of course and pretty soon the romantic drives waxing idiotic about Jack White turn into a drive to find a place to dispose of a body (which is really a bonding activity that ALL couples should engage in), and pretty soon the two decide to vacate the smouldering shit hole of Detroit and go to Tangier to hang out with the oldst vampire ever and drink his awesome opium blood supply.
And unfortunately for them, lo and behold they get to Tangier and Grandpa Munster is on his deathbed, having drunk some contaminated blood. He confesses to having written the works of Shakespeare, refers to Billy S. as a “philistine” and shuffles off the immortal coil into the after afterlife to leave two very thirsty and very tired vampires to wander Tangier looking for sustenance and a lute.
I guess it turns out that these two wear sunglasses because their eyes are all predatory and numerous drug dealers harass the couple on their hunt for blood. They take turns swigging from a flask and eventually give up and decide to turn a youn couple who is making out on a bench. Loki asserts that “he gets the girl”, but with pants like that… who is he kidding, and then the movie ends, so that was a real thing.
Scotty Floronic was utterly not impressed, but despite the tedious meanderings I kind of liked it? I dunno, it was pretty to look at and it has some things in it that I hadn’t seen done before, so it gets an A for effort. Maybe now that the whole True Blood Twilight saga is coming to an end, we can go back to having skinny sexual men as vampires and not glittery dudes in American Apparel shirts.. Ah, well a girl can dream can’t she.
I’ve reviewed two vampire movies in succession and feel sort of dirty now, like maybe I should go watch a slasher movie, or some Barney or something. I still can’t shake that prepubescent Team Cullen feeling.. especially since I wrote my awesome review of Twilight and I actually got some concerned messages from people asking if I actually liked it.. Is the whole world just unable to read a calendar and understand that April Fool’s Day comes every year? These are likely the same people that use phrases like “Christmas just snuck up on me”, and are likely the reason why one would probably end up a crazy recluse if you had to spend eternity among them.
Anyways, until next time you fabulous vampiric darlings be sure to always wear sunglasses at night, drink your blood in artsy shotglasses, bounce that dick and ALWAYS stay spooky.