SERGIO LAPEL’S DRAWING BLOOD

SERGIO LAPEL’S DRAWING BLOOD
2.5 Stars
Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 89 minutes
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Diana (Dawn Spinella) is an aspiring painter who, with the help of her assistant Edmond (Kirk Wilson), lures attractive prostitutes to her flat under the pretense of having them pose nude for her, gets them to disrobe and seduces them. Oh, yeah. She’s also a vampire who bites their necks and then paints portraits of their corpses with their own blood. Diana’s a real peach. When Edmond, returning from burying his second body of the evening, meets Dee (Erin Smith), a pixie-ish prostitute tired of life on the streets, an extremely jealous Diana orders Edmond to bring Dee to model for her. When the love struck assistant refuses, Diana kidnaps Dee, forcing Edmond and his eccentric father to set out on a vampiric seek and destroy mission. Marginally original but stylishly executed, “Sergio Lapel’s Drawing Blood” is the latest attempt to reinterpret the vampire myth, this time with a humorous flair that’s only partially effective. Actually the erotic horror side of this film works pretty well, thanks in large part to the lovely Spinella’s performance as Diana. If all it took to spend eternity with her was a chomp on the neck, I say “sharpen up the ol’ incisors!” Where the film falls flat, however, is in its attempt to mix humor with horror. On the one hand, this shouldn’t be surprising because about the only thing harder than that is making a sequel that’s better than the original. That, or making an intelligent art film with Adam Sandler. On the other hand, after I read filmmaker Onur Tukel’s amusing tongue-through-the-cheek propaganda on the film, it seemed he was about as capable of pulling it off as anyone. Tukel conjured up the alter ego “Sergio Lapel” (“he’s been making obscure and important horror films in Europe for the past two decades, kind of like an underground Dario Argento…”) because he thought “Sergio Lapel’s Drawing Blood” sounded better than just “Drawing Blood.” Though he’s right about that, unfortunately, he never quite finds the proper balance between horror and humor in the film itself. “SLDB” has the same, if slightly darker, feel as Mark Pirro’s “A Polish Vampire in Burbank.” Unlike the gags in that oddball Super 8 classic, however, most of the attempts at comedy here are pretty lame. Still, all is not lost. In spite of its uneven execution, “Sergio Lapel’s Drawing Blood” is fairly entertaining nonetheless, especially if you’re stuck at home on a Saturday night and you can’t get The USA Network to come in on cable.



Posted on November 15, 1999 in Reviews by
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