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Vampira & Me [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

1 used from £125.20

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 47 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Rescuing Vampira from Plan 9 Obscurity 10 Oct. 2013
By P. T. Meade - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My fear in buying this documentary was that it would be yet another amateurish and thoroughly crummy Ed Wood-related project that was packed with talking heads and little insight. What I watched last night, however, was entirely free of the trappings of Ed Wood World (with Ed confined, rightfully, to the margins of Maila's life). Instead, what I witnessed was one of the most intimate and penetrating documentary portraits of an individual that I have watched in quite some time.

Even if I had never had an interest in alt-cultural-pioneer Vampira - which I most certainly do - I think I would objectively say that this movie is a well made and artfully directed piece of work. The insightful narration provided by the director, a friend and confidante of the late Maila Nurmi, aka Vampira, provides the beating heart to this story and also helps us to get under the fragile and wounded skin of this most interesting of women. So many of the questions I had about her life (in particular, how she fared after the decline of her career) were answered too in this documentary - such was the tragedy though of her demise, that I am now thinking that perhaps I wish I didn't know those details after all. And yet, hearing her full story and learning about the tough circumstances she endured for so long made her so much more alive and real to me.

Perhaps the greatest thing this documentary does in the end though, is to rescue Vampira / Maila from the shadow of Plan 9. I love Ed Wood and that whole scene, but Maila was so much more startling and original than her ghoulish demeanor in that movie have ever seemingly suggested to so many over the years. Previous documentaries have captured some of her wit and sparky personality for sure - but this one in particular places her front and center as a complete human being: tough and funny, ambitious and bright, wounded and wary, defiant and dignified, creative and unforgettable.

Featuring previously unseen and lovingly restored footage of Vampira and lots of interesting extras, this is Vampira's / Maila's biography in motion. This documentary may make you want to scream about the sadness that must have invaded her life, but ultimately it will actually leave you amazed at the unbroken and unbowed soul of the lady who kept her wits and class about her to the bittersweet end.

RIP Maila / Vampira will live forever
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Vampira and You 10 Oct. 2013
By Gary Prange - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Whenever I find myself confronted by televisuals of Vampira and Maila Nurmi, I always find myself being seduced by Vampira but falling in love with Maila. And that is never more true than with VAMPIRA AND ME, the definitive documentary about Vampira and Maila Nurmi by R. H. Greene.

VAMPIRA AND ME is so much more than a valentine, so much more than a collection of anecdotes, history and rare film clips. It is Maila Nurmi's own story in her own words, a record of her essence, really, perhaps even a self-portrait where Greene may have held the brush but his hand was certainly guided by Maila.

Maila Nurmi's struggles, pain and betrayals are laid bare but are balanced by her uniqueness, regalness, intelligence and passions. Unless one were fortunate enough to have been part of her world, this documentary may be as close one can get to understanding such an arresting character and wonderful woman. Even at her advanced age her eyes are uncannily young and bright.

This DVD is more than a Halloween purchase. It is more than a chronicle of Vampira's cultural impact. It is a bittersweet celebration of someone who deserved more than she received as far as comforts are concerned, but whose experiences are a prince's palace of riches.

And of course there is an abundance of rare audio, photos and video, the icing on the cake being footage (unseen for almost sixty years) of Vampira's sketch appearance on THE GEORGE GOBEL SHOW. Watching the sequence one cannot help but feel one is watching the first video incarnation of Morticia Addams.

Take Vampira home with you and let Maila Nurmi into your heart.

Viva Vampira!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The Best so Far 11 Oct. 2013
By Damon Devine - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are roughly two other Vampira/Maila Nurmi documentaries (I have them both)and this one is definitely a labor of love and gives much more insight to who she was as a woman (I could have added much more to that aspect, but wasn't asked). Maila was a 'woman of truth' and she would have definitely wanted the details of her later life told. She did not sugar coat things. I appreciate the sympathetic tone of this film. There were but a handful of us who know those stories. The extraordinary 1966 audio tapes are total treasures, as that was a time in her life we know next to nothing about.

The archival footage is amazing and it's so great to know at least some were preserved. It shows sides of the character, Vampira, that we certainly never knew! It is unclear if we are seeing these clips in their entirety, however, but it is a joy to see ANYhting, as there is so little out there.

This is an absolute must for any Vampira fan.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
So much more than a fan film... 5 Sept. 2013
By Madpix - Published on
Format: DVD
VAMPIRA AND ME opens up a vast, largely unknown story of the astonishing Maila Nurmi, a pioneer of television and an icon of several intersecting cultural movements. This is MUCH more than a fan expose (though Vampira enthusiasts will rejoice at the extremely rare footage director R. H. Greene has uncovered). Greene's personal access to the elderly but still vivid and emotional Nurmi is remarkable, and the film is a soaring tribute to a woman who shattered just about every convention of her time. Highly recommended!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Essential viewing 7 Sept. 2013
By Witty_flock - Published on
Format: DVD
The best films present not one well-constructed message but many, providing the audience with endless avenues of meaning and discussion. VAMPIRA AND ME offers just that. As a young woman, Maila Nurmi's journey felt extremely poignant to me. Few works of film or television offer such a relevant picture of the professional and personal struggles women must endure, particularly those in the entertainment industry. The documentary also acts as a fascinating gateway into Goth culture, one this reviewer was hitherto only superficially aware of. We see how instrumental Ms. Nurmi was in shaping so much of the Gothic culture we've come to take for granted. And not only that, but Ms. Nurmi sheds many of our preconceived notions of Hollywood's Golden Age and reveals the giants of that era for what they really were. VAMPIRA AND ME is an engaging sociological and historical study as well as a deeply personal exploration into how a woman like Ms. Nurmi could've suffered so greatly.
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