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Kiss Of The Damned (DVD)
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Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes, Rocky Balboa) plays Paolo, a screenwriter who has ensconced himself in a house far away from Hollywood in order to finish what seems like his last stab at writing a commercial screenplay. He s easily distracted though and, after meeting the beautiful Djuna (Josephine de La Baume - Rush, One Day) during a night out, he's inextricably infatuated. Djuna digs Paolo too, but she s got a rare "blood disorder" that doesn't allow her to venture our into sunlight. Scarily persistent, Milo keeps courting her until she finally relents and agrees to hook up with him under one condition - she needs to be tied up so she can't bite him. Needless to say their lovemaking is somewhat acrobatic (despite the bondage) and she's presented with a fair shot at his neck, which she takes.
Djuna begins to school Paolo in the ways of the vampire. They try to drink only synthetic or harvested blood and kill only animals (killing humans is strictly forbidden). But that doesn t mean they live in a prudish culture. Paolo instantly takes a shine to the Euro-glitterati lifestyle that accompanies eternal life. Soon enough, trouble comes in the form of Djuna's more carnal and violent sister, Mimi (Roxane Mesquida). Mimi doesn't believe in the whole "not killing people" thing. She's also not big on being tied down, preferring her three-ways and one night stands anytime and anywhere she can get them.
- Audio Commentary with Director Xan Cassavetes
- Cast and Crew interviews
Top customer reviews
"Kiss of the Damned" seems to be for those who love such stories of "moral" vampires who live lives of beauty and love, which gives this slow-moving character drama a dreamlike quality. Director Xan Cassavetes has created a truly lovely piece of work, misted over with half-light and soft voices, but the denouement definitely leaves something to be desired.
Young screenwriter Paolo (Milo Ventimiglia) meets a beautiful, exotic woman named Djuna (Josephine de La Baume), and instantly falls in love with her. At first, she seems shy of getting too intimate, and soon reveals why -- she's actually a vampire. But when they sleep together, she ends up drinking his blood and turning him into a vampire.
Paolo quickly moves in with Djuna, and the two of them begin a moonlit romance that can last for all of eternity. But then Djuna's sister Mimi (Roxane Mesquida) comes to stay with them for a week -- and her mind games and reckless blood-drinking throw their lives into turmoil. As Djuna introduces Paolo to the local circle of vampires, led by the actress Xenia (Anna Mouglalis), Mimi begins destroying their romance.
In many ways, "Kiss of the Damned" is a rather cliched vampire romance -- a vampire loves a mortal so much that she turns him so they can be together forever. Some lip service is paid to how awful it is to be rich, hot and immortal, but there aren't a lot of real problems. And oh yeah, the admirable vampires abstain from human blood.
But Xan Cassavetes wrings every last drop of sensuality from her movie. Every scene is draped in a misty, almost dreamlike atmosphere, as though time is slowing down for us as it is for Paolo. Lots of lovemaking and quiet conversations, and rooms filled with eerie pale light in the absence of the sun. When something nasty happens -- such as the most gruesome burning-in-the-sun scene EVER -- it stands out like a bruise.
However, the denouement is lackluster. It feels like Cassavetes didn't know to handle the web of manipulations that Mimi had spun, so she took the easy way out. It's beautifully filmed, but... it leaves you thinking, "Really, that's it?"
Though their characters' love blooms a bit too fast, Ventimiglia and de La Baume have a fragile, sweet chemistry, as if they're still fumbling their way into a relationship. It's rather sweet. Husky-voiced Mouglalis -- who is not in enough English-speaking movies -- is a stately vampire matriarch who finds herself manipulated.
And Mesquida is a cruel, vindictive little girl in a beautiful woman's body; she doesn't care who she hurts or destroys, as long as she gets her way. Blood, sex or control -- if Mimi wants it, she will destroy those around to her get it.
"Kiss of the Damned" is a rather cliched vampire love story, but it wears the cliches with elegance and beauty -- and it all leaves me hoping to see more from Xan Cassavetes.
This was pretty standard stuff. Except for the Apple product placement this could have been an Italian 70's film with the acting, scenery and music.
A fair film for vampire lovers.
Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, nudity (Roxane Mesquida, Joséphine de La Baume)
This is vampire movie for artsy fartsy folks,it looks better on the cover. It is a very slow story of a female vampire seducing a guy,turning him,then the sister wanting her fun and blah blah blah.
Some will lap this up as a vampire movie with a difference,oh it's all very cunningly ostentatious but hardly worth investing time in,just an opinion.
I'm not big on vampire movie anyway,this doesn't convert me.
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I spent more time fast forwarding than I did watching.Read more