Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Vampiress Review: "I, Desire"

The Gist:  A coroners aid becomes obsessed with vampires when several victims of a prostitute serial killer show up to the morgue drained of blood.

Clarification.  This was a made for TV film which aired as an NBC movie of the week in 1982.  Personally I blame this movie for why this site exists as this was the first horror film of any type I saw as a kid and a monster in sexy lingerie resulted in many emotions from me but fear was not one of them.   From that point on (since I didn't know the name of the film) I pretty much watched every vampire movie I could get my hands on hoping to find this one (surprise to me it was never released on VHS).  Eventually the Encore network would re air it under the title "Desire: the Vampire" but by that point it was way too late and I already had a vampire movie collection large enough to open my own blockbuster video.

As for the movie itself the main character David is pretty dumb.  The idea of "hey, people are getting murdered let me go out of my way to out the person because they probably have supernatural abilities" is  pretty far fetched and jumps out of an episode of Scooby Doo but the fact that this guy doesn't give up even after frequent run ins with the law and loosing his girlfriend over it is just ridiculous.  Then again it seems pretty normal when you realize that the guy is so hell bent on the vampire angle that even after he is almost killed by two of them and survives and the police detective in charge of the investigation comes up with a way to get him off from murder charges he has to be CONVINCED to go along with it. 

Selling Point:  This is a top 10 film as far as vampire films where the main vamp is female.

Female Vampire FactorMona/Desire played by Barbera Stock
So the angle that's played out in this film is that she only feeds on the souls of the unfaithful because their souls are not righteous.  This is the reason "Desire" disguises herself as a prostitute and will only go after married or otherwise attached men.   

The one thing this film does as good as any film I've seen is that they don't give away who the vampire is till the very end.  Throughout the film you only see a woman in black lingerie from the back so there is no way the viewer can make out who it is. This makes it that much more enjoyable when you find out that "Desire" is in fact Mona, a co-worker of main character Davids girlfriend who is seen in the background of a few scenes and has a forgettable chat with him where he leaves a message with Mona for his girlfriend in the films beginning.
Mona the random hospital volunteer
Much like your Scooby Doo mystery it all makes sense in the end.  Mona is only working at the hospital to steal blood for her to drink.  She doesn't attack David in their first meeting as he is happily involved with his girlfriend but in their second meeting he's driving around Hollywood looking for prostitutes making him fair game.  So good people get nice wholesome Mona while bad people get Desire.
The final reveal of "Desire" has stuck with me for decades as it defines a vampire using her sex appeal to draw in her victims.  She is you're stereotype sexy goth vampire. pale skin, dark hair, blood red lips and nails and black lingerie.  This was the standard I judged every other female vampire both before and after by.
 Without any hesitation I give this film a Vampire Beauty Rating of 5 out of 5.  With vampires now becoming a bit of a novelty the likeliness of films like this and Fright Night 2 (any version) where the most powerful vamp is female and she uses seduction as her main weapon are hard to come by.

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