Blood Red Moon (2009) – By Cary Conley

Here we have a vampire movie that is essentially screenwriter Kevin Lindenmuth’s sarcastic answer to Twilight.  Megan is the new girl in a backwoods town.  She is used to the all-night parties of Toronto and isn’t fitting in well with the small-town crowd.  Needless to say, she gets picked on quite a bit.  She notices a cute but very withdrawn student named Victor who also is a bit of an outcast in town.  The two strike up a friendship.

Meanwhile, there are some mysterious killings going on in town—both animals as well as people are being killed and mutilated.  There is a witness, but he is the local weirdo and besides, the sheriff doesn’t seem too worried about the situation.

Of course Victor and Megan fall in love, but the relationship becomes quite complicated when Victor admits he’s a vampire.  Being a bit of a rebel, Megan is more turned on than she is revolted by the idea of loving a vampire.  She’s also very curious to compare all the lore with the reality of a vampire’s life.

I thought this was the most interesting part of the film as the viewer gets an education on “real” vampire lore.  Lindenmuth does a great job of creating some new twists in a very tired genre.  For instance, while vampires of course must drink human blood to survive, they can also eat “real” food—especially red meat, for obvious reasons.  Victor explains that most of the vampires aren’t into killing; they just hypnotize their prey and drink enough blood to sustain them.  This doesn’t really hurt the human donors, as long as the vampires don’t kill them by drinking all their blood.  In fact, as long as the vampires aren’t too greedy, the humans are totally unaware of what’s happening to them.  Maybe the most interesting twist on vampire lore is the way vampires are created in this story:  vampirism is a sexually-transmitted disease!  In fact, Victor became a vampire when he slept with an older woman at Woodstock back in 1969.  I thought these were all interesting and creative additions to the vampire legends we have all heard before.

Unfortunately, one of the vampires has decided to not follow the rules and doesn’t mind exposing the rest of the vampires to the danger of discovery.  This vampire is the one causing all the trouble in town and Megan and Victor must uncover the identity of the rebellious vampire before their secret is ruined, and before the “blood red moon” turns this vampire into a totally psychotic killer.

Director Scott Patrick does a nice job with the technical aspects of the film.  The lighting is generally well-done (with the exception of a few brief night scenes when a gardener is killed that are not well-lit and are grainy), there are many interesting camera angles—almost expressionistic in nature as many scenes are filmed at weird angles to give an unsettling effect for the viewer—and the sound is generally very good as well.

The only real flaw with this film is that it is very talky and pretty low on the action quotient.  Again, much like Twilight, which I think this film is spoofing, this is more a love story than a horror movie.  Most of the deaths occur off-screen and there is very little overt cinematic violence.  The acting is average, but by no means horrible.  Overall, this isn’t a bad little film, especially if you hate the crap that is the Twilight series.  I’d much rather watch some filmmakers having fun and being creative than to watch Kristen Stewart fumble around the screen looking like she needs a good bowel movement.  All Twilight-haters rally around Blood Red Moon!

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