Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blood & Donuts (Canada, 1995)

Amid inner-city decay, Boya, a centuries old vampire--who went into hibernation during the infamous 1969 moon walk--awakens with a fright. Surprised to be once again joining the land of the living, he bares his fangs longing for blood, but fights his nature and instead sinks his teeth into the comically complicated lives of Molly, a sharp-tongued waitress, and Earl, a lovable but street-dumb cabby who is mixed with the mob. It seems amid the scavengers, streetwalkers and strangers of the night, this bloodsucking creature fits right in.

This quirky vampire film is hard to classify; the character-driven story is more comedy than horror, and fans looking for a lot of blood and gore will be sorely disappointed. However, if you're willing to give it a shot, you should be pleasantly surprised.

Rise and shine!
Boya awakens after 25 years, having gone into hibernation on the eve of the famous 1969 moon walk; he was bemused over the event, as if mankind had made a mistake and destroyed one of the last great mysteries of the world. He was close to turning his girlfriend Rita, but he stopped--and then went into hibernation.

This amicable vampire no longer feeds on humans, but dines on rats and pigeons. In search of some fresh liver for a quick bite, he happens across a 24-hour donut shop where he meets Molly, a tough yet charming woman with whom he instantly feels an attraction. She's not taken aback by Boya's quirky nature; she's used to seeing all sorts of outcasts while working the graveyard shift.

One of Molly's regular customers is Earl, a cruller-loving cab driver who's a bit of an odd duck. He's often forced into driving a couple of mobsters around town while they do all sorts of nefarious deeds. When he lets them down--which happens often--they have a tendency to smack him around quite a bit. (Ferreira's performance is very distracting; he slips in and out of an accent that sounds like a poor imitation of Christopher Walken.)

I'll take that Kiwi donut to go...
One night, Boya intervenes to help Earl; he goes full vampire and scares the crap out of the two mobsters. This gives Earl a short reprieve; he ends up staying in Boya's run-down hotel room until the heat dies down. That's when Earl discovers what Boya really is, but that's not the vampire's only problem.

Fiona Reid as Rita
You see, when he arose, his ex-girlfriend Rita--thanks to some sort of psychic connection--realized he had returned. Obsessed with her looks (and doing whatever she can to stem the aging process), she's still mad about not being turned 25 years earlier. After realizing that he still won't turn her, the vindictive woman sets her sights on Molly, whom she believes is going to be granted immortality.

Cronenberg the crime boss
To make matters worse, the local mob boss (played by director David Cronenberg) decides to take matters into his own hands, since his two bumbling cronies can't seem to get the job done.

Boya's having enough trouble just dealing with the new world he finds himself in, and the shy vampire ends up knee deep in the problems of his new friend Earl, and his new love interest Molly.

This quirky vampire film is quite enjoyable, with distinct characters and some smart dialogue (and a great soundtrack). Currie's engaging performance as Boya is the best thing about this movie--I rate it 3.5/5. It has limited availability on VHS and DVD, but as of this writing, it's currently streaming on Netflix in the United States.

Here's some additional screen grabs:

Vampires live forever (if they want to)

J. Winston Carroll as Bernie the donut shop owner

Axel (Hadley Kay) & Pierce (Frank Moore), local thugs

Boya gets caught with a mouth full of pigeon!

Here's the trailer:

  • Director: Holly Dale
  • Writer: Andrew Rai Berzins
  • Cast: Gordon Currie (Boya), Louis Ferreira (Earl), Helene Clarkson (Molly).
  • Links: Amazon | IMDB

Tuesday, June 19, 2012