Thursday, 2 August 2012

She Lives by Night

"She Lives by Night" (2001, Brett Hull, Trax Productions) is about a beautiful vampire woman who gets amnesia and forgets who and what she is.

Angela (Liliana Cabal) is a vampire vixen doing her nightly rounds of flirting with, and then killing, stupid men who think more with their sexual organs than their brains, when she is accidentally knocked down by Roger (John Woodhouse) on his way home from work. The force of the crash should have killed her, or at least damaged her stylish high heels, but she is pretty much unscathed, except for forgetting who she is. Roger, fearing for the poor woman, and because she refuses to seek any medical help, talks Angela into at least spending the night at his home. Or several nights....

Pretty soon Roger, who had up until this point made a point of avoiding serious relationships and limiting himself only to meaningless one night stands, finds that he and this mysterious woman have some chemistry and soon the pair are falling in love.

Angela has some flaws, though. She still can't remember much about herself and can't shake a horrid feeling that she has some "skeletons in the closet". She suffers mood swings and can't stand sunlight. She sleeps most of the day and is restless at night. She has bad dreams. She wont eat Roger's proudly served bolognase, and most of all, she begins to feel crappy. Plus, she hates wine! What's up with that?!

A chance encounter with a cut finger ignites Angela's instincts and soon she finds she must prey on Roger's nearest and dearest, as she cannot bring herself to feast on her lover.

Naturally, Roger notices this and discovers that the only woman he has ever truly loved is a vampire and a murderer.

Is that not a beautiful plot?! What a shame the film had so little budget to fully realise that plot's potential!

It's not a terrible movie though, by any means. The acting is fine, not oscar worthy, but excellent for this type of film. The main issue is that the film is very quiet, very slow paced and with some poor quality recording. The special effects are moderate, but I had never expected this film to be gory, anyway. The whole feeling of the film is quiet and tense. You keep expecting poor Roger to catch on, or for Angela to lose control and kill him.

Roger's friends and his life are a bit dull, and by the end when he's given a choice between vampirism or to stay human, I'm left thinking he took the wrong option!

Liliana Cabal gives an excellent and eloquent performance as the confused young woman and also as the predator. Not to mention there's something very Rose McGowan about her. She has a very expressive face and acts more with her features than her voice. Which is perfect for the role, as what can a vampire really say when they can't remember that they're a vampire?

John Woodhouse has a nice voice. Unlike most B-movie performances he has an expressive voice and his performance doesn't seem wooden. I appreciate this.

All in all, this film suffers from being quiet and having a small budget, but the story is compelling and the end is sad. Give it a chance, it deserves your appreciation!

Strange for a vampire to wear a cross, though, isn't it?
[Pictures: Trax Productions]