Horror, Vampire

Lilith, A Vampire Who Comes Back (2008)

Comments Off on Lilith, A Vampire Who Comes Back (2008) 24 October 2015

Lemurs_c

Distributed By: One 7 Movies

DVD Release: May 12, 2015

Director: Gianni Virgadaula

Rating: Not Rated

Reviewed By James M. Dubs

I’ll watch anything…including Lilith, a Vampire Who Comes Back.

What is it that drives humankind to mimic and recreate things from our past? Why is our drive for nostalgia so palpable that we create art, especially films, in an attempt to capture the essence of an era long gone? As time passes, filmmakers look backwards and nearly every decade has been represented with a throwback film. The Artist (2011) won five Academy Awards (including Best Picture) for pretending to be a silent movie from the 1920s-30s. Black Dynamite (2009) near perfectly exemplified the insanity of the 1970s blacksploitation genre. More recently films like Turbo Kid (2015), Kung Fury (2015), and The Final Girls (2015) have lit the neon lights, sharpened machetes, and drawn inspiration from the excesses of the 1980s.

The aforementioned list of films represents a very successful offering of these throwbacks, but hidden in home video world there are many, many, many misfires, and “misfire” is my way of just being polite. I’ve reviewed a few “misfires” on this site. In the case of this review, the Italian import from 2008, Lemuri – Il bacio di Lilith (translated Lemurs, A Kiss From Lilith) attempts to carry itself as an authentic 1920s silent horror film in the vain of Nosferatu (1922) or Phantom of the Opera (1925). Can it successfully shroud itself as the real thing or will it come across as some cheap copy?

Film Rating: ★★½☆☆

LemursBaron Ludwig Von Reder, descendant of a wealthy family that owns the fictional Italian village “Quarter Tower of Wolves,” mourns the death of his wife, Lusilla Helm. As Ludwig generally mopes around the village we are introduced to Mayor Gustav Koenig and his 17-year-old daughter Astrid. It is clear from the outset that the Mayor and Astrid are positioning the young girl to take her position in the local commonwealth as Ludwig’s future wife. Meanwhile Ludwig’s servant Balduin has an affinity for luring young naive girls and murdering and robbing them. Coincidentally children are also disappearing from the village and Ludwig soon discovers strange letters that may tie his late wife’s lineage to the local legend of Lilith, a woman accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake.

From a technical standpoint, the film looks authentic enough that it could almost pass as a 1920s film. The characters look and act in a style reminiscent of the time and the general tone and pace feels correct. There are only a handful of moments where the illusion cracks, either due to technology or poor art direction choices. The production could have also benefited from a title slide proofreader as there are many typos in the dialogue slides. Depending on your mood this may or may not hamper the experience.

Lemurs3The plot is paper thin and Gianni Virgadaula pads the 82 minute run time with a series of flashbacks and exposition to prevent the film from completely dragging. However in short, the filmmakers seem more focused on creating an authentic aesthetic experience than a completely entertaining one. To be clear, the story is good enough and certainly better than a lot of others I’ve seen, but this story has been told before and better. Ultimately, one has to wonder why watch a film that mostly succeeds on a technical level but on the story level leaves an audience feeling lukewarm.

Video & Audio Rating: ★★★☆☆

Lemurs4What can I say? The image is intentionally distressed to look like a film print discovered deep in a film vault. It’s supposed to so in that regard it greatly succeeds. My one criticism is the aspect ratio. At 1.77:1 the image is much too wide to represent the technology in the 1920s. An image ratio anywhere between 1.20:1 to 1.33:1 would have been more accurate.

Because this is a “silent” picture musical accompaniment makes up all of the necessary audio. The music is another area that slightly breaks the illusion as it sounds a little bit “modern synth” but ultimately does the job.

Extras Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

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  • Trailer
  • Photo Gallery

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Lemurs7Ultimately I was pleasantly surprised by Lemuri – Il bacio di Lilith. There were only a couple of moments where the film didn’t feel completely convincing enough to pull off the illusion of hailing from the early 1900s, but the positives certainly outweigh the negatives. This is not a movie for the masses and only those who appreciate the art and scope of 1920s horror cinema may fully appreciate what Gianni Virgadaula and team have pulled off. For everyone else, if you find Nosferatu (1922) or Phantom of the Opera (1925) boring, don’t even bother with this one.

Author

- who has written 64 posts on UnRated Film Review Magazine | Movie Reviews, Interviews.

James Dubs is a father and husband who loves his family first and movies a close second. He believes every movie is worth watching once and, as a film fan and critic, believes that even the worst movies offer something in return. His mission is to watch anything and report without pretension. Follow James Dubs on Twitter and send him suggestions on movies you would like reviewed - popular, obscure, independent, etc. He'll watch anything for you.

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