For the record: tempestuous name-dropping doesn't amount to philosophy just as casual bomb dropping challenged here won't add up to strategy. Wish Ferrara did what Kafka had attempted in Metamorphosis and Painlevé in underwater docs: recreate another species' Umwelt not through the lens of human Umgebung, our so-called objective space we impose scruplelessly upon all the rest, but from the changing alter-human angle.
At face-value, the turning-vampire being a philosophy student is as obtuse and pseudo-intellectual as its quote-unquote witty idea. The digressions are forced in themes as much as its didacticism is freshman-year in its discourse. It wasn't until I realized that it's actually vamping on the sad presumption that higher academia alone means surefire success and greater understanding, that I loved it as a work of art.
We get it, vampirism as a metaphor for addiction, nice. Ferrara establishes the metaphor and has no clue of where to go from there so, after that it's a rather dull, repetitive affair. If this was all he had he should have gone for a short, this would have been brilliant as a short.
Ferrara beats the audience over the head with his vampirism as drug addiction analogy until it no longer seems intelligent and instead becomes rather dull. The difficulty here is this; after establishing the central metaphor, Ferrara & writer Nicholas St. John have no idea where to take it. While beautifully filmed & performed, the end result feels academic; its philosophical musings obvious to the point of cliché.
The visuals evoke Tourneur and Lewton with a style so pure and suggestive it becomes a mesmerizing experience. St. John's screenplay struggles with some of the dialog but the acting and characterizations more than make up for it. Anabella Sciorra is fantastic as the sultry vampiress, and Lili owns the role. Walken's cameo is impressive as well. A fantastic, very sensual experience overall.
The rap music dates it, and often seemed unnecessary, like Ferrara was trying too hard to be 'gritty' and 'street', but it is a unique and strange film that really is a one of a kind experience, and further evidence that he really needs a good writer to make his best films.
I'd recommend fans to check out the German dvd released by Art Haus. It's not perfect but it's good enough(for now)
Abel Ferrara want to looks great and thinks this : "hew, how about this : A vampire film for intellectual minds. sounds great eh? Just throw quotes from all the worlds famous philosopher, and this film could be awesome !". And daradumb dum . the result is this boring vampire film