Synopsis by Cavett Binion
Director Abel Ferrara applies his eccentric vision to the vampire genre with this cerebral "Art" film about graduate philosophy student Kathleen Conklin (Lili Taylor), who is bitten by an aggressive female vampire (Annabella Sciorra) and soon spirals into a nightmarish world of blood addiction and existential angst. Driven by her merciless condition, she attacks several of her pretentious friends and classmates (even her professor) and mainlines their blood like heroin. Just as she becomes more bold in seeking prey on the streets of New York, she is waylaid by a potential victim -- actually a sophisticated vampire himself named Peina (Christopher Walken), who chooses to control his own blood addiction through fasting and meditation. Seeming to regain her self-control, she eventually completes her graduate thesis (helped by a bit of vampire nepotism) and holds a party to celebrate, inviting the entire faculty as well as members of her new "family" to join in the festivities. Although the parallels to heroin addiction are in plain view, this is also a study in the essential evil of humankind -- a theme evident in much of Ferrara's work.
vampire, addiction, blood, bloodsucker, control, philosophy, student, symbolism, thesis, transformation, victim, massacre, redemption, meaning-of-life, rehabilitation [detox], revenge