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Kiss of the Damned [Blu-ray] [Import]

 R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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4.0 out of 5 stars The romance of the night Feb. 23 2014
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Ever since Anne Rice's first novel came out, vampires have become creatures of elegance and romance -- all roses, wine goblets, sensuality and twilit marble mansions.

"Kiss of the Damned" seems to be for those who love such stories of "moral" vampires who live lives of beauty and love, which gives this slow-moving character drama a dreamlike quality. Director Xan Cassavetes has created a truly lovely piece of work, misted over with half-light and soft voices, but the denouement definitely leaves something to be desired.

Young screenwriter Paolo (Milo Ventimiglia) meets a beautiful, exotic woman named Djuna (Josephine de La Baume), and instantly falls in love with her. At first, she seems shy of getting too intimate, and soon reveals why -- she's actually a vampire. But when they sleep together, she ends up drinking his blood and turning him into a vampire.

Paolo quickly moves in with Djuna, and the two of them begin a moonlit romance that can last for all of eternity. But then Djuna's sister Mimi (Roxane Mesquida) comes to stay with them for a week -- and her mind games and reckless blood-drinking throw their lives into turmoil. As Djuna introduces Paolo to the local circle of vampires, led by the actress Xenia (Anna Mouglalis), Mimi begins destroying their romance.

In many ways, "Kiss of the Damned" is a rather cliched vampire romance -- a vampire loves a mortal so much that she turns him so they can be together forever. Some lip service is paid to how awful it is to be rich, hot and immortal, but there aren't a lot of real problems. And oh yeah, the admirable vampires abstain from human blood.

But Xan Cassavetes wrings every last drop of sensuality from her movie.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kiss of the Damned April 2 2013
By Graham Swearingen - Published on Amazon.com
Kiss of the Damned pays homage to Italian horror cinema and Hammer Horror films of the 1970's, minus a lot of the cheesy qualities that plagued some of those films, most of which were due to budget restraints. This film doesn't boast a huge budget either, but clearly director Alexandra "Xan" Cassavetes knows how to effectively spend that small budget. No doubt her famous families background in cinema has given her the necessary tools to be a talented director in her own right. Her brother Nick Cassavetes directed Alpha Dog and the Notebook, her father was Guy Woodhouse in Rosemary's Baby, and she has previously made a documentary, but her Silver Screen directorial debut is impressive.

Albeit a vampire movie, it is a quintessential vampire movie, sticking to the traditional mythos that horror fans have come to expect. None of this Twilight nonsense of sparkling in daylight and playing baseball. Kiss of the Damned vampires are brooding, sad and sexy. This films oozes sexuality, as it should. In sticking to the source material of Bram Stoker's Dracula, vampire stories should be a love story at the core, sensual, provocative, intense, sad and dark. This movie is all of those things, so in regards to being a traditional vampire story , it is one. Some may be displeased that this story doesn't push the envelope or tell a story we haven't really seen before, I personally don't mind. Vampires aren't real, you can really only do so much with vampire stories and they have kind of all been done already.

Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes, Rocky Balboa) as Paolo gives a strong performance as he usually does, and has great chemistry with the female lead Josephine de La Baume as Djuna (Johnny English Reborn, Boogie Woogie). She is incredibly sexy, and plays a very provocative and enticing mistress of the dark. The relationship between the two is magnetic and enjoyable to watch. Roxane Mesquida (Rubber, The Last Mistress) as Mimi is an excellent complication for these two and their new found love for one another. The movie as a whole is enjoyable to watch (if you like hot female nudity and bloody gore, this is the best I've seen in a vampire movie in awhile, rivaling maybe only the HBO series True Blood) especially because of the superb Cinematography. Tobias Datum (with a long list of credits, this being his biggest feature to date) does an immaculate job setting up shot compositions and executing technical skill that most American movies lack. This movie looks foreign and old, only in the sense of camera movement. There are forced zooms and push ins that haven't really been utilized in cinema since the `70's that work brilliantly in this film. If I believed in the Oscars bulls***, Tobias should be nominated for best Cinematographer. The soundtrack for this movie is great as well. I was very pleased that the songs used in the trailer for this movie are actually in the film as well, which is rarely done. "Wucan" by Black Mountain is the most prominent song in the trailer and is displayed in a cool way in the film. Most aspects of this film work really well and are a welcome refreshment from a genre that has been plagued with too many failures in the last decade.

If you like Hammer Horror films, traditional vampire films, True Blood, hot female nudity, and intense love stories with a bumpy road ahead of them, this is something you'll most likely enjoy. I have to note that I think some people may have a problem with the frenetic editing and somewhat slow pacing. Like I said, this feels like a foreign film, no fast paced action or quick moving story that beats one over the head. Perhaps that for me, is part of the charm of this movie. And I don't doubt that some will have a problem with the denouement, but I liked it, and you may too. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Damned Awesome April 27 2013
By lazytime - Published on Amazon.com
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I saw a trailer for this in a theater and turned to my friend and said, "This looks awful, but I would totally watch it." Then I found out it was written and directed by a daughter of John Cassavetes and it was available on demand, so I was intrigued and took a chance. Definitely the best vampire movie I've seen in a long time, stylish and less goofy than the trailer suggests. Retro and smart, glamorous and gritty, very satisfying.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kiss of the Damned on Blu-ray Jan. 31 2014
By MacheteJason - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
Kiss of the Damned is a dark vampire movie where the vampire Djuna resists the advances of Paolo but soon gives in to their passion. The picture and audio quality are great in this release. There is 30 minutes of total bonus content plus an audio commentary.

Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 | Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio Formats: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Subtitles/Captions: English, Spanish
Special Features: Audio Commentary, Interviews, Trailers

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Horror Trunk Review:Pucker Up Dracula April 18 2013
By www.horrortrunk.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Kiss of the Damned presents a Gothic romantic film that is nostalgic of classic vampire themes. The camera captures the essence of the hauntingly beautiful and separate world of the mystic vampires. The film showcases colour in a dreamy and melancholy atmosphere, from the intimate close up shots of lust and violence, to the isolated and sprawling landscape shot at twilight.

Kiss of the Damned is best described as a romantic thriller rather than a horror, as the bloodshed is pretty tame. The film uses a mixture of 70's European music and classical, creating stylised and cultured vampires who are forever suspended in a timeless vault of isolation and immortality.

A `homage' to vampire films of the 60's and 70's that captures the freedom and erotica of vampirism, without the moral arguments or judgements. Kiss of the Damned is a luscious canvas of colour and raw sexual desire, with some blood splattered scenes included for good measure. A simple storyline that would have benefited from building more complex characters and creating a less structured plot to ensure a lasting impression. An arty and poetic take on the creature of the night, expect more `The Hunger' than `Twilight', this however is not a negative comparison.

They dispense kisses...especially pecks on the neck...

[...]
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In Depth Take on a Worn Subject Sept. 12 2013
By Eric Sanberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I'm continually amazed how a subject which you think has no more gas left in the tank has new life breathed into it.

Here's the scoop. A screenwriter (Milo Ventmiglia) falls for a gal (Josephine de la Baume) who turns out to be a vampire. He finds this out but allows her to "turn" him because he's so in love with her. Her sister (also a vampire) arrives at the home and throws everything up for grabs.

Many have called this an homage to the 70's vampire flicks. Other than some cheesy, Euro sounding music from that period, I found this much better than what Hammer and like-minded studios were pushing back then. This is better all the way around. Certainly tech oriented aspects of film making have improved over the decades, so this looks a lot better than its predecessors. But the writing is much better as well. This digs deeper to the heart of what it's like to be a vampire in a human's world. There is even a rather philosophical discussion to that effect during one of the parties. Then there's sis, the loose cannon. The vampire community cannot afford to have someone like her running loose and killing at will. Her actions could destroy them in a heartbeat were she to draw too much attention. Then there's the acting. All the primary characters do a fine job. You build up sympathy for the two principals because they are genuinely in love. One odd note was the appearance of Michael Rapaport. He has nearly no screen time. How is it he's in this film? But I like him and he adds the weird Michael Rapaport 'thing' to the proceedings. But this is a very good effort overall.

I have a few years under my belt and have seen my share of vampire flicks. Too many of them offer up nothing new. So when something like this comes along, that whacks up the side of my head with a curve ball, it's well worth seeing.
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