Starz Inside: Bloodsucking Cinema
Hosted By: Richard Roeper
Featuring: John Carpenter, John Landis, Leonard Maltin, Harry Knowles, Cheech Marin, Stewart Townsend, Len Wiseman, Joel Schumacher, Uwe Boll, Corey Haim, Kristanna Loken
Premieres: Friday, October 26th at 8:00 pm on Starz
Is Dracula your favorite movie? Buffy your favorite TV show? Do you debate the relative hotness of the BloodRayne vampires versus those in Queen of the Damned? If so, then this is the special for you. If those things don’t apply to you, but you think vampires are kind of cool, then the first half-hour of this special is for you.
Bloodsucking Cinema is part of a new monthly series called Starz Inside. “Hosted” by film critic Richard Roeper (I put “hosted” in quotes because he shows up for roughly five seconds in the beginning, never to be seen again) Bloodsucking Cinema discusses the historical origins of the Dracula tales and their lasting effect on film. Featuring clips from several vampire films, including the original Dracula, The Lost Boys, From Dusk Till Dawn and Underworld, Bloodsucking Cinema is a treasure trove of prosthetics and trivia.
In discussing the lasting allure of vampire films, the interviewees, who include Cheech Marin, Harry Knowles and John Carpenter, basically come to the same conclusion: naked boobs. Vampire films have often featured a mix of sex and violence, and as Marin points out, Mexican vampire films, especially those from the 50s through the 70s, feature female vampires with heaving bosoms clad in low-cut dresses that often end up on the floor. But regardless of where they come from, vampire films, more than any other monster movies, lend themselves to sex and nudity.
As I fall into the “thinking vampires are kind of cool” category, I enjoyed Bloodsucking Cinema, but it was a little too long and in-depth to completely hold my attention. I did, however, enjoy a lot of the trivia tidbits. For instance, when Bela Lugosi was making the original Dracula in 1931, Universal simultaneously filmed the same movie in different languages. Lugosi would film during the day, and when they left at night, the cast and crew for the Mexican version would come in and film on the same set.
If you already have Starz, Bloodsucking Cinema is worth checking out. Even if you’re not wild about vampires, it will help you get into the Halloween spirit. However, the 24-hour horror movie marathon that the special kicks off probably makes ordering the premium channel worth it—at least for that day.