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 On-again-off-again couple, Lizbeth (Jitzel Galicia) and Javier (Ernesto Salinas) are back together, this time with a baby on the way. Unfortunately, Javier's eyes soon start to wander, either by vampire magic or by his historical unfaithfulness (or both). His gaze lands on the pale, mysterious Alani (Ana Paulina Martinez), especially after a brief but heavy meet-up in a bar bathroom. Fatefully, Alani has some relationship woes herself because she is getting sick of the same old sucky-sucky with her long (long)-time vampire-mate Gabriel (Guillermo Zapata) and wants to have a child. Acting in kind, Gabriel swoops in on Lizbeth and her friends with his odd pick-up routine of possible mind reading and sexual innuendo. This ordeal all comes to a head in an extra awkward dinner with a menu that includes a passive-aggressive love triangle, a threesome, and bloody homicide.

Violent Delights' dreamy storytelling gives us greasy, romantic strain with angry baby-momma drama and gooey horror, each in hallucinatory, distinct servings. Troubled couples and their expiration dates play a big part in the plentiful discussions contained in every other scene. Sometimes this happens when someone is about to be "fed" on, but it usually leads to some romantic thrusting. A thick air of melodrama makes the whole thing smell like a soap opera but with more vampirism and tits. Ninety percent of the film depicts broken down relationships and the depressing aspects of love with sprinkles of boilerplate sleazy vampire activities. We have a quietly damaged bond of a bored, unhappy couple awaiting a child in one corner, in another, some vampire goth-kinksters wondering if life can be something more than just doing freaky shit all the time. Although it opens up more as the story moves along, the vampires, their lore, and powers are subtle, leaving the worldbuilding open to the viewer. The biggest hint about how fucked up things will get (eventually) is Gabriel, who is always creepy. He is wearing little more than a thin silk shirt for a hearty slice of the film, and his pick-up lines seem engineered to make you feel unclean. Thus, he is also the most prominent contributor to a type of vamp magnetism involved.

There is a hint of classic euro-sleaze, but the film plants its mood firmly in the realm of softcore porn. This is not a complaint, just a warning. Like the movie's on-screen ghouls, the dry erotica has an inexplicable draw to it, commanding attention. While it doesn't come through in every aspect, much of what materializes has a Jean Rollin and Jess Franco spirit to it. This Franco tributing is especially strong during an on-stage act of kinky theatre that plays out in its entirety. The blur of similar vibes and repeated talking points becomes almost meditative...until abruptly, drastically, the mood flips. My penchant for big chunks of sappy nudie-drama had me nearly invested when, out of nowhere, shit jumps into dark places both visually and storywise.  Not to ruin any surprises, but the whole romantic back and forth goes out the window within the last fifteen minutes. Up to that point, there is a variety of nudity and arguments, but the plot drops all its stakes for gooey sadistic horror. It is lopsided, but the drop into carnage feels like a calculated break for violence. A Lot of the first two-thirds is washed away in those last moments; in their place, however, are satisfyingly gruesome acts of passion. Overall, both the nearly full-length softcore vampire movie and the fifteen minutes of gore-cinema are equal in enjoyment, for entirely different reasons. 

Violent Delights AKA Beber De Tu Sangre AKA To Drink Your Blood is all about its blush shading, hanging out in and around beds, and dispensing gore whenever it desires. To the credit of promiscuous vamps everywhere, the film's choices are mysteriously intentional, utilizing quality low budget practical work, passionate care, and unique style. There is heavy use of pink, accomplished with on-set lighting, enough to make it seem like an alternative universe where every halogen bulb uses the tint. Only a handful of locations are employed, and about half have a bed in them. The minimalist soundtrack is a mix of TV-style mood chords and background noise, including an often heard train going by in multiple locations. For a while, those are the recurring aesthetics, pink places with trains nearby and bedrooms for lovemaking. 

You know someone is a vampire in this movie because they are essentially naked and painted white. This makeup fluctuates (especially on Gabriel) throughout the film and makes me feel like I  missed details about their affliction in regards to pigment.  Awesome rotting flesh practicals make way for the surprisingly gory finale. The effect was my favorite included.  It's not the most morbid thing portrayed, but I love a loose melting human suit done right. The eventual monster looks like a cross between Ivan Ooze from Power Rangers and the results of Himalayan yogurt's from Slime City (1988). To satisfy its sudden blood lust, it deploys a rapid-fire series of gruesome acts in a matter of minutes. To avoid spoilers, I won't go into detail, but it ends with some gut-wrenching infanticide and fresh necrophilia. No silly twist included--just pure, grim escalation.

Violent Delights is a neon cocktail of emotional baggage, odd sweaty encounters, and psychedelic vampirism finished off with a tragic crimson-stained chaser. It's a tale of erotism somewhere between David DeCoteau and Jean Rollin, told as a drug-induced break-up poem embellished by effective low-budget splatter. Those who can enjoy some softcore cliches and vampy-sap will be rewarded with artful moments and a beefy morsel of gruesome savagery. Since I'm a student of skinemax, euro sleaze, and obscene gore, the whole exposition spoke to me. Though it's often borderline incoherent, the concoction has been made with well-versed attention and care. There is an experimental eye to it with nods to the greats of sexy vampire cinema. With that being said, it doesn't need to connect all the outward dots for it to function. Besides, love is a confusing mess, and it makes sense that it can only get worse if you toss in some immortal, disenchanted bloodsucking swingers.

1h 31min | 2020
Director: Edin Martinez
Writer: Edin Martinez


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