Monday 21 January 2019

Crucible of the Vampire

d. Iain Ross-McNamee; w. Iain Ross-McNamee, Darren Lake, John Wolskel; p. Amanda Murray; cast: Katie Goldfinch, Neil Morrissey, Brian Croucher, Larry Rew, Babette Barat, Angela Carter, Lisa Martin, Phil Hemming, John Stirling

Enjoyable gothic potboiler of the sort they don’t make anymore, from the director and producer of The Singing Bird Will Come. Assistant curator Isabelle (Goldfinch, who is startlingly good) is despatched to a country house where building work has uncovered half a cauldron, apparently the missing 50% of one held in her university’s collection. In a monochrome 17th century prologue we saw this cleaved in two by witchfinder John Sterne. The resident family – dad, mum and adult daughter who couldn’t more obviously be a lesbian vampire if her name was an anagram of Carmilla – are all creepy, gradually transforming from eccentric into dangerous. With Morrissey as the expository gardener, 29 years after he bought a vampire motorcycle (also written by Wolskel!) and Croucher in the prologue as the cauldron’s original owner. Filmed in Shropshire in September 2016, this had a single screening in January 2017. In May 2018 Ross-McNamee edited frame-grabs into a photonovel.

Crucible of the Vampire hits cinemas on 1 February, and arrives on Dual Edition (Blu-ray & DVD) and Digital on 4 February.

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