BLOOD OF THE TRIBADES (2016)
Starring Chloe Cunha, Mary Widow and Seth Chatfield
Written & Directed by Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein
Out on VOD – 20th January 2017
“2000 years after the great vampire Bathor established the village of Bathory, superstition and religious violence take over as the men and women battle for control. When the men are afflicted with a mysterious illness, they become certain that the vampire women of Bathory are responsible for their ills, and thus the hunt begins. Long forgotten lovers Elisabeth and Fantine find that, with the help of those who were banished, it is their fate to piece together the past and help preserve what little of their society remains before Bathor’s impending return and judgement”.
Blood of the Tribades may wear its influences on its sleeve, but it still manages to be its own beast. Harking back to the soft core vampiric lesbianism of Jean Rollin and Jess Franco, Blood of the Tribades is chock full of erotica and regular nudity from both the female protagonists and male antagonists. But in a surprising twist, it all actually seems to not only matter but make sense in this completely original world.
For their third feature film, Boston husband and wife filmmaker/musician team Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein have crafted an atmospheric yet tongue in cheek love letter to the gothic horror of the past. Working with a next to no budget, the duo have made their limitations work for them. Filmed in a contained forest location in Massachusetts, the film is visually beautiful. Stark colours and lighting, and authentic location work really heighten the gothic feel.
By hiring a game but inexperienced cast, they have managed to sincerely replicate that strange European feel of the films that inspired it, with over and under acting exploited to almost genius effect. Many of the cast come from a Burlesque background and this really helps, with their dedication to the themes of sexuality and freedom overcoming their lack of acting skill and experience.
The soundtrack also adds to the offbeat feel, with awkward transitions between scenes that again stylistically reflects the vampire skin flicks of the seventies. And it’s also pretty sweet on its own merits too.
If you’re looking for story then you’re in the wrong place. Complex narratives and characters do not belong in this particular sub genre. Rather, everything is based on mood, atmosphere and sensuality, with copious lashings of the red stuff.
Rough around the edges but containing some genuinely interesting ideas, such as vampirism as a religion and a provocative treatment of sexuality and feminism, Blood of the Tribades is a fun, cheeky and admirable low budget erotic horror.