tribades-posterIt’s Friday night at Comicon 2016 and i’m already buckling under the peer pressure. ‘Jaws’ is screening at exactly the same time as an east coast indie that I really want to see; ‘Blood Of The Tribades’ directed by Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein. Screenwriter Carl Gottlieb will be in attendance to introduce ‘Jaws’ and I feel my commitment to independent film severely wavering. With great reluctance I make my choice and take a seat in the last row just as Mr. Gottlieb admonishes the audience that no one may leave the theater unless it is a restroom emergency! The film begins and ASU film instructor Joe Fortunato wastes no time deconstructing every scene. But as I watch, the Sirens of indie beckon me. I must depart and experience the other movie, for my commitment to low budget cinema is too great, my dedication to these unappreciated filmmakers is too strong, and I’ve already seen this movie what, like 10 times? I bail and make a beeline for the next screening room when who do I see in the lobby? Mr. Jaws screenwriter himself, Carl Gottlieb chillin’ out front and getting friendly with the cosplayers! I guess we both made the right choice.

The vampire lord Bathor that once ruled the village of Bathory has been gone for 2000 years. Under Bathor, all of the vampires used to get along, but now the male vampires have banded together under the violently misogynistic Grando (Seth Chatfield) and are bent on eliminating every female vampire in the land. Based on their interpretation of the gospels of Bathor, the women of Bathory have caused the men to lust and become distracted from their vampirely duties. In the confusion of Bathor’s long absence, ancient scriptures are misinterpreted and adjusted by the psychotic cult of men, and now sexual preference beyond that of heterosexuality is shunned. In the ensuing ages, the lady blood suckers have become complacent, bored and downright goofy. Their ancient ways and language have been forgotten, so they spend most of their time drinking (delivered!) blood and swimming naked. The three Redenphites call the ladies to a meeting and advise that resistablood-of-the-tribades-primary-sequence-04_30_57_17-still012nce is futile, ordering them to stand down against Grando and his henchmen. The ladies gathered pshaw the whole affair and get downright catty, dissing the red-head honchos about their hair color while two giggling hemoglobin guzzlers want to ditch out on the meeting and go skinny dipping. The lovely Fantine (Mary Widow) voices her dissent and is shut down by Big Red, but she meets the equally lithe Élisabeth (Chloé Cunha) and they hook up, taking moonlit walks in the cemetery while bonding over their ancient history. Meanwhile, the two bored girls from the meeting doff their duds and frolic in a lake, becoming easy targets for Grando’s men. A duo of banished, antique collecting ninja fighters witness the slaughter and decide to intervene. Despite their hard feelings towards the Nephites, Giltine (Sindy Katrotic) and Naga (Simone de Boudoir) agree to guide the women of Bathory to safety and help them recover their lost culture and history. But the journey will be fraught with many hardships; including traitors, ancient prophecies, BDSM, Kung-Fu fighting lesbians and monkey-spanking assassins.

bott1The filmmaking team of Sophia Cacciolla and Michael J Epstein absolutely LOVE their sexy 70’s vampire lesbian horror films and faithfully bring every gothic image and sultry nuance of this genre’ to the screen. ‘Tribades’ gets most of it’s influence from French horror filmmaker and author; Jean Rollin and his decades of exploitation vampire films. While I have enjoyed 70’s softcore Hammer horror for many years, I was unfamiliar with Rollin until getting up to speed for this film. And this is where ‘Tribades’ wins, and wins big. Unlike some other ‘influenced by’ elitist indies I’ve seen lately (in which your’re either on board or that’s just your damage), ‘Tribades’ shares their inspiration with everybody, seasoned vet or first time viewer. The style is merely a theme, a reference point to help keep the story moving while the filmmakers create their own colorful, moody palette of solarized psychedelics and misty apricity.

bott2‘Tribades’ still has plenty of the goofy, low budget, accidentally anachronistic, eyeball rolling forehead slappers you’ll find in any low budget horror film. But I believe this actually all works to the film’s advantage. The lush, moss covered stone edifices of Massachusetts appear on screen like a truly mysterious netherworld. The painstaking detail the filmmakers have gone to in order to find exactly what they were looking for in this film yields many tasty returns. The cast is more than on board for this project; comprised mainly of fetish artists and burlesque dancers, they are camp when campy is called for, unabashed and exotic when filmically felicitous. When it comes to the full frontal nudity, ‘Tribades’ does not discriminate, and much like it’s early 70’s inspirations, the guys and the girls share equal screen time dropping trou.

The story ‘Blood Of The Tribades’ tells is somewhat complex but is certainly not complicated. ‘Tribades’ takes on today’s stormy political climate, religious zealotry and gender issues, and incorporates them into a sexy medieval vampire movie 12764487_234267536916924_3119354447290166069_othat not only adds relevancy to the story, but presents it all in an extreme, absurd theatre of the bizarre. Usually when a low budget indie burns the candelabra at so many ends all you’re left with (if you’re lucky) is a blob of indiscernible wax. What you usually get is your average indie train wreck. ‘Blood Of The Tribades’ delivers a smart and beautiful film that makes it’s point despite it’s meager resources. Never riding high on a sociopolitical soapbox, nor mired in its desire to emulate, ‘Blood Of The Tribades’ is a fun, low budget horror that entertains and inspires. Be sure to catch ‘Blood Of The Tribades’ while it continues it’s festival run through the end of the year.

  • Blood Of The Tribades

Summary

A modern take on 70s Euro arthouse and Hammer lesbian vampire movies.

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