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RAZOR BLADE SMILE

A vampire babe kills lots of people in this would-be erotic horror actioner from the UK. It could be better.

The Package
     This 1998 film is said to be the best showcase for the talents (both of Ďem) of Eileen Daley, Englandís top horror starlet (see SACRED FLESH, CRADLE OF FEAR and MACHINES OF LOVE AND HATE). It also marked the last film of the British exploitation veteran David Warbeck, who graced grade-B classics like THE LAST HUNTER, THE BEYOND and RAT MAN.

The Story
     Lilith is a vampire seductress currently employed as a hit woman. In this way she can drink peoplesí blood without the anxiety of searching out victims. But sheís begun to notice a strange ring worn by her most recent victims bearing an eyeball in its center.
     A computer nerd colleague fills Lilith in on the significance of the ring: itís worn by members of the Illuminati, an age-old cult that has apparently taken over Englandís criminal underworld. Lilith decides to take on the Illuminati, and packs a buttload of firepower. It turns out the cult stronghold just happens to be the very castle where she was vampirized a century earlier. Plus the cult is led by the same guy who did the deed way back when. Quite a convenient wind-up, you must admit--although with the two principals being vampires, not all is as it seems!

The Direction
     Thereís plenty of action and sex in this R-rated film, but the gore quotient is surprisingly sparse (Iíve heard an unrated version exists, but Iíve not seen it). It has some good moments in the beginning (most notably the way-cool CGI opening credits sequence) but gets bogged down with tacky John Woo-inspired shoot-outs--I thought this was a vampire movie!
     Writer/director Jake West has energy to spare (his other films include EVIL ALIENS and DOGHOUSE), but this film lacks focus. The camerawork and editing are expansive and undisciplined, which can be exhilarating, but more often the effect is one of confusion and irritation; things tend to be covered from every angle but horizontal, meaning we rarely ever get a sense of a locationís proper layout.
     As for Eileen Daly in the lead role, Iím not among those enamored with her. Sheís definitely got screen presence, and looks quite alluringÖfrom certain angles. For the most part I found her not especially sexy, and since a large portion of the filmís story and visuals hinges on Ms. Dalyís fuckability this is no idle concern. Bottom line: if youíre among those who are into her (and there are apparently quite a few who are) then youíll probably enjoy RAZOR BLADE SMILE far more than I did.
 

Vital Statistics

RAZOR BLADE SMILE
Manga Live/Eye Deal Image

Director/Screenwriter/Editor: Jake West
Producers: Jake West, Robert Mercer
Cinematography: James Soaln
Cast: Eileen Daly, Christopher Adamson, Jonathon Coote, Kevin Howarth, David Warbeck, Heidi James, Isabel Brook, Louisa Moore, Grahame Wood, Jennifer Guy, Mark Caven 

     

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