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