Nuptials Of Dracula
2019, Dir. Matheus Marchetti
Reviewed By David Sodergren
As I mentioned in my review of Ritual of Death (KR: Which you can read HERE), Brazil is not particularly well-known for its horror film output, with the main exception being José Mojica Marins, aka the loveable Coffin Joe.
Today, I’m going to take a look at a brand new Brazilian horror film, the arthouse horror As Núpcias de Drácula (Nuptials of Dracula).
I first became aware of director Matheus Marchetti over on Twitter, where he posted that his short film, Garden of the Sleepwalkers, was available on YouTube. It was described as a “gothic gay musical romance”, and the description was entirely apt. I was enamoured with the surreal beauty of the twenty-minute film, and had to see more.
Marchetti’s feature-length follow-up is a sensual retelling of Stoker’s Dracula, with the homosexual subtext brought to the forefront. It’s worth noting right away that this is a very experimental feature — the plotting is loose, dreamlike, beguiling, and much of the dialogue is told in voiceover in a way that occasionally reminded me of some of Jess Franco’s films, like Venus in Furs (1968).
In fact, the Eurohorror vibes are incredibly strong here, in both theme and look. From the stunning rocky vistas that bookend the film, to the candy-coloured lighting and powerful, erotic imagery, the shadow of French horror pioneer Jean Rollin looms large, and that is always a good thing.
There are hints of Mario Bava at play too, with regards to the lighting and special effects, which employ delightfully old-fashioned camera tricks like superimposition, paintings, and the shadows of the actors. In a way, it reminded me of the resolutely old-school approach that Francis Ford Coppola took when making his own version of Dracula, albeit with a budget probably one million times the amount Marchetti is working with.
The music also harkens back to the glory days of European horror and exploitation cinema, with classical pieces butting heads with Goblin-esque prog rock.
It’s hard to judge performances when much of the dialogue is subtitled voiceover, but the actors all acquit themselves well, particularly Daniel Simioni as Dracula, young and handsome, but with body language that reminds me of Max Shreck’s iconic performance as Count Orlok in Nosferatu.
Fans of the likes of Rollin, Bava, and Franco should seek Nuptials of Dracula out when it is released (it’s currently playing festivals). Many non-believers will find the languorous pace off-putting, but that’s okay. It feels like Marchetti is making the film that he wants to make, and if anyone else enjoys it, then that’s a bonus.
David Sodergren lives in Scotland with his wife Heather and his best friend, Boris the Pug.
Growing up, he was the kind of kid who collected rubber skeletons and lived for horror movies.
Not much has changed since then.
His first novel, The Forgotten Island, was published on October 1st 2018. This was followed by Night Shoot, a brutal throwback to the early 80s slasher movie cycle, in May 2019.
2020 will be Sodergren’s biggest year yet, with two new horror novels being published. Dead Girl Blues is a slasher-noir mystery, and it will be followed by a return to full-blown supernatural horror before the end of the year.
You can follow David on Twitter @paperbacksnpugs
To find out more about David please visit his official website www.paperbacksandpugs.wordpress.com
Find David on Instagram here
Dead Girl Blues
When a young woman dies in Willow Zulawski’s arms, it sets in motion a chain of events that will push her to the brink of madness.
A mysterious video is the only clue, but as Willow digs deeper into the murky world of snuff movies, those closest to her start turning up dead. Someone out there will stop at nothing to silence her.
After all, when killing is business, what’s one more dead body?
Part noir mystery, part violent slasher, Dead Girl Blues is the latest twisted shocker from David Sodergren, author of The Forgotten Island and Night Shoot.
The Forgotten Island
When Ana Logan agrees to go on holiday to Thailand with her estranged sister Rachel, she hopes it will be a way for them to reconnect after years of drifting apart.
But now, stranded on a seemingly deserted island paradise with no radio and no food, reconciliation becomes a desperate fight for survival.
For when night falls on The Forgotten Island, the dark secrets of the jungle reveal themselves.
Something is watching them from the trees.
You can read the Kendall Review for The Forgotten Island HERE
A group of desperate student filmmakers break into Crawford Manor for an unauthorised night shoot. They have no choice. Their lead actress has quit. They’re out of time. They’re out of money.
They’re out of luck.
For Crawford Manor has a past that won’t stay dead, and the crew are about to come face-to-face with the hideous secret that stalks the halls.
Will anyone survive…the NIGHT SHOOT?
A delirious homage to the slasher movies of the 1980s, Night Shoot delivers page after page of white-knuckle terror.
You can read the Kendall Review for Night Shoot HERE