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PARASITE LADY (2023)
Directed & written by Chris Alexander.
Starring Ali Chappell, Arrielle Edwards, Kate Gabriele, Thea Munster
Chris Alexander has released another one of his female vampire films made in the style of Jean Rollin, director of films such as THE LIVING DEAD GIRL, TWO ORPHAN VAMPIRES, REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE, A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD, THE NUDE VAMPIRE, and scores of others. Like Rollin, Alexander mixes the erotic with gothic horror, resulting in an arthouse style that very few filmmakers have attempt today. Unlike Rollin, Alexander doesn’t set his stories in times past, and chooses to show modern vamps interacting with lonely, modern landscapes. This is mainly due to the fact that Alexander’s films are low budget, but Alexander’s style always shines through.
Alexander’s previous female vampire films include QUEEN OF BLOOD, BLOOD DYNASTY, SPACE VAMPIRE, and BLOOD FOR IRINA, among many others. His newest film, PARASITE LADY uses some of the same themes as his previous films, which basically depict a female vampire coming to grips with her power, her weaknesses, and her immortality. In PARASITE LADY, utilizes these themes, yet also tries to capture the feeling of being trapped as the lead Miranda (Arrielle Edwards) attempts to recruit her own lover to share her eternal life with. She finds Catherine (Ali Chappell) who appears in most of Alexander’s films and is enthralled with Miranda. But once Miranda makes Catherine into a vampire, Miranda’s maker Marina (Kate Gabrielle) wants Catherine for her own needs. You get the feeling that this turn of events has played out many times before and for a low budgeter, the acting is quite good as Edwards’ dread and despair is played out effectively.
As usual, there is a lot of blood shed and drank, but everything is done with an arthouse touch. Very little dialog is used. Instead, Alexander simply lets the characters play out with seductive looks, tragic winces, and silent walks through rainy streets. Still, the story is clear to understand and doesn’t require a lot of talking heads to convey its message. The vivid imagery makes this a perfect film to play while having a dark party or viewing in your favorite goth bar.
Possibly made as a response to the isolation and repetition we all felt during the pandemic, PARASITE LADY is another solid vampire yarn. If you’ve seen Alexander’s work, you’ll recognize PARASITE LADY as indicative of much of his previous work, yet the timing and resonance of the emotions captured in this one seem to resonate more due to the simplicity of the plot. Recommended for those who like a little artsy with their bloodletting.