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BITE MARKS (2011)
Directed by Mark Bessenger
Written by Mark Bessenger
Starring Benjamin Lutz, Windham Beacham, David Alanson, Krystal Main, & Stephen Geoffreys
A while back, I reviewed a film called VAMPIRE BOYS. It was about gay vampires and I didn’t really give it a favorable review, not because of the subject matter, but because it wasn’t a good movie. But if you’re looking for a film about gay vampires that is actually entertaining, I’ve found the one for you. BITE MARKS is a fun romp, never taking itself overly seriously and with enough winks and nods to the audience to make it a film worth chuckling with. What I liked about BITE MARKS is that despite the film having homosexual overtones, it doesn’t dumb things town or preach to its audience. It’s a horror film with two gay characters, but doesn’t necessarily make it all about the two gay characters. This, I like.
Windham Beacham and David Alanson play a homosexual couple hiking across America in order to reconnect. They happen upon a good old boy trucker named Brewster (played by Benjamin Lutz) who has been questioning his preference in women of late. Hauling a load of coffins to an unknown location, Brewster decides to pick up the weary travelers and soon the trio find themselves trapped in the cab of the truck with the occupants of the coffins surrounding them. They have no choice but to wait the vamps out until morning.
This puts our trio of characters in the same place and forced to confront their issues. The couple must face their relationship problems while Brewster ponders his sexuality and is conflicted with his own prejudices toward homosexuals. Though there are a few humorous attempts that fall flat, for the most part this is a fun film, steeped with innuendo, but never shying away from gore or scares.
This film also has a really fun animated opening title sequence by Jovani Olivares incorporating some iconic images of vampires and other horror tropes, though the score of the film sounds very similar to the GREMLINS theme song. Additionally, the truck driver, played by Benjamin Lutz is called Brewster giving his brother, played by Stephen Geoffreys, a chance to repeat his famous FRIGHT NIGHT line, which teeters on the line between cool and hokey. These are just a few of the bits that make this film a damn fun experience.
Horror films, especially vampire films, are always ripe with innuendo. It’s great to see a sophisticated take on horror using all of the classic tropes that doesn’t beat that innuendo into you. BITE MARKS takes the more subtle approach, which to me makes it all the more effective.
Don’t forget the bit part from Stephen Geoffreys, a nod to his scene stealing role in Fright Night…