Southern Gothic

RSIPQ&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr” style=”width: 120px; height: 240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″> At least “Southern Gothic” delivers what it promises in its title: a Gothic story, served Southern-style. As far as today’s vampire movies go, it’s a passable one. If you’re anxiously awaiting the third season of “True Blood” to get here, Mark Young’s 2007 film is a worthier alternative than, say, “New Moon.”

In the sleepy little town of Redemption, vampires have come to roost and rule. One of their first victims is Pitt (William Forsythe), a crazed (but you knew that at “William Forsythe”) preacher who has a taste for strippers, particularly Starla (Nicole DuPort), a new recruit and single mom to Hope (Emily Catherine Young, who bears some relation to the writer/director, I’m guessing).

When Pitt becomes a bloodsucker, he wants Starla to live forever with him. But the strip-club bouncer, Fortune (Yul Vazquez), may have something to say about it. He’s desperate to do something, anyway, given his alcoholic and suicidal tendencies.

You may have noticed right off the whole Redemption/Hope/Fortune naming scheme, which is a strike against “Southern Gothic.” There’s no room for pretension in low-budget indie horror. Young’s scripts hits the beats you expect with Fortune’s arc, especially after he starts playing surrogate father to Hope.

Luckily, the cross-bearing takes a backseat to fang-baring, and Young whips up enough vampire attacks to hold your interest, even if at a semi-sleepy level. Vazquez is so morose, he saps the energy of the viewer. The movie isn’t any “fun,” nor offers anything remotely resembling a scare, but is competently made.

One caveat: I was confused by the story at first, because I thought Starla and vampire Ava (Dani Englander) were the same person, given the way their characters are introduced, and that the ladies are both quite attractive with similar features. “”Rod Lott


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