Chastity Bites (2013)

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Chastity Bites (2013) A delightful parody of vampire genre films with a feminist twist!

Director: John V. Knowles

Writer: Lotti Pharriss Knowles

Starring: Allison Scagliotti, Francia Raisa, Louise Griffiths

So I knew nothing about this movie going in. It was on TV and I had time to kill. I recognized the starring actress, the ever snarky Allison Scagliotti from the SyFy’s “Warehouse 13.” Her character, Leah, is a ball-busting student journalist who suspects the new abstinence program at her high school keeps all the girls virgins so to feed vampires.

“Chastity Bites” is silly old fun. Yes, there’s gore and the expected dead, slutty teenager tropes. What makes this movie stand out is how they balanced out this trope with satire and a refreshing feminist edge. The horror wasn’t scary per se, but nor did it try to be. The one-liners from Leah kept me laughing and I was impressed with the lesbian supporting character. She wasn’t just thrown there to titillate a (mostly male) audience with girl-on-girl action. Actually, if you’re looking for gratuitous girl-on-girl action, or hell, sex for (mostly male) consumption, you won’t find it here. Refreshing! I don’t mind sex in horror movies but it is so often one-sided.

This movie doesn’t punish the teenagers who have sex. Getting laid actually saves Leah’s life!

I recommend this movie for anyone who makes fun of sparkly vampire movies. It was campy but enjoyable all the way through. Might have to give this one a “B”.

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Lesbian STDs in “Contracted!”

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Directed by Eric England

Stars: Najarra Townsend, Caroline Williams, Katie Stegemen, Alice McDonald, and Matt Mercer

Another lesbian horror movie, yay! And for once the lesbian relationship wasn’t just “hinted” at. There’s full blown lesbianism and STDs, ha! “Contracted” (2013) is about a girl who develops unusual symptoms after a one-night stand at a party. She has drunken sex with a dude. Or at least I think he’s a dude. More than likely the guy was an alien or a monster…but that’s beside the point.

She goes to the doctor but he doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with her. Panic starts to set in as her symptoms get worse. At the same time, her social life is crumbling, which causes her to fuck up at work. There are two persistent suitors in her life, one male, one female, which further complicates things. Her girlfriend refuses to give her the time of day, even going so far as to doubt her sexuality. The crazier her symptoms, the more her friends and family turn their backs on her. They blame her behavior on drugs and her (abusive?) lesbian relationship.  Things come to a head when her eye turns into…whatever it turns into, and her teeth and nails fall out. This is a body horror movie, and so of course her transformation is gruesome and unsettling.

I was impressed with the horror make-up. It’s simple but effective. Trailer below:

Overall, I liked this movie. I don’t know if the writer/director has paranoia about lesbians, bisexuals, or women in general…but he clearly doesn’t want them to have sex. C+

The Moth Diaries (2011)

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Director: Mary Harron (female director, whoohoo!) 

Starring: Sarah Bolger, Lily Cole, Sarah Gadon, and Scott Speedman

Let me begin this review with a quote from the movie. Ahem. There are three things in every gothic vampire story:

  • 1. Sex
  • 2. Blood
  • 3. Death

But in this movie there’s a missing element. So I’ll just come out (no pun intended) and write it:

  • 4. Lipstick femmes and implied lesbianism

16yr old Rebecca is a *cough*closeted*cough* student at an all-girl boarding school. She shares a room with Lucy, her “best friend” *cough*girlfriend*cough,* who offers “comfort” in the wake of Rebecca’s father’s suicide. Rebecca makes a habit of joining Lucy in the bathtub and caressing her face (cuz straight girls LOVE sharing intimate bubble baths together.) They even have an “out” token lesbian friend named Charlie who they hang out with, too. Yup.  Everything in Rebecca’s sapphic utopia is cool until a new girl, Ernessa, shows up on campus.

Rebecca becomes troubled *cough*jealous*cough* when Lucy and Ernessa develop an unnatural friendship *cough*havingsex*cough. Mmmhmm there’s a love scene between the two girls. And menses. Mattress. Staining. Menses. I was half-expecting to see gory muff-diving stuff, but thankfully the movie didn’t go there. Rebecca is convinced Ernessa is a vampire. Ernessa walks through glass. She pops up everywhere in Rebecca’s wet dreams. And the girl has a rotten scent and never seems to eat at the cafeteria.

Rebecca goes so far as to burn her rival in a coffin. But you stopped paying attention once I wrote “lesbian love scene” right?  Let’s be honest. We’re here for the thinly veiled girl-on-girl stuff. Yes? OK? Good. I’m not the only one.

“The Moth Diaries” is long, predictable, and maudlin at times. The actress who plays Rebecca isn’t very convincing, and there’s not much horror here, either. What this movie has a lot of are perky femmes, meta gothic theory and…um…yeah. That’s about it. The plot is a hot mess. The ending doesn’t even make sense. But I’m giving it a “C.” I can see where the director meant to go, but there were too many derailments along the way to give this movie the bite it needed (pun intended.) I recommend this movie for folks who enjoy underaged schoolgirl fantasy flicks. And weird closeted lesbianism. Sigh.