Many movies draw parallels between real life and fantasy. In fact it’s what draws a lot of people to fantasy, even if they don’t realize it. Director Blaine Thurier’s latest film Kicking Blood does just that. It draws a parallel between a lost alcoholic who finds much more in common with a bored vampire than he does with the rest of humankind.
Robbie (Luke Bilyk) is a down on his luck alcoholic who has given up on life. Suffering with withdrawal he figures the end is near when he meets Anna (Alanna Bale). Anna has her own problems. Namely, that she is a vampire who is fed up with mankind and her need for drinking blood from bottom-feeders in order to survive. When Robbie decides to give up drinking and turn his life around, he inspires Anna to attempt to restore her humanity by giving up blood. The only problem is her clan of vampires don’t take her desired change lightly and decide to hunt her and Robbie down. In order to start her life anew Anna is forced to fight her clan in her weakened state.
Kicking Blood doesn’t really add anything new to the vampire genre. At its heart it’s just another story of a vampire with a conscience who wants to regain what they’ve lost. And in the end it mispalces anything different it had going for it is when the film turns into a typical fight for survival vampire flick. It’s shame that there isn’t more to it, because Bilyk and Bale really have a strong chemistry throughout the film. Bilyk is charming, while Bale plays a lost soul whose innocence was taken away from her.
Their connection is the kind that is sorely missing in a lot of wider-released films. The similarities between the two characters is fun to watch as well. Both find their lives in chaos because of their addictions and the problems they have making changes. Kicking Blood also feels very low budget. While that doesn’t necessarily put a stake in its heart, the 80s’ made for TV feel does. This means it’s not something you’d want to pay money to watch.
It’s unfortunate, but the vampire genre is probably going to remain dead for a few years more. Twilight killed it for many people. And the only way to resurrect it is for someone to come up with an idea that another movie hasn’t done before. Kicking Blood unfortunately doesn’t do that.