La Paz, Bolivia, the early 1800's: A series of killings in which the
victims' throats are brutally torn open shock the city that's already on
edge due to a brooding rebellion against the Spanish crown, and the
ever-growing fear of a uprising of the oppressed indigenous population.
Officially, the killings are attributed to either of these causes, but
nobody really believes this.
Father Ferenc (Jorge Ortiz) has a
different explanation altogether, its work of the Lamia, the vampiric
descendants of Lilith, first wife of Adam. This sounds so fantastic that
father Ferenc doesn't even dare to voice this in the open, only to his
niece/foster daughter Varna (Claudia Moscoso), officially a nun in
training, but actually a very strong and independent woman. Not even she
believes her uncle ... but he's right of course ...
Varna has other
worries, she wants to help the rebels, and her friend, the Irishwoman
Moira (Amy Hesketh), who's tasked to get the rebels a bunch of cannons ...
but she eventually disappears, and when she re-appears it's in the hands
of authority, who publicly strip, flog, shame and ultimately strangle her.
what have the two stories to do with one another?
Well, one night, Moira
was found leaning over a man with his throat torn out, and she was
promptly arrested for it - even though it was the work of an actual
vampire, Aphrodisia (Mila Joya), who has made a successful getaway though.
Now one would think the story might end with Moira's death, but it's only
the beginning, because Moira has been chosen to become the companion of
vampire Nahara (Veronica Paintoux), who vampirizes her once executed of
course. Thing is, Aphrodisia is the companion of another vampire, Asar
(Jac Avila), who has been made a vampire by Nahara 10,000 BC, and since
then the two have waged a war against one another and are determined to
have a showdown (one of many) in La Paz - with Moira, Varna, Father Ferenc
and even Aphrodisia serving no more than pawns in the game.
writing (at least in my writing), Dead But Dreaming might sound as
overcomplex and incomprehensible as can be, but on screen, despite
constand flashbacks (also to ancient Greece) and the like, the film comes
across as rather easy to follow, and despite being epic in scale, it
features an actual and very tense story arc. And without being
brain-heavy, the film features a novel and very interesting approach to
the vampire genre as such. Now add to this a very elegant directorial
effort (that still features all the violence, torture and nudity you've
come to expect from Jac Avila), very nice sets and locations (not only for
a low budget film like this) and a great cast mainly made up from Pachamama
regulars, and you've got yourself a pretty great movie.
Oh, and if my review at all got you interested,
you may want to get the movie from here: http://movies.vermeerworks.com