As a mini-budget effort, UNDYING LOVE is not especially ambitious, but neither does it succumb to the ridiculous exaggerations that mar so many films on its level. It's a modestly entertaining diversion for the midnight and video crowds.
Scott (Tommy Sweeney, the brother of actor D.B. Sweeney) is a young, moody loner who attempts suicide one night by cutting his wrists in a bathtub. He is saved when his girlfriend Leslie (Mary Huner) discovers him, but once he's recuperated physically, he has a difficult time getting back into
the social swing of things. Invited to a party by his friend Curtis (Terry Spivey), he reluctantly goes, but can't relate to the people he meets there. Then he encounters a seductive model named Carmilla (Julie Lynch), who entrances him, so much so that he goes to her photo studio the next day.
The pair wind up at Scott's apartment, where they engage in a strange sexual ritual. With Scott physically and mentally wiped out, Carmilla goes back to the studio, where she is confronted by her photographer, Renny (Robert C. Sabin). He covets her attentions himself, and is both jealous and
drunk; when he attacks her, however, she bites out his tongue and feeds on his blood.
Meanwhile, detective Stan Wint (Lee Kayman) has been working on the case of a murdered drug dealer; the mode of death was almost identical to the way his partner was slain 25 years before. He's still obsessed with bringing in his friend's killer, and when he visits the scene of Lenny's death and
sees the photos of Carmilla, he realizes that he now has a chance to take his revenge. He suspects that Carmilla is a vampire, and, in fact, he's right--as Scott has found out himself. Carmilla, enticing him with promises of eternal life, gives Scott a transfusion of her blood. This arouses the
anger of Evan (Andrew Lee Barrett), Carmilla's undead lover, who threatens Scott at a party Carmilla brings him to. Despite the warning, Scott takes Carmilla to bed, only to be discovered by Leslie, who runs off sobbing. Trying to catch up to her, Scott instead runs into Wint, who's been told of
Scott's meeting with Carmilla at Curtis's party and questions him to no avail. A short time later, Leslie arrives home--and finds Evan waiting for her, razor blades taped to his fingers and a thirsty look in his eye.
Wint calls Scott down to the morgue to identify Leslie's body, then goes to Evan's apartment, armed with all the traditional vampire-slaying accouterments. Unfortunately for him, these don't work in real life, and Evan kills Wint. He then calls Scott, telling him that he's next to die. For his
part, Scott has been fighting the vampiric tendencies that have resulted from his liaisons with Carmilla, and goes to Evan's apartment to confront him. Scott manages to dispatch the evil vampire, but can't control himself from drinking his blood after doing so. He then goes back to his apartment,
where he accuses Carmilla of causing Leslie's death and trying to set up his own. He shoots her to death, and then goes to the bathtub, sits in the water and takes out a razor blade ...
UNDYING LOVE isn't the first film to find sexual motifs in vampirism, but given the fact that its story takes place among the twentysomething set, the connection with AIDS--another disease passed through the blood--isn't exploited as much as it might be. The story instead proceeds as a
traditional horror melodrama, what with its troubled protagonist falling deeper and deeper under a vampire's spell and various supporting characters getting jealous of their developing relationship, in some cases murderously so. The subplot of Wint's long-standing grudge against the vampires
completes the old-fashioned feel, coming to a clever, updated climax in which Wint finds out that garlic and crucifixes only work in the movies.
The film is reminiscent of director Gregory Lamberson's previous SLIME CITY in tone and texture: both movies tell of a young man drawn into a sinister underground society and events that may cost him his life. Like his first effort, UNDYING LOVE is unmistakably low-budget, but it doesn't look
amateurish; there's a kind of friendly feel to its limited locations and cast. Lamberson, who worked with cult horror director Frank Henenlotter (BRAIN DAMAGE) before striking out on his own, doesn't take his own material all that seriously; although the whole movie is played straight, the
screenplay goofs on itself on numerous occasions and there's some amusing deadpan dialogue.
The cast, which includes SLIME CITY veterans Robert C. Sabin and Mary Huner, does fairly well by the material, the highlight being Andrew Lee Barrett's performance as the vicious Evan, who has many of the juiciest lines. Confronted in her apartment by the bloodsucker, Leslie gasps, "Who are
you?"--to which Evan, razor blades taped to his fingers, responds, "Just call me ... thirsty." (Violence, sexual situations, nudity.)
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- Released: 1991
- Rating: NR
- Review: As a mini-budget effort, UNDYING LOVE is not especially ambitious, but neither does it succumb to the ridiculous exaggerations that mar so many films on its level. It's a modestly entertaining diversion for the midnight and video crowds. Scott (Tommy Swe… (more)