Kiss Of The Damned, written and directed by Xan Cassavetes (yes, daughter of Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes) is a quietly charming horror/romance hybrid. Djuna (Josephine de La Baume) is a beautiful and mysterious vampire who tries to resist starting a love affair with Paolo, but this proves impossible. Paolo is a screenwriter who has those dark, soulful eyes and brooding presence. Played by Milo Ventimiglia, Paulo is that guy. You know, that guy who is just impossibly handsome, dark, charming, and magnetic; Djuna didn't stand a chance of resisting him. The cat and mouse game that Djuna and Palo play leading up to their eventual romance is both sexy and sweet. Though we know so very little about either of these characters, you are immediately drawn to both of them and feel just as anticipatory as Paolo does waiting for Djuna to stop being so restrained. The moment that Paolo proves to Djuna that he loves her and that she can trust him is the kind of paranormal romantic stuff that no woman who has read Interview With The Vampire can resist. This begs the question; am I easily won over by this movie simply because Cassavetes is so damn good at pulling those vampire love story heart strings? What if I were impervious to the vampire/eternal love story nonsense? Would I care for this movie at all? Perhaps.
Just when Paolo and Djuna are settling into their perfect, beautiful world of undying love, Djuna's sister, Mimi shows up. Mimi (Roxanne Mesquida) is estranged from her sister for good reason; Mimi is a sh*t stirrer and she relishes every moment of anguish that she causes. Mimi shows up at Djuna's house under the pretense of staying with her for a week before she heads to rehab. Yes, vampires go to rehab. Well, ones such as Mimi do. She leaves a trail of human bodies everywhere she goes and she must learn to live the same as the other vampires; off of animals and synthetic blood.
There is the usual vampire debate over why they let humans run the world, when we are just the food, but this one is a bit more clever and in depth than most others that we have all been subjected to over the years. These vampires live a very glamorous and very civilized lifestyle; these are seriously posh vampires. I want to be a vampire simply because they seem to have so much disposable income. In fact, what I found to be the most alluring thing about the movie was how much it reminded me of The Hunger. Kiss of the Damned is wonderfully sexy and hypnotic; very much like The Hunger, these vampires are intoxicatingly gorgeous and absolutely irresistible. Seriously, how do I get in on this world? Where is my Paolo?!
Well, like any good romance, there must be a wrench thrown in and that wrench is Mimi. She really is quite the little sphinx and she really manages to complicate things for everyone involved. After some questionable choices on everyone's part, Mimi meets her comeuppance from a most shocking source.
Overall, Kiss of the Damned is an exceedingly sexy and glamorous film. This film will really please those of us enamored with the romantic side of vampires, however, if you find all of that to be a bunch of hullaballoo, then this is probably not the movie for you.
You can read more reviews from Lisa at Haddonfield Horror