Sunday, 2 August 2015

The Body Beneath

Watched the beguiling Body Beneath earlier... I had an ulterior motive for watching this one - I was tipped off that my hometown of Cork is mentioned in some dialogue - in the opening minutes of the film in fact, when Reverend Ford mentions "About a fortnight ago we arrived from Ireland, county Cork" and then adds rather ambiguously, "It's a lovely place to leave from"... And with that out of the way I settled down to watch the film, which to my great surprise was most enjoyable. Admittedly as soon as the film began a reflex kicked in that had my eyes peeled and ears cocked for technical imperfections and stilted line readings (and perhaps the occasional cross word from Milligan behind the camera), but I soon fell under the spell of the film - the frosty exterior photography, the atmospheric interiors (which at times reminded me of the BBC Christmas Ghost Stories productions), and the wonderful silent vampire brides with their corpse-paint make-up and beautiful flowing gowns.

A very capable cast too, the film has a pair of likable young leads, and a great turn from Gavin Reed as one of Vampire Cinema's most pompous bloodsuckers. I could imagine him making a fine stand-in for Murray Melvin's character in The Devils. I loved the film's final act where the Ford clan gather together for a orgiastic banquet, filmed with what looks like Vaseline coating the edges of the camera lens, the revelers kitted out in costumes that look like they escaped from a Kenneth Anger jumble sale. Curiously this sequence is scored to a piece of music (library sourced I must assume) that sounds like an outtake from Brian Eno's Music For Films...

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