A psychological, bloody vampire tale and a fever dream inspired by Herzog, Rollin and Franco, Blood for Irina turns its lens on Irina, a predator stalking the streets at night looking for blood. Having lived over a century and now residing in a run-down seaside motel with the motel manager, it's clear they may have reached the end of the road. However, the appearance of a broken prostitute may yet change everything. Three people living life on the fringe, trapped in a world of literal and figurative decay, who may have more in common than they even know.
Shauna Henry, Carrie Gemmell, David Goodfellow, Andre Becker, Mark Goodfellow, Jason Tannis, Brenden Crowells
In a climate where vampires are popularly portrayed as stylish teens in black leather jackets with a taste for blood, Irina could not be further removed. She is isolated by her condition, which is making her increasingly sick and ill. By night, she walks the streets finding victims and drinks from them, leaving the landlord of the rundown seaside hotel where she 'lives', to destroy the bodies afterwards. Quite what power she has over him isn't clear, and quite what power she then passes onto Pink, a rejected prostitute, isn't clear either, but it seems Irina has passed her curse over to her.
This is a very slow moving film, there is hardly any dialogue (we only hear Irina's voice briefly, and it has a distorted, ghostly effect) and there is perhaps too much dwelling on scenes of vomitting blood. And yet this is one of the most haunting and tragically effective vampire films I have seen for a very long time, perhaps ever. It stays in the mind long after it is over. Not spectacular, not ultra-gory, not big budget ... but the emphasis is placed squarely on mood, on desolation, on the grinding torture of vampirism, portrayed in such a way that makes the very most of its shortcomings. Exceptional.
(I'm very pleased to hear that, due to the critical success of this, it will shortly have a sequel called Queen of Blood.)