There is perhaps nothing quite as dangerous as a teenage girl who is as powerful as she is angsty, and you can find the perfect storm of this kind of character in Anthony Catanese’s indie film Girls Just Wanna Have Blood (2019). A rebel with a cause, often comedic, punk rock, girl-power anthem, this indie movie has cult classic potential written all over it. Girls Just Wanna Have Blood is not that kind of movie that should be taken seriously — it would only be entertaining to those who want to have fun and are willing to suspend logic that thousands year old vampires seemingly have not matured at all.
Girls Just Wanna Have Blood has a relatively large cast, more fodder to fill out the plethora of unnecessary scenes — overall I liked this film, but it could play out better if 15 to 20 minutes were edited out. The film stars Gigi Gustin, Bettina Skye, and Destyne Marshai as vampiresses who were turned as teens and who use their youth and sex appeal to lure and feed upon drugged-out men. One night, their small horde meets Jessica, a local girl who is an outsider at school and who takes care of her little brother while her mother works as a prostitute. When she is lured into their group with promises of a less woeful life, Jessica subsequently becomes one of them, much to her own regret. Now, she must find a way to reverse the bloody curse and rid herself of these vampire bimbos.
I had my reservations about this movie from the film’s outset, it is noticeably rough around the edges as far as cinematography and any sort of set design. Also, in the beginning, it was pretty often that I found the actors stumbling through some questionable line deliveries, and the character of Quan, in particular, seemed like he was just doing an Antoine Dodson impression. It did not take too long, however, for the film’s cleverly silly dialogue, hard-rocking, and synth-laden soundtrack, and evil-sleepover atmosphere to grow on me. Girls Just Wanna Have Blood perfectly captures the “mean girls” spirit of teenage cliques and gives an honest portrayal of how teens would act when their only real power, youth, is given to them for eternity. It became more of a grindhouse feature and less of an amateur and exploitative attempt at a femme vampire story — Girls Just Wanna Have Blood is certainly not another teen vamp movie. But you also can’t expect the greatest attempt either, there is a scene where a nun yells “let’s get those sucking bimbos!” at one point, after all.
I was able to see past the no-budget look because of the film’s grindhouse appeal, it truly was a joy to watch and made me literally laugh out loud a few times despite my initial misgivings. At times it did feel like a student film, particularly when the acting would hit a weird beat or when the special effects were almost laughable, but as a movie enthusiast, I had fun because it seemed like a very referential film. At the very least, Raiders of the Lost Ark with some well-placed face-melting, as well as The Hunger (1983) with a quick Bauhaus reference were given a shout out. The basic structure of the film reminded me of The Lost Boys (1987) or The Craft (1996) — a broody teen outsider enters a group of friends that influences them and endangers their family, but then, they end up choosing their old life and family over their new group, and voila, there too is now Girls Just Wanna Have Blood. By the end, the film’s director, Anthony Catanese reminded me a bit of Tarantino if he had no idea what he was doing and no budget, the raw talent and voice are there, as well as an adeptness at snappy dialogue and mixing classic cinema imagery and tropes to make a fun movie.
The vibe of Girls Just Wanna Have Blood is a mix of Edgar Wright-ish scriptwriting and a bit of the directorial style of Barry J. Gillis — exceptionally rough around the edges, aesthetically, but the funny dialogue and ridiculous antics give Girls Just Wanna Have Blood a certain charm. The film seems like it would have an audience with teens… and perhaps the men who love them. I would not be surprised if it got a following for how stupidly over the top it is, the kind of movie that makes you think — or scream — “awesome!” every time someone is killed. From Wild Eye Releasing (Plaguers, Door In The Woods) Girls Just Wanna Have Blood becomes available via DVD on May 26th.
MOVIE RATING — 6 out of 10 ☠️
|Girls Just Wanna Have Blood|
|Runtime:||1 hr 25Mins.|