Review by: Scott Feinblatt
It Sucks to be a Vampire
Blood for Irina Treats Viewers to the Dreadful Experience of Being a Vampire Called Irina
Despite the facts that this is a film
about a vampire and includes frequent
shots of blood going into and coming
out from mouths,
Blood for Irina is not
so much a horror film as an art film.
Essentially, it is a meditative attempt to
project the feelings of the title
character's torturous life onto the
viewers.

Fangoria magazine's Editor-in-Chief,
Chris Alexander (aka the gentleman
who signs some of my paychecks), has
boldly defied expectation by not
shooting a film that would be typical of
someone who holds his office at the
most popular, gore-soaked magazine
in history. Furthermore, he defies
cinematic convention by committing to his unique vision. The good news is that his experiment succeeds; the bad
news is, also, that it succeeds.

Once upon a time, Irina (
Shauna Henry) went for a walk in the woods. She had an unfortunate run-in with a
vampiric character who infected her. Now she lives a desolate life that consists of: staring out at the ocean, living
in a dingy hotel room, draining the occasional victim and barfing up the blood afterward. There is also a hotel
manager (
David Goodfellow) who looks after Irina, and there is a prostitute (Carrie Gemmell) whom Irina
frequently observes standing on her own lonely corner. Although there is a progression of events, the conflict is
essentially between the protagonist and her condition, and most of what occupies the screen – during the 70
minute running time – are long shots of a solitary character walking around and going through the motions of her
vapid existence.
For those who will commit to this ponderous film
(let's face it, some people can't even stomach
Terrence Malick films), Alexander's experiment
is compelling simply because of the degree of
his own commitment to his vision. He wrote,
directed, scored and edited Blood for Irina;
additionally, he shared cinematography and
producing credits with his actor David
Goodfellow. Technically, the film works very well
in all departments, and the artistry is not
hindered by the micro-budget. When you watch
this, you will
feel trapped as Irina does; you will
feel her melancholy; you will feel her sickness;
and you will definitely
not feel that there is
anything romantic about being a vampire.
Blood For Irina is available on Blu-ray from Amazon.