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A Bootlegged Trailer for ‘Vampire’ Puts Mood on Display

Having premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to mostly disappointing reviews (read Ryan Daley’s thoughts), Iwai Shunji’s Vampire is stilllllll seeking U.S. distribution.

In the Japanese film, Kevin Zegers plays a schoolteacher with a taste for human blood, who searches for suicidal young women as his victims; all of whom he falls in love with before their deaths.

A trio of clips were released leading up to the film festival, but nothing really beyond that. Recently an unauthorized trailer leaked on the web with music by Thom Yorke entitled “Hearing Damage”. You can watch it inside before it bites the dust for good.

Vampire is not a horror film. It is about Simon, a quiet, sensitive biology teacher who uses online message boards to meet suicidal soulmates. He then tricks them into thinking they are joining together in a suicide pact, so that these women will cause their own demise and he can reap his reward –their blood. It is never clear if Simon’s cravings are psychological or physical, and his blood drinking habits don’t always agree with him. As a scientist he wants to save lives, starting with his dementia-inflicted mother, but his urges are unstoppable. Then Simon meets his dark mirror image, another young man with the same affliction who turns out to be a violent murderous beast. Acclaimed Japanese director Iwai Shunji (All About Lilly Chou-Chou) directs his first English language film in his signature meditative style, drenched in black humor, with flashes of surprisingly beautiful macabre imagery and a haunting piano score. Vampire isn’t just about Simon’s unusual needs; it’s also a surreal and even humorous exploration of death.

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