Romantic Horror films are few and far between. Still, you can make a fair assumption that when the twain shall meet there is usually a bloodsucking vampire at the center of the action. You can see it clear as night in the homo-erotic trappings of INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE or even recently in the SID AND NANCY meets NEAR DARK mess that was THE THIRST. This time around the name of the game is obsession and the burning question: What if you couldn’t kill an evil that you loved?
Sean Patrick Flannery (MASTERS OF HORROR—THE DAMNED THING) is Harry Balbo. Harry is exactly what’s wrong with casting agents in Hollywood. He’s far too good looking to be a hapless loser whose un-luck in love forces him into a very precarious situation. Out one night for a stroll, Harry witnesses a homeless man being fed upon by a beautiful flame-haired vampire (Charlotte Ayanna—SPUN). When Harry goes to the cops to report the murder, they blow him off. A few days later a local register jockey (Brad Rowe, proving he needs a better agent and manager in this bit part) is also killed by the sensual succubi. Fed up with the cops’ lack of interest, Harry goes online to seek the help of anyone that can provide him the answers he needs. As luck would have it (or as the film calls it…fate), a paraplegic vampire website operator (Michael Biehn, with a slightly larger but none-the-less embarrassing role) lives in the same building as Harry. He tells Harry to kill the girl before she kills him.
Skipping a day or two from his thankless job selling industrial flanges, Harry discovers the lair of the vampiress. But taken aback by her beauty and her pleas for mercy, he decides to let her live. Haunted by the fear that she is coming for him, Harry decides to trap Tatiana in the basement of his building. Successful in his first attempt, it doesn’t take long before Harry realizes that the only way to keep the caged beast alive is to sate her appetite with fresh blood every night.
THE INSATIABLE is sort of like a twisted version of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS only this time instead of Seymour feeding Audrey suckles of his pricked fingertips, Harry is offering up cute and fuzzy bunny rabbits to Tatiana. In both films, the seemingly innocuous nature of continuing to feed the monster results in a nightmare for the protagonist where the morality of right and wrong become tragically blurred. With that knowledge at hand, it seems pretty obvious how this is all going to turn out. Still that doesn’t make the trip any less interesting.
If you’re looking for some hardcore jugular juicing than THE INSATIABLE is going the leave you high and dry—desperate for a transfusion of action. What the film is really trying to do is take you inside the world of Harry and show how one man—an unassuming man—can be overwhelmed and transformed into the very thing he set out to destroy. You might even say that the film is a dissertation on the nature of co-dependency. And while the film might not be as wildly entertaining as your standard throat sucking orgy, it does manage to offer an interesting take on the nature of evil. Of coarse Anne Rice has been doing the same thing for 30 years, so by no means is the project ground-breaking. What makes it watchable is the interaction between Harry and Tatiana. The chemistry is undeniable and that spark makes the films dénouement all the more satisfying. THE INSATIABLE might not hit all the right notes to make for a symphony of gothic romance but it does manage to play a few chords right—ultimately delivering an enjoyable if not wholly successful anti-love story.