Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Vampire Strangler (1999)
Seduction Cinema | Buy at Amazon | Review by Douglas Waltz

This film is famous for one reason; Misty Mundae has oral sex with Bill Hellfire. That's it. That's the attraction and the original VHS tape and DVD garner big bucks at various places online. Now, Seduction Cinema has thrown a monkey wrench in all that with two new releases.

First up is the special 2 disc DVD set of VAMPIRE STRANGLER. This is the one that I have and the review will reflect that. There is another 3 disc set that has two different cuts of the film. More on that later.

The first disc has the film and a bunch of trailers. This is not the original VAMPIRE STRANGLER. This is the "restored" version. I guess by "restored" they mean "added scenes to make more of a movie out of it". We get establishing shots of Romania to show us that Misty's character, Lydia, is actually in a foreign country. There are shots of a jet landing. Pretty much a bunch of filler that is not necessary to the plot.

Damn, did I mention a plot? Yeah, let's get that paper-thin thing out of the way. Lydia, played by Misty Mundae, comes from Romania to hang out with her cousin Billy. Lydia is hot and Billy is horny. Pretty soon sex is running rampant. After a few days a voodoo guy shows up and talks to Billy about his millennium church. He also slips a little something in Billy's tea before he leaves. Soon, Billy is changed into a vampire and attacks Lydia.

To fully understand VAMPIRE STRANGLER you have to understand what Bill Hellfire was trying to do with his Factory 2000 films. He had embraced the non-film aspect of Andy Warhol's Factory and skewed it to show us sexuality in a non-titillating form. What I mean by that is sure, you can see Bill finger Misty's nether regions a few times. Misty even gives Bill some wicked oral action more than once in the course of the film, but it is shot in a flat, unimaginative way. This is not stock porn we are talking about here. There are no intercourse insertion shots and, most importantly, no money shots. Never does the film culminate in an on-screen male orgasm. The bread and butter of actual porn.

Does this make VAMPIRE STRANGLER a bad film? No, not really. At least not for those reasons. There is very little dialogue, the four actors in the film; Bill Hellfire, Misty Mundae (billed as Misty Mondae in this picture), Lily Tiger and Joey Smack give flat, horrid performances, but that doesn't matter either. The one and only draw for this flick is that Misty Mundae is enthusiastically sucking some dick in the film. In comparison to other Factory 2000 features like NAKED STRANGLER or DUCK! THE CARBINE HIGH MASSACRE, this one is abysmal at best. So much so, in fact that I'm pretty sure that Bill Hellfire did it on purpose. To mock the mainstream porn that is cranked out daily Bill gives us the auteur version of pornography. He also adds his trademark strangulation that appears in nearly all of his films.

This new cut, by adding horrid and obvious stock footage, takes away from the original concept and impact of what Hellfire was trying to accomplish with the film. Adding polish to the film denies it its basic roots in depravity. It should all look like some teeny boppers convinced their girlfriends to suck dick on camera. Because of that it is almost mandatory that the consumer at large spend the extra cash and get the 3-disc set that gives the original cut of the flick.

The second disc offers five isolated sex scenes from the movie in casethe casual viewer doesn't want to wade through the entire thing. There is a deleted scene that makes no additional impact on the film. I'm surprised that Hellfire didn't just include it automatically since he shot it.

In addition to that we get the original "lost" opening to VAMPIRE STRANGLER. Of course, if it's truly "lost" then how did it end up here? Plus, it's confusing in that we get Van Helsing staking out Billy the vampire and then having hardcore sex with his woman. How can Billy be a vampire already? That doesn't happen until the end of the film. As a hardcore scene it is actually more brutal than anything that Misty and Bill do, but still the money shot is denied us. It's good to see as an oddity, but has no place in the narrative of the film proper.

We're also treated to a short film entitled MY PROPERTY that has Misty strangle Bill Hellfire and then have her way with his corpse. It's short, the sex is simulated and there is no actual plot. In another short, THE VIBRATING MAID, Misty discovers the maid (Lily Tiger) doing the nasty in a closet. They wind up on the bed and do simulated nasty, vibrating things to one another.

As is common with all Seduction Cinema releases, there are a plethora of trailers for other films. I would recommend the ones on the bonus disc as they are all Factory 2000 releases and it helps illustrate what Bill Hellfire and crew were attempting to do with their particular brand of cinema.

The package I have is attractive enough. A two-disc set with a cardboard slipcover. On the accompanying booklet as well as the slipcase cover we get one of those awful, photo shopped pictures of Misty that any true Misty fan knows looks nothing like her. Since Misty's main attraction is her looks I have never figured out why Seduction Cinema is always making her look different than she does in real life. There is a fifteen page booklet that gives a little history on the film that is nice. One thing in the booklet that I thought was odd is when Michael Raso mentions the girls who were on salary for Seduction Cinema he tells about Misty's tattoo being removed as part of the deal.

When I interviewed Raso a couple of years back I asked about the sunburst tattoo that appears in all of the Factory 2000 films, but not later Seduction Cinema titles. Raso told me that she was looking into having it removed and they covered it up with makeup. Why didn't he just mention this deal in the interview? No idea, I just thought it was odd that I'm getting two different stories from two different sources.

In conclusion, this is Misty's blowjob movie, plain and simple. You want to see that and really, who doesn't? Then it's time to fork over some cash to Seduction Cinema and see what the fuss is about. Personally, I think that Factory 2000 and Misty Mundae did better films together. Watch DUCK! THE CARBINE HIGH MASSACRE or THE INFAMOUS BONDAGE MURDERS to get a better feel for Bill Hellfire was trying to accomplish.

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