Foreign films, round two. This one is Christa’s pick.
I’m not even going to try to create any sort of suspense here; I loved this film (spoiler spoiler spoiler).
See what Christa thought here!
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Where to Watch:
I saw a review describing this as the first Iranian vampire western. I would also argue it is the first (only?) feminist vampire movie. With a cat.
The Uncondensed Version:
There’s a cat in this film, and it’s actually pretty important to the (admittedly not overly involved) plot. I was initially afraid this was going to get all Gummo, but don’t worry—nothing bad happens to the cat. (I guess that’s a spoiler, but whatever. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t care what happens to the cat at the end, you deserve to have all film endings spoiled. Probably).
So our protagonist is Arash, a young man who works hard but keeps getting caught up in his father’s nonsense and the general shittiness of living in Bad City. His father is a junkie, gambler, and owes a lot of money to this super shady pimp/loan shark/not 100% sure what his job description is. Whatever he does for a living, he’s a total douche as exhibited by (a) threatening the fucking cat, (b) his “SEX” neck tattoo, and (c) taking Arash’s car as payment for his father’s debts.
It’s okay, readers. This tool doesn’t have long to live. He makes his last mistake by kicking a prostitute to the curb without payment for services rendered. Sketchy dudes of Bad City, beware: you never know who or what is watching you. Spoiler alert: vampire. Totally a vampire. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand she kills him.
Later, in what is possibly my favorite moment of the entire film, the vampire threatens to feed a little boy’s eyes to dogs, then steals his skateboard.
It may not surprise you that Arash meets the vampire one night. He is leaving a costume party dressed as a vampire and has just taken E or something…I don’t know, guys. I have little to no street cred. Whatever he took, it makes one particular streetlamp absolutely fascinating to him, apparently. The vampire approaches him, and he then wraps her in his cape because she feels cold. Then she pushes him on the skateboard to her place. Honestly, this scene was about 10,000x more adorable than I can convey here. They also have basically the most tension-filled non-sex scene ever.
When they meet again later, Arash brings the vampire a hamburger; if that’s not love, I don’t know what is. He also gives her stolen earrings and pierces her ears with a safety pin…awwwwwwwww?
Okay, I think she’s the first feminist vampire, and this may be the first feminist vampire movie. Correct me if I’m wrong. I’m not an expert because I think vampires are just not scary at all and have to follow a lot of arbitrary rules. Plus lady vampires usually have to be “sexy” vampires, which is just so infuriating.
Straight talk: this is a majorly hipster-y movie; the vampire listens to music on a record player, has a disco ball in her room, and I think I spotted Michael Jackson on the wall. And sometimes this movie is really bizarre; there’s this scene of a woman dancing with a balloon to sort of operatic music. I’m still puzzling over that one.
However, this is a gorgeous film, part love story, part story of bringing justice to Bad City. So…Iranian vampire western. Accurate. (To be honest, I was thinking of Rango the whole time and expecting the little owl mariachi band to appear at any moment.) Much more of a creepy/suspenseful film than a gory horror.
The director’s next project is apparently “a post-apocalyptic cannibal love story set in a Texas wasteland” where a “muscled cannibal breaks the rule ‘don’t play with your food.” Ana Lily Amirpour, WHERE have you been all my life???
We’re doing it; we’re going with a perfect score. I don’t mean to say this is a perfect film that is completely free of WTF moments, but it was original, it was creepy, it was tense, and it had a cat. As close to perfection as possible.
Christa’s review is available here!