TO DIE FOR
Furthermore, To Die For seems awkwardly caught between the classic and the modern developments of the vampire film. Where it tends to fall down is in not fully shucking its ties to the classic vampire film. The vampire here has to have a Gothic castle improbably located in LA. The script uses the familiar connection between Vlad Tepes and Dracula as though it was the first story to ever think up the idea and does not seem to realise how hackneyed a cliche it is. (One minor point the film does have over its predecessors is that Brendan Hughes actually looks like Vlad the Impaler of the surviving woodcuts. On the other hand, Hughes is too diminutive to make a terribly imposing vampire). Worse, the film does not even spell Tepes correctly. One also feels that the use of John Buechler makeups is inappropriate in a romantic vampire film, the emphasis should not be on shock effect and disfigurement.
To Die For is not that badly made a film it is occasionally effective. There is a nifty scene where Scott Jacoby and Micah Grant go to cut Amanda Wysss head off and she returns to life halfway through the operation. Sydney Walsh, an appealingly round-eyed actress, gives a perky and sexy performance.
The sequel was Son of Darkness: To Die For II (1992), which featured repeat performances from Amanda Wyss, Steve Bond and Scott Jacoby, as well as screenwriter Leslie King, but where the role of Vlad was recast with Michael Praed.
Deran Sarafian is better known as a director of action films such as Gunmen (1993) and Terminal Velocity (1994). He has made several other ventures into genre territory, including the cheap post-holocaust Interzone (1986), the cheap alien nasty film Alien Predator/The Falling/Mutant II (1987), the interesting semi-horror/action film Death Warrant (1990) and the backroads brutality film Roadflower/Road Killers (1993). In more recent years, Sarafian has moved into television where he has worked as a producer/director on various of the CSI incarnations and House M.D. (2004-12), among various other series.
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