Saturday, July 09, 2016
Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? (2016)
DIRECTOR: Melanie Aitkenhead
Pearl is a vampire who congregates with a group of female vampires called the Night Walkers. The group of female vampires has an initiation where each of them must try and bring a human female into their group to turn. Pearl has slowly started falling for a college student named Leah and is unable to go through with the initiation which in turn causes a rift among the Night Walkers. Will she choose love or her clan?
It never ceases to amaze me how James Franco can navigate the movie industry and always seems to come out unscathed no matter what he does. From starring in award nominated movies like 127 Hours, Milk, and In The Valley Of Elah. He can then move onto blockbuster movies like the Spider-Man trilogy, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, and Oz The Great And Powerful. He also seems to be able to do stoner comedies like Your Highness, Pineapple Express, This Is The End, and Knocked Up while making his way into indie fare like Spring Breakers and Howl.
Any other award nominated actor would usually be caught dead before ever starring in a TV Show like General Hospital or going anywhere near a Lifetime movie. James Franco though seems to want to try his hand at everything, and it seems to work for him. It appears that he has his fingers in a lot of pies. It never comes as a shock if he suddenly announces that he will star in a lesbian vampire lifetime movie. We end up putting it down to his chameleon-like approach to acting.
Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? Is a remake of Tori Spelling's 1996 TV movie of the same name. Not having seen the original television movie. I believe the original film is about an obsessive teenager who goes after Tori Spelling. James Franco has turned his remake into a lesbian vampire movie where Tori Spelling is now playing a worried mother of a teenage daughter who is currently being stalked and hunted by a group of blood-thirsty lesbian vampires.
I am not able to compare the remake to the original. I get a sense that the latest film may have turned an ordinary teen obsession midday movie into that of the vampire and supernatural variety. I believe these two films are probably wildly different from each other and have no real connection besides the leading actors returning in roles and the theme of obsession. Just going off this remake, I found things that I enjoyed about the film, but this is far from James Franco's best work. That's to be expected with a Lifetime TV movie.
The element of Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? That I really enjoyed was that this was an LGBT film. The two main characters are in fact, girlfriends. This isn't a straight type 'Twilight' vampire love story. (Twilight does, in fact, get discussed in this movie). I felt that the scenes between our two leading characters Pearl and Leah to be rather endearing and the chemistry was on point for me. It's not exactly Romeo + Juliet, but they felt right and believable as an onscreen couple.
The other element that I enjoyed about this movie was the violence. When I watch a Lifetime produced film. I expect PG-rated violence at most. I don't expect much more than off-screen violence, shadows on the wall or fading to black before anything really good happens. So I was in shock when I saw eyes being gouged out, bloody vampire attacks and someone having their head smashed in with a gravestone. It's still tame by most standards, but I got more than I bargained for while watching this film.
The acting was hit and miss for me. Emily Meade as our main vampire is probably my favourite turn in the movie. She has that dead-eyed vampire look down pat. Then we have Leila George as our human who was my least favourite. It also took me out of the film that she was playing Tori Spelling's daughter as she looked almost as old as Tori did. It was more a distraction than anything. James Franco and Tori Spelling give small roles in the film but don't add much to it.
Lastly, this has a few other significant issues. The quality is quite dodgy. That's to be expected when you've made a Lifetime movie. The addition of a whiny straight guy who is jealous of the girl who he can't have just felt poorly done. His character was more of a nuisance than a real threat. The slight touches on the college drug and attempted rapes felt like they've been added to start a conversation but didn't spark any real debate and finally, the four Night Walkers don't get much backstory at all. They are our villains, yet no information is given to us. I would've liked to see more about them in the beginning.
DEATH TOLL: 5
BLOOD AND GORE:
- Bloody vampire bites.
- A woman is drugged and almost raped by a male student.
- Someone is stabbed in the chest with a piece of glass.
- Fake blood is thrown all over someone.
- Someone has their throat ripped out.
- Head bashed in with a gravestone.
- Eyes gouged out.
Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? Is a TV movie that has it's moments. Some decent bloodshed and an exciting love story at it's core isn't enough to save a poorly crafted vampire movie. The film lacks any real character development for our villains, a few one too many conversation piece subplots and some pretty poor performances from our biggest names on the poster. All in all, it's just another weird entry in the James Franco filmography.