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Lesbian Vampires From Outer Space

Garlic necklaces and carabiners at the ready... it's everyone's favourite crossover: vampires, and lesbians! Last week, two of our writers attended the premiere of Lesbian Vampires From Outer Space, a queer horror-drama about two vampires and their struggle with supernatural impulse and addiction.


Made by indie production company Psychic Visions, Lesbian Vampires From Outer Space is the second part of a queer-horror trilogy directed by Sam Rooke (and the first feature-length of the trilogy). We're asking: was it fang-tastic, or did it leave our writers with bad blood? Let's see what they had to say...


Please note: this review contains mentions of blood, addiction, sexual assault, and spoilers.



A still from the film. A brunette woman looks into the distance, touching her mouth tentatively. She is covered in blood - her hand is stained red, she has blood splatters over her face and blood drips down her chest. She looks mesmerised and concerned. The image is layered on to a pink background with green curved lines.


Florence


Lesbian Vampires from Outer Space is the latest offering from up-and-coming director Sam Rooke, a queer horror-drama exploring themes of addiction, assault and revenge. Having loved Rooke’s short film Witches of the Waste (2022), I couldn’t wait to watch Rooke’s creativity run wild in a feature-length film.


There’s a lot to praise about this film. The cast are strong, and bounce off each other seemingly effortlessly. The sound is carefully considered to provide a nauseatingly taut backdrop to scenes already fraught with tension, and the use of lighting is particularly impressive. In a scene where Maude (played by Zorsha Taylor Suich) stares at her reflection in the bathroom, the character is awash in a sickly, surgical green light, complementing the actor’s convincing portrayal of going through withdrawal. A man, having been harassing Maude in the previous scene, enters the bathroom. The mood shifts, and the lighting with it, startling the screen in an aggressive red blare as he assaults her. As the camera switches to Don (Rachel Simm) waiting nervously at the table for her partner to return, the scene cleverly transitions into Maude killing her attacker, subverting expectations as the man is forced into the role of subordinate. 


Later in the film, the vampiric duo stumble out into the dark with hopeful couple Rhonda (Dara Ellis-Jones) and Jane (Hanna Zaton), illuminated only by the headlights of the car that promises a chance of escape from a relentless barrage of harassment and assault. When the bloody mess of Rhonda’s neck comes into focus, the dim lighting and Rooke’s creative direction serve to heighten the reveal of (what is believed to be) the character’s murder and the devastation that follows. Despite the two couples only having met earlier that day, the connection between them is deeply felt, a testament to the chemistry between the four actors. 


Speaking of actors with great chemistry, I loved the dynamic of Officer Thompson (Leo Schrey-Yeats) and Officer Drew (Bex Goulding), bringing a comedic edge to the film with their spoofing of detective noir. The deadpan delivery of one-liners like Screy-Yeats’ "There’s no denying it, Drew. We need forensics." works brilliantly: it offers a moment of levity in the gritty world of Lesbian Vampires while still remaining tonally appropriate. Considering how short and snappy the detective scenes were, there was a real sense of depth to the relationship between these two. In a particularly notable scene, the detectives disagree on the focus of their investigation, with Thompson wanting to concentrate on catching the murderers whilst Drew, growing suspicious of a male eyewitness, urges him to consider if they might be missing something. It’s subtle, but the gender dynamics that divide their perspectives are laid bare as Thompson walks away, unwilling to consider this new aspect to the case.


It’s an exciting time for fans of Rooke’s work, who confirmed that Lesbian Vampires is the second in a trilogy of queer-horror flick. Given this impressive display of talent and ambition, I’m looking forward to the final instalment. 



A still from the film. Two people hold hands in the centre of the frame, silhouetted by a beach sunset in the upper right hand corner of the frame. They are surrounded by long beach grass up to their waists, and the sea is calm and blue in the background. They look deep in conversation.


Georgia G


The scariest part of queer indie horror film Lesbian Vampires from Outer Space isn’t the vampires – it’s the men. The film opens with vampires Don and Maude celebrating their anniversary when a man attempts to sexually assault Don, forcing the two vampires to kill everyone inside a local bar. 


Men continue to cause problems throughout the film, with the vampires and runaway lesbians Rhonda and Jane (Dara Ellis-Jones and Hanna Zaton) having to deal with near constant harassment from a group of men. Jane nearly dies as a result – until the two girls are turned into vampires, giving them the freedom they’ve been searching for.


This thread continues with Officers Thompson and Drew, the police officers investigating Don and Maude’s crimes. Upon discovering the bodies of Rhonda and Jane, they argue on the best way to approach the crime. For Thompson (the male police officer), the solution is obvious – keep looking for the two women. For Drew (the female police officer), the situation seems more complex: “There’s something more going on here,” she implores Thompson, but her suggestion to investigate the men responsible for attacking Jane is neglected. This argument causes the two police officers to split up, leading to my personal favourite shot - where the camera follows Drew into a building as she discovers Thompson’s dead body. 


As if dealing with men wasn’t enough, Don and Maude also spend the film trying to cope with a growing addiction to blood. Vampirism has often been used as a metaphor for addiction, but I loved the care and compassion in which addiction is portrayed in this film. It’s very easy to frame addiction as a character flaw, but in Lesbian Vampires, the onus is never placed on the vampires. The nuance of this portrayal of addiction is a real credit to the writing of this film. 


It's also a credit to the acting. There were so many amazing actors in this film, but Don and Maude were absolutely incredible to watch. It’s clear that this is a complex relationship tinged with history, and actors Rachel Simm and Zorsha Taylor Suich portrayed that expertly. From the beginning of the film, there’s a clear love and affection between the two characters and, while their relationship goes through a lot, that stays consistent until the end. 


One of the most beautifully acted scenes in the film is towards the end, as Don explains to Maude what happened to Jane. The two vampires begin facing away from one another, and as Don talks, there is genuine agony in her voice. Maude slowly turns to her, as her anger becomes compassion. 


Lesbian Vampires from Outer Space is the second film of a trilogy, and seeing the massive step up in scale at every level speaks to Sam Rooke’s capabilities as a director. As this film begins to be entered into festivals, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next – both for this film, and the next one. 



An image of the audience at the debut screening of the film at The Forum, Norwich. Lots of people sit in red chairs facing towards the screen (not depicted), most of them are smiling.



Keep up to date with Lesbian Vampires From Outer Space on their Instagram channel, @lesbianvampiresfilm.


Edited by Abs Reeve


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