Summer of Blood
Directed by Onur Tukel
Lousy lover and egocentric Eric Sparrow is dumped by his girlfriend after rejecting her marital proposal. After a few failed dates his luck turns when a chance encounter with a vampire turns him into a sex god.
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★★★½ review by Rakestraw on Letterboxd
"Babies are worthless" - Erik Sparrow
Erik gets it...I kid...sort of.
Writer/director/editor/producer Onur Tukel plays Erik Sparrow, a guy that happens to have things he shouldn't, a girlfriend and a nice job which he hasn't maintained for quite some time, but yet...here he is. If one is able to get past Tukel's character's shortcomings (namely his selfishness, his abject indolent disposition, his constant complaining, his need to incessantly over-expound trivial matters), there is plenty to like in this hipster-mocking, NYC vampire tale.
Erik Sparrow was already a vampire, a vampire in the sense that he sucked the life out of every single life event with his constant prattling, devouring pranic energy at every opportunity. Then, he comes a real-life vampire after being attacked in a Bushwick alleyway , not really attacked per se, more like acquiesces into the lifestyle because it will alleviate his adult responsibilities.
Guess what...becoming a bloodthirsty vampire makes him a better person, at least sexually.
The humor starts to slowly descend in quality towards the end, when Erik realizes he wants his ex-girlfriend back, but Tukel keeps it relatively fresh by extending Erik's commitment issues into the immortality awarded from jugular-gulping (he laps up that blood as if it's dispensed from a poorly-functioning water fountain).
Sidenote: At the beginning Erik's girlfriend proposes marriage (which he quickly declines) which sets off this chain of events which leads me to two observations:
1) 98% of the time if he hasn't asked yet, that means he doesn't want to.
2) 2% of the time, he's for it but he just keeps forgetting...so remind him.
★★★½ review by Andy Ferguson on Letterboxd
Onur Tukel once again straddles a fine line of pretentiousness vs honesty, edginess vs genre mashup, and he comes across on the winning end. As a writer and director, he proves so persistent that it is impossible to dislike his work. Even when he is trying so hard to be unlikable on screen, I can't help but to be swept up in the end product.
★★★½ review by MrSneakyMan on Letterboxd
Imagine a shaggy, loquacious version of George Costanza becoming a vampire. This is a combo that will absolutely repel a segment of the population. I should be in that group as I normally hate mumblecore comedies but SOB's humor continued to land for me. Not sure what it is but, I found something pleasing about that woolly little fanger.
★★★½ review by Markella on Letterboxd
Indie comedy that's actually funny! Praise Jesus! Very much like What We Do In The Shadows, which was released AFTER Summer of Blood, but instead we follow a racist, mentally abusive Dante a la Clerks type man who goes into Dan Harmon level rants (I say this with love) as he walks the streets looking for someone to attach his life to.
Because of the protagonists toxic personality I really waited until the end of the film to see what, if any, comeuppance he would receive. Hey, 3 1/2 stars here for a delightful modern vampire tale
★★★½ review by Dave Wain on Letterboxd
Horror-comedy, that awkward genre that either pisses off the gore brigade for being too vanilla, or it royally freaks out the mainstream folk who go in expecting Beetlejuice. It’s a tough balance to strike, but recent years have been kind enough to give us more hits than misses; three that I hold dear to my heart are The Revenant, Tucker & Dale vs Evil and also Bad Milo.
Onur Tukel, a forty-two year old New Yorker shot his first feature, House of Pancakes, back in 1997, but it was his sophomore effort that first brought him onto our video store shelves. Drawing Blood, a wild vampire flick filmed in 1999 under the pseudonym Sergio Lapel, managed to secure distribution through Troma. Comparisons to his latest film, SUMMER OF BLOOD, seem unavoidable as both movies have a fiercely independent background to them, while they’re also vampiric tales with a double-scoop of comedy. As Tukel told Fangoria last year, Summer of Blood is more concerned with his life now; a forty-something neurotic, at a crossroads in life. Drawing Blood was more deliberately stylised, injected with a European artsy flavour to underpin its ambition.
This contemporary setting for Summer of Blood enables it to breathe more easily with a broader appeal as we’re introduced to Erik Sparrow (Tukel), an egocentric, racist, sexist, misogynistic, migraine of a man. After rejecting his girlfriends’ marriage proposal, he encounters a vampire in an alleyway who in turn bites him. Now stronger, more confident and experiencing a level of freedom that he never has before, he’s a free man, albeit with an insatiable craving for blood.
The first line of my notes for this film read “I do not like this man”. He really is a reprehensible character whose delivery is an unerring mash-up of Woody Allen, Quentin Tarantino and Larry David, while his physical appearance is more akin to the love child of Jerry Garcia and George Lucas. Needless to say your love of the film will depend solely on how you deal with the character of Sparrow, and despite my initial reservations, I have to say he really grew on me. It may be Tukel’s own script, but his delivery of the dialogue is effortless and full of great lines; his boss gets to sack him by saying “you look like Godzilla used your shirt as a maxi-pad”. For a character to elicit the level of sympathy that he does for Sparrow, whose behaviour should only elicit disdain is some achievement. Add to that a number of scenes with the lush gore of vampire inflicted wounds, and we have a very bewildering blend of comedy and horror, yet one which works excellently.
Written for DTV Junkyard @ ZombieHamster.com
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