Cinema/TV, Dracula, Film Notes

Your Daily Dracula – Isabelle Cyr as Karmina, Yves Pelletier as Vlad, Raymond Cloutier as the Baron, Karmina (1996)

Your Daily Dracula – Isabelle Cyr as Karmina, Yves Pelletier as Vlad, Raymond Cloutier as the Baron, Karmina (1996)

Directed by Gabriel Pelletier – who also co-wrote with Ann Burke, Yves Pelletier and Andrée Pelletier – this French-Canadian vampire rom-com hasn’t got much of a profile outside the francophone sphere, perhaps because it depends on Quebecois culture, slang and in-jokes (the sub-titled ‘Transylvanian’ is strangled French-Canadian, for instance) for the greater part of its humour.  That said, the story is simple and almost sweet and big-haired, big-eyed Isabelle Cyr – who would play Carmilla in an episode of The Hunger a year later – is a fetching, funny floaty goth runaway vampire heroine (she looks a bit like Jennifer Beals in Vampire’s Kiss).

Karmina (Cyr) flees the Socialist Republic of Transylvania to avoid an arranged marriage and winds up in Montreal, rooming with her aunt Esmeralda (France Castel), who has a potion which enables vampires to live as regular humans in the daytime (though, of course, it wears off at inconvenient moments).  Karmina’s parents, the Dracula-style Baron (Raymond Cloutier) and Baroness (Sylvie Potvin), are annoyed by her defection, and send her fiancee Vladimir Sangynarz (Yves Pelletier) – who has Nosferatu posture and a terrible communist haircut – to Canada to get her back.  Esmeralda runs a video dating service, which brings in victims and a lot of spot gags about obnoxious suitors – but Karmina’s destined true love is Phillipe (Robert Brouillette), an organist torn between rock and baroque, and she literally floats off her feet whenever she hears him playing.

When Vlad arrives, he turns and enslaves cop Ghislain (Gildor Roy) and his wife Linda (Diane Lavallée), incidentally killing off obnoxious minor characters (Ghislain’s slob twin brother, a complaining neighbour).  It runs through many of the comedy vampire riffs found in Dance of the Vampires, Love at First Bite, Vamps and many, many others – though there are a few amusing misdirections, as when Ghislain drives Vlad past Love Craft, the goth nightclub, and takes him to the line-dancing cowboy bar next door, which leads to a dance routine and an offscreen massacre.  It has the usual farcical developments – everyone gets jealous, or is naked in public, or blunders into embarrassing situations – and a more or less happy ending … which was a slingshot into an immediate sequel, Karmina 2.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: