Saturday, August 14, 2010

'Alice Blue' signals a quirky, welcome shift to vampire genre

Oh, to be Canadian: universal health care, Nanaimo bars, Barenaked Ladies, plentiful natural resources, John Candy, Wayne Gretzky, Avril Lavi...OK, I'll stop there. But as if being a Canuck wasn't cool enough, now the Great White Northerners are delivering  a much needed shake-up to the vampire genre. 

The Death of Alice Blue is a self-aware Canadian horror-comedy that packs in a retro style with goth visuals set in a crushing work environment. Set in an advertising agency, the film follows Alice (Alex Appel, shown here eating), the demure title character attempting to build a career amongst petty co-workers and sinister corporate masters (and monsters) while she also deals with a half-mad mum and a conspiracy theory.

The film is delightfully bizarre and could exist in the same universe that houses Terry Gilliam's Brazil and Spike Jonze's Being John Malkovich. Moreover, it's not a stretch to imagine Alice's Raven ad agency doing business with Patrick Bateman's firm. Alice Blue isn't brilliant, and it does have its share of flaws, but it possesses an inventiveness and creativity that has been lacking with the vampires of tween fiction.

It's not playing in the States just now, but is rolling in Toronto (greedy Canadians!) until Aug. 19 at the AMC Yonge & Dundas 24. It does make the rounds at film festivals, but until it's in a neighborhood near you, check out the trailer below.

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