I, DESIRE (1982)
aka Desire, the Vampire
Article 3386 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-9-2010
Posting Date: 11-21-2010
Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey
Featuring David Naughton, Dorian Harewood, Marilyn Jones
What it is: TV-Movie vampire tale
A morgue attendant is drawn into a crime investigation about bodies that have been drained of their blood. He becomes convinced that a vampire posing as a hooker is on the loose.
This was not John Llewellyn Moxey’s first cinematic venture into vampirism; he directed THE NIGHT STALKER. This movie does bear some resemblance to that earlier work, though it is not a remake; once again, we have a lone man who finds himself at odds with the authorities when he becomes convinced that a vampire is on the loose. What sets it apart is that it really delves into the emotional issues raised by believing in creatures that are dismissed by the rest of the world as imaginary; the morgue attendant’s belief isolates him, makes him the butt of jokes, alienates him from his girlfriend and the police officer investigating the case, and makes him a bit of a pariah. The curse of having to deal with these beliefs is best vocalized by the character of Paul when he says that he has “lost his innocence” with his knowledge; Paul is played by Brad Dourif, whose excellence performance steals the movie. The movie also shows some sympathy for the detective on the case; though he to suspects the truth, he can’t afford to embrace the knowledge because he knows that he has to answer to higher authorities. I also like the touches it adds to vampire mythology; if one wishes to stand up to a vampire, they must be righteous, and this fits in well with the sexual subtexts to the vampire myth, though it could be argued that the movie takes it out of subtext into text; after all, check out the name of the vampiress. I’m not quite as impressed with the vampire attack scenes; the fact that our vampiress makes jaguar sounds when she attacks is rather silly. I also notice she has several mirrors in her penthouse apartment. The ending is not quite satisfying, but this is a worthy vampire movie.