by Rich Moreland, February 2013
This episode is about the attempted seduction of Manuel into the clan. Amira demonstrates an inner resolve that has not been seen up to this point. John Stagliano’s script and visualization of the sex in this segment of Voracious is superb and that is saying much considering the scenes that have come before it. This episode is titled “Who Is This Guy?”
* * * * *
Adriana meets Manuel in the train station to take him ostensibly to see Amira.
When they arrive at the warehouse where the vampires are camped out, the ever-present Dracu rides up on his motorcycle and stares at Manuel.
“Who is this guy?” he growls, directing his comment to Adriana.
“I told you we needed more men,” she answers sweetly and without a hint of deference in her voice. “Let’s go,” she says to Manuel, walking briskly away from a curious Dracu.
Dracu is annoyed and somewhat suspicious about Adriana’s motives. The viewer now realizes she is typical of the female vampires in the clan. They pull no punches when they voice their demands and have little time for Dracu’s bullying. Once again, John Stagliano shows that women are a powerful force in an Evil Angel film.
From here the scene takes on a host of images and meanings. Manuel enters the room where the action of this episode takes place where Amira is waiting in a black bikini styled for BDSM lovers. Fleeting moments of past sexual encounters flash on the screen.
Manuel is surrounded by female vampires: the Vampire Mistress, Ivana Sugar’s newly anointed vampire, Adriana, and Amira who exists in a sort of vampire purgatory. It’s a replay of his first encounter in the L.A. house.
This time there will be more profound implications that move past an introduction into the vampire world.
A Test for Amira
The seduction begins with the grainy black and white quality reminiscent of the stag films of yesteryear. Once more the music is rhythmical with a dreamlike tonality. The scene is shrouded in darkness similar to the night in the park that first introduced Father Zoltan. Having served as an emissary and suspiciously active as a conspirator, Adriana withdraws. Amira is again cut out of the action. While the vampires lustfully gaze at Manuel, Amria’s face is blanketed with apprehension and uncertainty.
Through the flashbacks, John Stagliano will bring together the previous episodes allowing the viewer to peek into the minds of the characters.
Sometimes in modern pornography, the sex becomes tediously repetitive. Not so in this Evil Angel epic. Stagliano offers enough freshness with each filmed sequence to keep his audience entertained.
The remainder of this episode is a test for Amira who watches Manuel’s seduction.
She enters, exits, and reenters the room but does not participate in the three-way scene. At one point she glides in and sits on the couch where the action is taking place. With hesitancy she reaches out to touch Manuel’s foot. He is unaware of her presence, but she is very cognizant of the potential loss she confronts.
Her movements in and out of the scene are instantaneous, a reminder that the undead occupy an ethereal existence beyond humans.
Whenever Amira is present, a series of flashbacks pop up. Her plea to Vlad to see the sun super cedes all the others in its intensity. Manuel’s sweat soaked face as he is orally stimulated in real time is superimposed over a cum filled Amria’s as she grovels before Vlad. Later images of Amira and Manuel, faces nuzzling, appear on screen. The flashbacks are visually filmy and fragile, memories alive with feeling but questionable in their authenticity. Vampire seduction takes place in an unreal world, doesn’t it?
That will shape the dramatic ending to this episode.
The sex acted out here brings to bear a philosophical conundrum. John Stagliano has a way of reinforcing his script with visual comments that give the viewer a deeper understanding of his message. He selects images, like the Victory Column, the steel ladder in front of the coffins, and the priest’s red crucifix, to persuade the audience to watch the film in a more profound way. In this case, a new image is on tap: the face of a magnificent ebony Buddha, a passive monitor positioned behind the couch where the sex takes place. In this episode, faces express the story.
Voracious reinforces that porn often crosses over into art.
An ancient philosophy, Buddhism teaches that desire causes suffering and when desire is conquered, enlightenment is achieved. The vampires suffer because of their blood lust and the unrelenting and never ending pursuit to satisfy it. Doomed to an existence of frustration and an insatiable carnality that consumes them, the vampires will never be freed of physical need. Their existence is in a reverse reality where any hope of paradise will elude them forever; their immortality is dark, haunting, and hungry.
As Buddha believed, to be is a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth with torment and anguish to be endured before the cycle comes again. It is cleansing process that leads down the path of enlightenment. Vampires are indeed reborn, but into a black, heinous eternity that floats between the joys and vagaries of humanity and paradise. They can finally die, by sunlight or a stake through heart in traditional tales, or Vlad’s wrath in this story. But rebirth to eventual perfection is not in the cards, an undisturbed peace is their only hope.
So John Stagliano presents the viewer with a paradoxical and insoluble problem that cannot be solved. He lets us know that a vampire’s fate is condemnation in the Christian doctrine and a failure to achieve perfection in Buddha’s teaching. But angels do prevail . . . sometimes . . . as Voracious wants us to consider.
After Manuel is sated and exhausted, the Vampire Mistress moves in for the kill. The fangs come out and soon he will not see the sun. Now Amira’s test steps to the forefront.
Manuel’s seduction is hard-hitting and the scene closes with a powerful image. The Vampire Mistress is visually captured with the Buddha behind her, lording over the most dramatic and artistic scene in the film. Proof positive that John Stagliano is a filmmaker first who has chosen pornography as his artistic venue.
As we know, sex is accompanied by sound and in this case it brings closure to an emotional episode. A bell, like those found in village churches, tolls in the background, but for whom?
2 responses to “A Bell Tolls”
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