by Rich Moreland, February 2013
This episode, “It’s a Dangerous Game,” is a dramatic encounter between Adriana and Father Zoltan. There is discontent within the vampire universe. It seems Vlad is making a female vampire’s existence miserable by killing off all of the men. Adriana, in particular, is angry.
She turns to the priest for assistance, at first schmoozing him through praise, then thanking him for protecting “this” clan, as she puts it. Apparently there are others.
Vlad’s patriarchal control of her hometown clan is supremely aggravating for Adriana and the time to act is now.
“I’ve been putting up with these motherfuckers for five hundred years,” she says with palatable annoyance. “It’s my time to take over.” She wants Zoltan involved in this planned vampireland coup.
The scene underlines director John Stagliano’s support for powerful women. Adriana will persuade Zoltan to become a part of the conspiracy she is weaving. She demonstrates her forceful nature by grabbing his throat and pulling him up out of his chair to look her in the eye. She challenges him with, “you always wanted to be a vampire.”
Not to be outdone, he responds by squeezing her breasts, tit for tat if you must.
Of course, with Vald’s intentions revealed, vampirism may not be so attractive now for any man.
Adriana is the take-charge type, a noticeable contrast to the weaker Amira. Yet she achieves it in a manner that does not diminish her male counterpart. She wants to encourage Zoltan, not demean him.
She mentions that the “foolish human” and his “true love,” as Adriana describes Manuel and Amira, are unwitting players in this plan.
“With your help, no more Vlad,” she tells the priest.
“I know it’s dangerous,” he says.
Adriana counters with a devilish smile. “When have you ever been afraid of danger? You’ve been playing with vampires.”
The sex in this episode is different from the others so far. There is no visual background to lend meaning or drama to its purpose. Adriana and Zoltan are in a darkened room. A limited amount of light defines their bodies specifically for the camera in a way that keeps the atmosphere menacingly spooky.
John Stagliano’s presentation of explicit sex is always embraced with sound, slurping and guttural moans predominant, especially in oral scenes. Filmed sex has not been silent since the early stag film days. When videotape broke onto the scene, the audio was little more than cheesy music and faked voiceover moans looped repeatedly as the shoot progressed. A Stagliano film is a far cry from that production paradigm. In this scene, the music highlights percussion instruments that give it a tribal or primitive flavor. At one point, the background drumming falls into the rhythm of Zoltan’s thrusting into Adriana, and from there dictates the pace of the action. There is a barbaric feel that is devilish and savage, something that would fascinate an anthropologist like Manuel Batiste.
A final note on the sex presented here. The physical pleasure between Zoltan and Adriana is equalized, unlike the priest’s earlier scene with the park hooker and later with Amira in front of the Victory Column. He was the patriarch in those encounters. Not so with Adriana because this sexual interlude reflects her status within the vampire community.
Adriana’s character recalls the ancient Hebrew Lilith, Adam’s first wife, who was abandoned because she insisted on equality. She demanded to be on top in history’s first cowgirl. Exiled, Lilith becomes vampire like, the succubus, haunting men at night and seeking the flesh of babies through the ages.
Lilith’s grip on the body of men is everlasting and she is punished, relegated to become the pornographic.
Condemnation, however, does not cause the flesh to turn from its desires.
“Do you worship the vampire body?” Adriana asks Zoltan, speaking with Lilith’s voice. “Are you ready to become a vampire?”
The Church’s mighty task to erase Lilith in favor of a much more docile view of womanhood is never ending. The proof is in the fascination with this tale of vampire sex?