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Insatiable (2007)

by on 2010/10/27

The hero of this low-budget, 2007 vampire film directed by Chuck Konzelman, Cary Solomon is Harry Balbo (Sean Patrick Flanery).

Harry Balbo is a loser.

Crummy apartment. Lousy job.  Closet full of short-sleeved, checkered dress shirts. Aquarium full of dead fish.

Then one night, Balbo’s drab routine comes to an abrupt end. Convenience store hot dog in hand, Balbo stumbles upon a grisly crime in his neighbourhood. To be more precise, he happens upon a feral vampire tearing the head off a homeless man.

Calling in the crime, the cops instantly dismiss him as a crank for insisting the culprit was a beautiful, young woman with a mouthful of human blood.

With no one listening, Balbo does what any self-respecting 21st-Century man would do, he turns to Great Mother Internet. Big Gulp in hand, he frequents chat rooms looking for answers and happens upon Strickland (Michael Biehn). I must admit as soon as Biehn hit the screen, the cool metre on this film, with its rather wobbly start, sharply spiked.

Wheel-chair-bound, Vietnam-vet-vampire-hunter Strickland helps Harry hatch a plan to kill the lady vampire, Tatiana (Charlotte Ayanna). Tracking the kills, Strickland triangulates the location of the vampire’s lair to a dank building, and sends Harry off with hammer and stake in hand.

Unfortunately, Harry hasn’t the stomach to kill the beautiful, scantily-clad Tatiana. But good news, Balbo’s a flange pipe salesman so he’s able to requisition all the pipe he needs to construct a sturdy woman cage.

Black-comedy moments ensue as Harry constructs a stockade and other er, restraints in his utility room to keep Tatiana alive.

There’s only one problem:  Tatiana needs fresh human blood to live. Feed me Seymour.

He tries cute white bunnies. Tatiana has a pretty temper tantrum, stomping her hooker boots. Harry tries the online blood bank, offering a bowl of microwaved hemoglobin and a red rose. Tatiana whines and rages like a Hooters waitress stiffed on the tip.

Lovely Charlotte Ayanna’s performance isn’t so much Queen of the Damned as Princess of the Mildy Inconvenienced.

Finally Harry succumbs Tatiana’s um, charms and lures office bully Javier (Jon Huertas) to meet her. Not since the 1980s remake of Cat People has an arm been torn off through cage bars so spatteringly.

Startling moments of gore aside (I’ve been more alarmed by accidentally stepping on a ketchup packet), Insatiable let me feeling a bit flat. Alas the snippets of Nosferatu (1922) shown during the film’s opening could not lend this film any of this classic’s edge or vampire cred.

I will say that Biehn’s vampire hunter origin speech is worth the entire price of admission.  Biehn puts his whole crazy-eyed soul into his thankless part.

And so I give Insatiable two stars. All two stars form a limp, little Internet bouquet for Michael Biehn. Mr. Biehn, you deserve better parts in better films.

* *

103 minutes

Rated 14A

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