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Based on the Anne Rice's novel and with a screenplay adapted by herself, this film tells the story of Lestat and Louis, two vampires with over three hundred years. Directed by Neil Jordan, has the participation of Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Kirsten Dunst (as a child). It received two nominations for the Oscar (Best Art Direction, Best Original Score).This is the film adaptation of one of the greatest horror novels of this American author, and is even more appealing when we realize that she actively collaborated with the production, signing the adaptation of the script. Indeed, it's a great script, faithful to the novel and original story. And for me, this movie has another good note: fully escaping the recent \"sex symbol vampire\" cliché, fueled by movies like \"Twilight\", this film depicts vampires as they really should be: monsters with some psychological depth.The actors are excellent in their roles. The highlight goes obviously to Pitt and Cruise, who were not only perfectly able to give charisma to the characters but also not ignore the importance of the psychological characteristics. Pitt took it to the extreme in his character, torn between the love of his own humanity and the overwhelming desire for blood he feels. The way both actors share the scene is irresistible, such as how Cruise transforms his character in \"evil genius\" of his friend.The film contains several very intense scenes with moments that can hurt some sensibilities. Nevertheless, its not a very bloody movie. The atmosphere is dark, sinister, something largely enhanced by the cinematography, dark and misty, and the soundtrack, worthy of a good horror movie (something that this film is definitely not). The special, visual and sound effects are good, such as the characterization and makeup. The costumes are exceptional, portraying accurately the clothes of the several historical periods portrayed throughout the film.
In present day San Francisco, reporter Daniel Molloy (Christian Slater) interviews Louis de Pointe du Lac (Brad Pitt) who claims to be a vampire. Back in 1791 south of New Orleans, he was a 24 year old owner of a plantation. He is in grief over his wife's death in childbirth. He wants to die and Lestat de Lioncourt (Tom Cruise) answers his wish. Yvette (Thandie Newton) is Louis' favorite slave whose killing is the final act before he sets the plantation on fire. Louis refuses human blood until he finds young Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) living besides her dead mother. After Louis has a taste, Lestat converts her to a vampire.Were we ever so easily swayed by the simple promise of sexy vampires Apparently we were. Of course, there is more to this than the two sex symbols of the time; Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. Director Neil Jordan is able to bring Anne Rice's Gothic sense to the big screen. It is beautifully shot and expertly crafted. However it doesn't drive. At least, the plot isn't very hard driving. This is a ponderous affair. The movie already shows that Louis exists at the end so he doesn't have the tension of danger. The story plods along but it does so beautifully. It's also quite a nice introduction to Kirsten Dunst. She's amazing in this and probably out-acts Brad Pitt.
AIP released the film as the supporting film on a double feature with Daniel Haller's Die, Monster, Die! (1965). Planet of the Vampires has accumulated a very positive critical response over the years. In 1966, Castle of Frankenstein described the film as \"Beautifully photographed Italian sfantasy with excellent sfx and superb color\". Variety's Dool opined, \"Plot is punctuated with gore, shock, eerie music and wild optic and special effects...Color camera work and production values are smooth and first class...Flash Gordon type story...should keep the young on the edge of their seats and the older set from falling asleep\". Richard Davis, in Films and Filming, wrote that \"Bava is tied to a grossly synthetic studio set which doesn't for a moment convince of its extraterrestrial reality...the piece on the whole is poor stuff\". Monthly Film Bulletin noted the film was, \"a triumph of mind over matter, or of Bava over a shoestring budget and appalling dubbed dialogue...[Bava] does atmospheric wonders with pastel-shaded fog and cunning camerawork\". In 1974, Joe Dante wrote that the \"fabulous comic strip sci-fi shows director Mario Bava at his most visually inventive...\" Phil Hardy's The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction noted in 1984 that the film was \"A gorgeous atmospheric confection from Bava...Bava's ever-moving camera creates a chilling sense of menace. The result is a triumph of the pulp imagination\". Glenn Erickson (aka \"DVD Savant\") wrote in 2001 that \"Bava's stunning gothic variation weaves a weird tale of flying saucers, ray guns and zombies that looks like no other space movie ever filmed\". In Fangoria magazine, Tim Lucas said \"Planet of the Vampires is commonly regarded as the best SF film ever made in Italy, and among the most convincing depictions of an alien environment ever put on film\".
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