What do you get when you combine elements of a spaghetti western, an Iranian vampire film and a love story? You get a new kind of film that is a different chemical composition all together, in the form of “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night.”
Visionary writer/director (and all around cool person) Ana Lily Amirpour digs deep for the black and white Iranian vampire movie that is one of those films that you know instantly while watching is going to be timeless.
The story follows both Arash, (Arash Marandi) a good hearted guy who is helping his father pay off his debts that were born from drug use and “The Girl,” (Sheila Vand) a vampire who watches the streets of Bad City and feeds on those unlucky enough to get on her bad side. Through a series of events their paths are crossed and fates become entwined.
Vand, plays the vampire with ferocity with a splash of vulnerability. The black and white film adds to her pale skin and predatory big eyes. She makes vampires entrancing and scary again in the same way that Bela Lugosi made the iconic role of “Dracula” in 1931.
“A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” gets everything right and transports you into a black and white dreamscape that is filled with characters cut from a caring creators mind.
This is one of those films you could literally pause at any time and have a still of art for your art collection or at the very least your computer desktop.
Small items and moments make this movie what it is. “The Girl” skateboarding around Bad City looking for prey is one of those cool things in films that are instantly burned into your memory forever.
Amirpour is a film fanatic first. In one of the special features on the Blu-ray, she talks about her inspiration for the look and feel of this film and high on that list is none other than David Lynch and his film “Wild At Heart.” Her passion for film not only comes out in conversation but also in vision. She manages to create the same droning dreadful feelings that accompany many of Lynch’s films.
Much like the vampire in the film, “A Girl Walks Home At Night” is simultaneously beautiful and menacing and haunting. Amirpour and the cast create a world that is supposed to be based in Iran but also feels alien. It feels like a world that is not of this earth, which adds to the spell that the film casts from opening frame to closing frame.
My favorite thing about purchasing a Blu-ray is the physical product first and a special features second. I like my Blu-ray purchases to have weight to them that way when you are pulling away the shrink wrap when opening it for the first time, you are not only greeted by the intoxicating new Blu-ray smell but also a handful of content to discover.
“A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” on Blu-ray does not disappoint in that direction. Distributor Kino Lorber did a fantastic job with this release, which includes beautiful artwork from top to bottom and then some.
The Blu-ray comes inside of slipcover with a foldable inner sleeve and a graphic novel of more dark adventures of the vampire from the film.
The graphic novel features beautiful artwork done by Michael DeWeese and is written by Ana Lily Amirpour. The stories give some background on the character and explain how she arrived in Bad City.
The special features on the disk are plentiful and lengthy as well. The range from behind the scenes footage of Shelia Vand as she is fitted for her fangs and Dominic Rains getting molded for prosthetics. Vice also does a featurette on Ana Lily and features some behind the scenes stuff as well as conversations with executive producer Elijah Wood.
The crowning special feature has Ana Lily doing a Q&A session with none other than the legendary Roger Corman about “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night.” During the Q&A Ana Lily discusses her influences, while Corman confirms that “Little Shop of Horrors” was indeed shot in two days and one night.
The special features are good and give a great look at what went into “Girl “while giving an up close look at the director. For me the packaging (and of course the brilliant vampire story) really makes this release worth adding to your collection.
Ana Lily Amirpour is a director that we will all be seeing a ton of in the future. Her next project “The Bad Batch” stars Jim Carrey and Keanu Reeves and takes places in a Texan wasteland where cannibalism has taken over certain group’s appetites. Get in on the ground floor with the seductive and dangerous “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” now on Blu-ray and DVD.