Embrace the Darkness (1998) Movie Review

I have very little use for a movie that not only fails to entertain me, but also fails to deliver on its promise. “Embrace the Darkness” is a softcore sex movie masquerading as an erotic vampire movie; that aside, it’s one heck of a guilty pleasure. The sexual situations (and there are a lot of them) are quite erotic, but it goes without saying that there is no resonance to the film’s futile attempts at romance.

“Embrace the Darkness” stars the lovely Madison Clark as Jennifer, a would-be dancer waiting for her big break. Jennifer has a bad habit (or is it?) of dancing nude in her loft, which besides enticing the audience, gets Jennifer noticed by vampire Galen (Kevin Spirtas), who appears at her window one night. Being that the film is taking a stab at “gothic vampire romance”, our vampire is not evil at all, but rather a tortured soul wandering the wastelands of humanity and time in search of his perfect love. Or some such nonsense.

Complicating matters for the lovestruck Galen is Miranda (Angelina High), a female vampire with a voracious appetite for sex, blood, and oh yes, more sex. Sensing that Galen is being drawn to Jennifer, and fearing that she may lose her longtime companion (they’re vampires, so they don’t age), Miranda sets out to ruin things the only way she knows how — with twice the sex and blood! What’s a brooding vampire like Galen to do in such a situation? I’m sure it doesn’t involve sleeping with Miranda and Jennifer, then stalking Jennifer’s cop boyfriend. Wait, let me take that back. Galen does end up doing all those things!

Whatever you may think about the dripping puddle that makes up the plot of “Embrace the Darkness” (the premise, incidentally, is the cornerstone of all “gothic vampire love stories”, including the ill-conceived Anne Rice movie “Queen of the Damned”), there is no denying that director Kelley Cauthen knows what his audience wants, and gives it to them again and again. “Darkness” is a low-budget production with minimal locations, but that matters very little when the movie is all about sex, which this one is.

“Embrace the Darkness” is drowning in sexuality. Madison Clark is a stunning woman and lights up the screen with a terrific smile (not to mention a fetching figure). Angelina High, as the vengeful she-vampire, can’t possibly hope to reach Clark’s physical level, although she does come close during a passionate bi-sexual encounter with her co-star against (of all things) a chain link fence! As the brooding vampire with a penchant for pounding on piano keys, Kevin Spirtas is appropriately handsome and — well, that’s about it.

There’s very little reason to watch “Darkness” unless one enjoys this type of film. It’s no great wonder, the story is atrociously bad (and familiar), and the topic of talent by all involved is better left untouched. Then again, if you thought a film called “Embrace the Darkness” was anything other than softcore porn, you have either been living in a cave or don’t have Cinemax After Dark.

Kelley Cauthen (director)
CAST: Madison Clark …. Jennifer
Angelina High …. Miranda
Kevin Spirtas …. Galen


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