"My body metabolices the stem cells seven days after" ....
the pregnancy began/conception, well, something like that
anyway and that doesn't sound too romantic does it? But
this little low budget indie film manages to be both genuinely
romantic, beautiful and slightly phantasmic .... dreamlike (?) -
Sorry, my english really stinks and i'm struggling here
so don't ridicule me, i'm trying and grammar is a bitch, like the scandinavian
dudes in Family Guy who almost
speaks correct english, but just almost and yes it's pathetic - but
let's continue with the Swenglish now.
A Charming Love Story - Beware
of SPOILERS below
This is not just a charming Love Story but
also a Creature Horror, where a young american travels
to Italy and the
beautiful coastline of Apulia at the south-eastern corner of Italy and
meets and falls in love with a gorgeous but maybe
not so local and not even italian girl. She calls herself Louise (Nadia
Hilker) and she's about 2000 years old.
Some sort of supernatural being, but we never get to know just what
sort of creature she is as the love-stricken young
man, Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) never asks her. Maybe the directors didn't
have any clear notion of this either?
What type of creature is she ? A Lengthy
Now, dear fellow film lovers i just have to make a lengthy
digression about the possible inspirations for this film.
I'm interested in the subject ancient creatures/supernatural beings
vs. Man and i'm crazy about the mermaids lore.
This delightful film Spring also inspired me, it was so good and i always
take every opportunity to make a literary
digression (see no.2 below) even though this is a film text (and Spring
may not even have a sea creature in it).
First, i thought she was a werewolf (lupa mannara) after the shower
scene, then maybe some sort of reptile dinosaur,
but after seeing the short but effectively made special effect transformation
scene, made with a combination of good old
make up prosthetics effect and CG, and showing an octopus like tentacle
i finally settled for something From the sea.
And then, i thought of 2 other love stories with a slight resemblance
to this film :
1. The Great low budget cult classic Night Tide
(1961) , the original Man falls in love with
a mermaid movie (?) or
maybe there's some even older films depicting the classic theme of a
man falling in love with a female creature from
the sea, a mermaid or a Siren ....
Dennis Hopper is great in this very low budget film effectively directed
by Curtis Harrington, a psychological drama-
horror with a story maybe inspired from Jacques Torneurs horror-drama
classic Cat People (1943), and ...
Racconti 1961, Sweden 1962 Bonniers edition
2. The Siren (Lighea/La Sirena/The
Professor and the Siren/Sirenen) The Hypnotic Masterpiece short story
written by sicilian writer Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa shortly before
his death in 1957. Lampedusa, best
known for his famous novel Il Gattopardo/The Leopard (filmed by Luchino
Visconti in 1963).
This amazing story is based on the old mythological beliefs in elemental
spirits, in water spirits, Ondines (undiner)
and water nymphs, mermaids, sirens. There's the slavic Rusalka,
in many russian films and an opera by Dvorak,
the German Lorelei, the Rhine siren and delightfully
depicted in Amando De Ossorio's trash-horror Las Garras
de Lorelei (The Loreley's Grasp, 1974) where redhaired beauty Helga
Liné plays the heart-munching Siren,
the Swedish Sjörå/Havsfrun and then there's the mermaids
and Sirens in classic (greek/latin) western mythology.
Yes, and there's water spirits in most other cultures all over the world,
as in Thailand (seen in the fantasy film Phra-
Apai-Manee from 2002, with the gorgeous miss Thailand as a mermaid),
in Japan as Kappas, in Africa etc. etc.
The Rocky coast of Apulia in this film, Spring, where
Evan finds his Louise-creature slightly reminds of the ditto
coast of Sicilia in Lampedusas short story. This short story is one
of the most haunting i've had the pleasure to
read (some other great favourite short stories of mine are James Joyce's
The Dead ,1914, and Edogawa Rampo's
The Human Chair, 1925) .... well, now i seem to be digressing from the
digression, sorry ....
In The Siren, which takes place in Torino in the north of Italy an old
sicilian professor tells a younger man, another
sicilian by birth, about something that happened to him when he was
young. When, he lived in a house by the sea
on the rocky wild coast of Sicily and with the volcano Etna rising at
When out in his boat he meets Lighea, a young sexually arousing girl,
half woman and half fish. She's the daughter
of Calliope (the muse of poetry?) and she's many 1000's of years old
(just as Louise in this film Spring).
During 3 magic weeks they've an intense sexual relationship, but just
how the professor doesn't tell us, in some
sort of "animal" way he hints. How do
you make love to a fish?
There has been a flood of mermaid pictures lately but i doubt if this
question gets any illumination.
A Mermaid creature film i liked a lot was the serbian film Mamula/Nymph
(read more on Horror Page 1).
And, Finally ..... back to the film Spring
Nadia Hilker as Louise
The Film starts in California, USA, when young Evan's
mother dies and he's involved in a drunken brawl in a bar
and is wanted by the police. His friends suggests a change of place,
a time-out and he randomly goes to .....
Italy and Rome. Where he meets 2 brits and they rent a car and goes
for the scenic route down in Apulia.
In a tourist magnet coastal town he meets the stunningly beautiful Louise,
a genetic scientist, and there's a great
attraction between them from the start. The Brits leave but Evan stay,
and he starts working for an old man at a
farm, Angelo (Francesco Carnelutti) and dives into a sexual relation
with the maybe italian girl, he's not sure.
But, she behaves strangely and often has to leave in
a haste.Why? Her body goes through a metamorphosis
without a constant supply of stem cells, which she injects into her
body with a syringe.
Will Evan finally find out about his beloved one's secret and will he,
if so, choose to accept her as she is ?
As this is a timeless Love Story i guess we all know the answer to that.
L'amour fou for sure, but Evan's passion
runs wild and he knows this is it, the big once in a lifetime love.
Aaaah, so romantic.
A Very recommended beautiful romantic creature horror
OK, there's some struggle with somewhat flat dialogue sometimes during
the second part when the film goes into
a light hearted romantic mode and leaves the spooky atmosphere behind.
But the poetic ending saves it.
anamorphic widescreen 2.39:1, DTS-HD 5.1 english with swedish subs.
Extras: Making of featurette (67 min) a nice one with
a personal touch and for some scenes the photographer
used a Drone, interesting and i guess we're in for a new era in cinematography
with usage of Drones,
18 minutes of deleted scenes, alternate ending, trailers, promo videos
etc. and a commentary track with the
co-director and scriptwriter Justin Benson and co-director and photographer