By Don Simpson | October 20, 2009
Director: Faye Jackson
Writer(s): Faye Jackson
Starring: Constantin Barbulescu, Camelia Maxim, Catalin Paraschiv
Vampires seem to be the new black these days, with multiple prime time television shows featuring vampires and an onslaught of vampire movies; but what differentiates Strigoi from all of the other vampire-related entertainment out there is that there is nothing sexy or seductive about Strigoi. Written and directed by Faye Jackson, Strigoi focuses more on another common trait of vampire tales – the metaphor – and in Strigoi the metaphor appears to be political (bloodsucking communist landowners).
Vlad (Catalin Paraschiv) has returned home to Romania, after living in Italy for a while. While living with his grandfather, Vlad stumbles upon a mysterious death that has been ruled accidental but reeks of foul play – it also seems someone forged Vlad’s name on the autopsy report.
Curious about apparent cover-up, Vlad commences an investigation. The obvious bad guy is ex-communist bully Constantin Tirescu (Constantin Barbulescu) – who we witness being buried at the opening of the film. The problem is that Vlad does not know that Constantin was already killed – that could be why Constantin isn’t feeling too healthy when Vlad interviews him about the murder. It’s also worth noting that Vlad does not believe in strigoi (a Romanian myth about the troubled souls of the dead rising from the grave).
Strigoi opts to rely solely on the original Romanian folklore about strigoi (which was an influence on Bram Stoker’s Dracula), rather than the much bastardized version of the popular vampire. For further clues about what’s going on in Strigoi, it wouldn’t hurt to brush up on the Romanian folklore. For instance, you’ll learn why the townspeople are so suspicious of Vlad being a strigoi himself – it has to do with him traveling abroad to a country where another language is spoken.
Strigoi was shot in Romania with an English-speaking (yet sometimes heavily accented) Romanian cast.