By Don Simpson | October 15, 2014
Director: Onur Tukel
Writer: Onur Tukel
Starring: Onur Tukel, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Jason Selvig, Dustin Guy Defa, Dakota Goldhor, Melodie Sisk, Juliette Fairley, Vanna Pilgrim, Alex Karpovsky
Riddled with commitment phobia and mired in misanthropy, Eric (Onur Tukel) refuses to take anything seriously; such as when his girlfriend, Jody (Anna Margaret Hollyman), proposes marriage, Eric immediately jokes about the “post modern” gesture revealing the very disdainful selfishness that has rendered him an utterly unmarriable fortysomething. Eric is totally cognizant of his uncouthness — in fact, he revels in it. Friends, co-workers and acquaintances can call Eric out on his reprehensible attitude all they like, but he is never going to change…at least not until a fateful night when Eric meets Gavin (Dustin Guy Defa), an affable vampire with a hypnotically cold stare.
Becoming a vampire seems to make Eric’s life a whole lot easier, especially when it comes to women, as it allows Eric to evolve from a sexual disappointment into a sex machine. While most of the personality changes that come along with Eric’s pasty white persona seem to be pulled out of thin air, writer-director Onur Tukel’s Summer of Blood does not exactly purport to exist in reality. This is a cinematic world in which anything can happen. Just as Eric suddenly sprouts fangs and gets a taste for blood, the women he once scorned are instantly willing to give him a second chance.
Pairing his sardonically existential, rambling rapid-fire dialogue with a sloth-like lack of initiative, Eric is like if Issac (from Woody Allen’s Manhattan) stumbled into an alternate universe of Richard Linklater’s Slacker. Summer of Blood thus allows Tukel to showcase his naturally clumsy comedic vigor that babbles from his lips with the ease of stream of consciousness. The words are almost too effortless for him, as if Tukel is presenting himself, warts and all, to be judged by us all. In that way, Summer of Blood seems to serve as an outlet for Tukel to confront his own uncorrected personality traits [“that seem whimsical in a child, but may prove to be ugly in a fully grown adult”], in an earnest attempt at self-improvement. This could be why, despite all of the vitriolically dickish words that drip from his fangs, Tukel finds some oh-so-subtle ways to present Eric as an innocent and empathetic oaf. We may hate 99% of the shitty things that Eric says, but it is difficult not to feel a little bit sorry for the guy. Just a little bit, mind you, but that is all Summer of Blood really needs in order to succeed; because although Summer of Blood presents itself as a bloodthirsty (and sexy) genre flick, it is just a simple tale about a seemingly hopeless man-child who recognizes his wrongdoings and may or may not want to improve upon them.