Review: Chastity Bites – Horror/Black Comedy

Written by Ben Gummery & Lewis Mainwaring

Chastity Bites is a 2013 black comedy/teen horror film written by Lotti Pharriss Knowles and directed by John V. Knowles. (See our interview with John here)

image5Notorious serial killer Elizabeth Bathory (Louise Griffiths) believed that bathing in virgin blood would keep her young and beautiful forever. Still alive in present day America she’s found a perfect hunting ground promoting celibacy in the young girls at San Griento High School under the banner of the V.A.G. society.

image2She soon has numerous ‘pure’ teens under her command; except for bold young blogger Leah (Allison Scagliotti – who is also an executive producer) who is the natural opposite of ‘popular’ girls Kelly (Chloë Crampton), Ashley (Amy Okuda), Britney (Sarah Stouffer) and Noemi (Lindsey Morgan); a clique that is worthy of Mean Girls status. Leah is assisted by friend Katherine (Francia Raisa) and love interest Paimage3ul (Eduardo Rioseco).

Griffiths performance as glamorous and malevolent vampire Liz Bathos is flawless and is well matched by Scagliotti’s performance as fearless & rebellious outsider Leah.

IMG_2092Visually the film shows its low-budget credentials and action/horror is used sparingly but this does not hinder the story and performances.

The Blood Countess’s origins are not that of Hollywood fiction but that of Hungarian history. Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) was a countess of nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary.

image4 She has been labelled as the most prolific female serial killer in history, though the precise number of her victims is debated. Báthory and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls between 1585 and 1610. The highest number of victims cited during Báthory’s trial was 650.                                                                    She is often compared with Vlad III the Impaler (from which the fictional Count Dracula is partly based), and has been nicknamed The Blood Countess and Countess Dracula as is mentioned in the film.

This film keeps some ‘classic elements’ of the horror genre whilst ‘flipping’ some of the key concepts.

image1The ‘final girl’ is a trope in horror films. It refers to the last woman alive to confront the killer. The final girl has been observed in dozens of films, including Halloween (Laurie Strode), Friday the 13th (Alice Hardy), A Nightmare on Elm Street (Nancy Thompson)  and Scream (Sidney Prescott). This film sees elements of the ‘final girl’ concept.

Another key ideal of horror films for decades is basically Sex = death. As referenced in Scream there are rules that must be adhered to to survive a horror movie:-

1) You must not have sex.

2) You must not do illegal drugs or drink alcohol

3) Never say “I’ll be right back”

In the same vein as the 2000 film Cherry Falls the killer isn’t slaying the sexually promiscuous but is actively killing virgins, which is a really fresh look on the horror dynamic.

5/5 – A teen horror/comedy with an interesting twist.

The film was finally released in the UK on Amazon VOD on 2nd February and DVD release is on 2oth April (pre order on Amazon Now)

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