Emily Mody - Vampire Clay (CUFF 2018)

Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 04:00 PM

Vampire Clay (CUFF 2018)

Review by Emily Mody x CalgaryMovies.com

Vampire Clay directed by Soichi Umezawa is a Japanese body horror film. This story follows six students who are attending a rural art prep school and their teacher. One day the teacher stumbles upon some clay that she decides to donate to her students. When one of the students begins to work with it, she discovers that there is something wrong with the clay. As things go from strange to stranger the clay eventually starts devouring the class.

When I first read the description for this film, I did not realize that it would be a body horror film and generally I am not a fan of those types of horror films. So if you are like me, here is your big warning, this is, without a doubt, a body horror film. If you are unaware of what body horror is exactly, let me break it down for you. Body horror as a genre is typically defined as a demonstration of the “unnatural transformation, degeneration or destruction of the physical body. Such works may deal with decay, disease, parasitism, mutation or mutilation.” (“List of Body Horror Media”) If you have ever seen a David Cronenberg film, you know exactly what I am talking about. I typically find that the films of this genre are also defined by some pretty shallow phallic and vulvic imagery and Vampire Clay is no exception. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, it is just very stylized.

The acting is decent, nothing exceptional or memorable. The writing and story are both fair as well. The story made sense and had a solid structure but I do not think there is anything unique to be garnered from it. I do not find that Vampire Clay is frightening, it is more visually disturbing and grotesque. Vampire Clay reminded me of a Canadian body horror film called Shivers directed by David Cronenberg. This film follows the residents of a high-rise apartment building as they begin to get infected by a strain of parasites that turn them into… well, the only way I can think to put it concisely would be, sex zombies. They, in turn, infect others through sexual contact. These films are very similar in style and tone. I think if you enjoy one, you will most definitely enjoy the other.

I would not generally recommend this film, but if you have an interest in body horror or Asian horror films then you might want to try it. Vampire Clay runs a total of 80 minutes. This film contains gore, violence, and disturbing scenes. It is, perhaps, also important to note that Vampire Clay will be presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

Vampire Clay will be premiering provincially as a part of the 15th Calgary Underground Film Festival 2018 (CUFF). You can watch it on Friday, April 20th at 11:59pm or Sunday, April 22nd at 11:00am at the Globe Cinema.

Calgary Showtimes: Vampire Clay (Chi o sû nendo) >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.