Written by: Matt Molgaard
Who doesn’t love a movie that takes the time to point and laugh at obnoxious, shallow, cliché teenie bopper chicks? For that matter, who doesn’t love a movie that points and laughs at the pretentious, know-it-all kids who’ve never actually experienced jack shit, yet expect you to worship their every ultra-intelligent, super-philosophical word? Chastity Bites digs at both of these sizable groups (the jabs aimed at the latter are far lighter than the former, admittedly), but does so in good, light-hearted fun that commands more laughter than eye-rolling.
The general story itself isn’t much to talk about. It’s a contemporary approach to the age old legend of Elizabeth Bathory. Dracula, with a nice rack, as most of us know her, surfaces in an unsuspecting town, targeting a small high school. She’s of course got to bathe in the blood of virgins in order to preserve her youth. So what’s she do? Pops up playing the role of a celibacy coach (for a nifty little club called the Virginity Action Group… yes, the speedy terminology would be, VAG) at the school. It’s open access to virgins, and Liz Batho – as she’s called here – takes full advantage. Among the young ladies drawn into her fold is Katharine, nerdy best friend to the even nerdier, but certainly more powerful, Leah. Before Leah can have a cup of water blessed by a preacher, Liz has her claws on Katharine. It’s up to Leah and her new love interest, Paul to thwart the ways of the evil vampire before her BFF ends up DOA.
No, the story certainly isn’t where the allure lies. It’s really rather run of the mill. The shining points of this production are provided by the characters themselves, the often sharp-witted dialogue and generally successful satirical edge. The constant slap in the face of pop culture as a whole is going to really shine through for non-conformists (I admit, I think I’m one of those, though I make a legitimate attempt at avoiding snarky declarations, unlike many), meanwhile those who lack the ability to think for themselves, having allowed the insanity of today’s trends to sweep them away, happy to play the follower, may be feeling a little butt hurt by the time the credits roll.
I love Allison Scagliotti. I’ve been watching this kid since she enjoyed a run on one of my daughter’s old favorites, Drake & Josh. She’s spunky as all hell, but she’s not off-putting in any way. It’s extremely easy to get behind her character, Leah, who delivers plenty of memorable lines and – for the most part – outshines all of her contemporaries. Francia Raisa, who portrays the aloof buddy, Katharine isn’t completely left in the dust. She’s impressive in her depiction of aloofness embodied, and Eduardo Rioseco looks completely comfortable. He was a strong pick for Paul, who, had the character been miscast, could have massacred the synergy of the group. I’ve also got to dump some praise on writer, Lotti Pharriss Knowles and director John V. Knowles, who takes a thin budget and stretches it fairly wide. All in all, the crew does as a whole does a fine job.
Chastity Bites isn’t going to win everyone over. But if you’re annoyed to all to hell by brainless hipsters (I claimed I didn’t make snarky remarks, didn’t I?), you’re going to uncover some quality entertainment. It’s low budget, and feels somewhat constricted because of financial issues, but it’s really ambitious, and it’s really a fun flick that should appeal to a diverse age group. In my book, this one’s a definite winner.