When a mysterious figure attacks Anne (Barbara Crampton), the wife of a conservative small-town pastor (Larry Fessenden), it does more than turn her into a bloodsucking monster. The bite from the Master, as the Nosferatu-looking vampire is known, also awakens in Anne a thirst for the self-determination and sexual confidence she’s kept under wraps her entire marriage. Reinvented as a vamp (sorry), Anne is forced to question what it means to be a wife, a woman and a human.
Travis Stevens’s film layers feminism on top of comedy on top of vampire myth and gross-out splatter. It mostly clicks, and the reason is Crampton. With a decades-long career in out-there films including “Re-Animator,” she’s as close to acting royalty as horror gets. Here she is fearless as a woman discovering her powers within. (Stevens told the horror movie magazine Rue Morgue one of his goals was to give Crampton “her version” of Gena Rowlands’s harrowing performance in the John Cassavetes film “A Woman Under the Influence.”) Crampton’s chemistry with Fessenden, another horror vet, is the film’s activating element.