From the Archive – Razor Blade Smile (1998)

Razor Blade Smile (1998)razor-blade-smile-poster

“Part Seductress. Part Assassin. All Vampire.”

Inflicted by Jake West
Starring Eileen Daly and Christopher Adamson

Lilith Silver (Daly, and that name should give you an idea of the kind of film we’re dealing with here) is a 19th century (I guess) woman who shoots Sethane Blake (Adamson), a vampire who kills her lover (or someone) in a duel. The bullet doesn’t affect him much, but he’s so moved by her bravery or something that he turns her into a vampire. Skip forward to the present where Lilith is a hitwoman assassin-type person in a dodgy leather catsuit. She’s assassinating members of a mysterious organization called the Illuminati who wear cheap novelty gift rings. Their leader appears to be none other than – gasp! – Sethane Blake again, and he sets his pet police inspector, Price (Jonathan Coote) on her. We follow Lilith around as she kills people, has sex with people (and kills them), gets in trouble with the law, etc., until eventually she goes after Blake in a big showdown with a super-ass lame twist ending.

What’s wrong with it?

  •  “Lilith Silver?”
  • At one point, she goes into a goth club and in the background they’re playing – shock horror! – “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” It’s a bit on the nose, isn’t it?
  • Interminable pompous ham voice-overs.
  • Effects that would disgrace a Hammer film.
  • Lilith’s ridiculous internet chat-room thingy.
  • Silver’s boyfriend is called Platinum.
  • Someone claims to admire Price’s – my hand to God – “dogged determinism.”
  • The sex scenes manage to combine being really pretty unerotic with feeling sleazy and vile.
  • The vampires are into the head-cutting-off thing, so you get to see what Highlander would be like if no one involved could fence worth a damn.

What’s right with it?

Price. He rocks. Sent to take out the vampire, he’s initially sceptical, but when shown evidence he gets right down to whittling stakes and chewing garlic. When Lilith wounds him with one of his own stakes, he steals some PCP from evidence and takes it so as to feel invulnerable. And when Blake offers to reward him for his good service by turning him into a vampire, he tops himself rather than have to put up with these wankers for all eternity. Having seen the film, I know how he feels…

How bad is it really?

If you’re both a goth and a moron, or ironically post-goth, it’s probably pretty enjoyable. For the rest of us, it’s just unbearable.

Best bit (if such there is)?

Well, if it isn’t any of Price’s bits, it’s the part where Lilith is creeping into a house and her catsuit creaks. Which, if you think about it, they probably do if you don’t have a good sound editor.

What’s up with…?

  • note to all future henchlings. When someone throws a cellphone at you, and then it rings, DO NOT PICK IT UP. If you absolutely must, remember that only ONE of you is required to answer the phone.
  • the cheesy-ass Halloween novelty rings the Illuminati wear? Kind of a cut rate bunch of secret masters.
  • the horrible horrible horrible voiceover narration? Sounds like a high school production of a phone sex dominatrix.
  • And leave us not forget the pathologist, so wittily nicknamed ‘Horror Movie Man’ (The Prophet).


Production values: Feeble. Shoddy camera work, poor lighting, bargain-basement effects (including the infamous “blue-for-night” filter). 15

Dialogue and performance: Execrable. Horrible, horrible overacting, particularly among the vampires. The appalling, pig-ignorant dialogue doesn’t help. 20

Plot: Weak. The core plot – secret society hunts vampire – is pretty consistent, but it tends to wander at length, usually when the director realizes it’s been 20 minutes and it’s time for another fight or sex scene. 16

Randomness: well, not that much, really. It’s a pretty hackneyed vampire story, with only the individual eccentricities of the characters to make it strange. 10

Waste of potential: I don’t know about this. I mean, it’s a pretty weak premise, and it’s not like we were expecting much. 10

Overall 71%


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