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By David DiCerto
Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) -- If novelist Anne Rice were to write a pulp lesbian-vampire movie, there's a strong chance it would look something like "Eternal" (Regent Releasing/Here! Films).

Stylish but salacious, the film follows a lecherous Montreal vice detective, Ray Pope (Conrad Pla), whose investigation into the disappearance of his sexually adventurous wife leads him to an alluring stranger, Elizabeth Kane (Caroline Neron).

The mystery woman turns out to be a well-preserved Erszebet Bathory, a real-life 16th-century Hungarian countess, responsible for slaughtering hundreds of virgins and bathing in their blood to quench her vampiric thirst for immortality.

Directors Wilhelm Liebenberg and Federico Sanchez exhibit a strong eye for visuals, though most of their effort is dedicated to glamorizing sexual decadence, especially during a raunchy masked-ball orgy in Venice, Italy, that hedonistically echoes the bacchanalia in Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut."

Borrowing elements from such movies as "The Hunger," "Eternal" boasts slick atmospherics, but rather than doing the hard work of crafting an involving story the filmmakers seem content to indulge in the easier option: titillation.

The film contains recurring lesbian erotica; several kinky sex scenes, one with partial nudity; some gory violence; and much rough language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O -- morally offensive. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.

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DiCerto is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Copyright (c) 2005 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
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