Summer of Blood
Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival 2014
“A sincerely hilarious film that’s not without its fair share of gore and sex… Simply one of the best horror-comedies in years” – Patrick Cooper, BLOODY DISGUSTING
“ Punchlines hit hard and fast… If Woody Allen directed a vampire comedy, it might resemble Turkel’s hilarious urban satire” - Eric Kohn, INDIEWIRE
“Screamingly funny” – Brandon Harris, FILMMAKER MAGAZINE
Misanthropic middle-aged slacker Erik (Onur Tukel) is too lazy to put any effort into his job and too scared of commitment to keep his girlfriend happy. After blowing off said GF’s last-ditch marriage proposal, Erik finds himself a newly single man in his 40s and, diving back into the dating world, quickly realizes that he’s no longer boyfriend material for any of the women he’s interested in. Or most any women, really. Meanwhile, the apathetic atmosphere at his office job leaves him little reason to get out of bed anymore. Then late one evening while wandering through the streets, Erik crosses paths with a mysterious stranger who asks him, bluntly, whether he would like to die. And, at that moment, his life changes forever. Because it ends. And then, continues. Erik wakes up with his throat torn and blood seeped though his clothing. He instantly develops a new outlook on life — via the ecstasy of death. Or, more specifically, via the ecstasy of the complete absence of any and all responsibility that comes with death. What more could an aging slacker ask for? He’s also become a bizarre sexual powerhouse, his charms irresistible to the women who previously wanted nothing to do with him, regardless of the fact that his clothing, more often than not, is smeared with blood, and his stomach aches for the kind of nourishment that can only be taken by force.
Its cup bleeding over with inspired writing, exhilaratingly sharp comedic performances, hyper-unconventional sex scenes and an oddball-yet-heartfelt sense of grunge poetry — not to mention no shortage of freakish vampiric happenings — SUMMER OF BLOOD is an absolute revelation. Writer/director/editor/star Onur Tukel (RICHARD’S WEDDING) has created one of the most individualistic vampire films we’ve seen in a very long time, and also one of the most blazingly entertaining. Like a cross between VAMPIRE’S KISS and HABIT by way of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM and ’70s Woody Allen, yet with a gonzo personality quite unlike anything you’ve seen, this eccentric take on interpersonal apathy and big-city alienation will win you over from its opening frames. Fast, tight and perfectly measured, SUMMER was shot guerilla-style in just nine days on a pair of Canon 5Ds, yet the end result can be put up against anything out there. It’s a quintessentially New York film that makes brilliant use of the city’s contrasting nooks and crannies, where a single turn off a populated street, brightly-lit street can bring you into shadowy, dilapidated empty spaces capable of playing host just about any suckerpunch of fate. Awash with evocative cinematography by Jason Banker (TOAD ROAD), gleefully gnarly make-up FX by Fred Vogel (AUGUST UNDERGROUND) and acting turns from a string of celebrated indie filmmakers including Dustin Guy Defa, Jonathan Caouette and Alex Karpovsky, SUMMER OF BLOOD packs more personality than an entire psych ward. It is, as many critics are saying, one of the best horror comedies in ages, but beyond that, it’s just truly great independent filmmaking. SEE IT!
— Mitch Davis