So we have Max. Max is an artist, and a mess. Lately he hasn’t had any inspiration, and most of the time he can be found partying or sleeping, then waking up in his loft trying to get through another day. His life is lost. Meanwhile his friend and manager keeps trying to get him showings, but Max has nothing to show. The challenge is that Max does have a cult following of folks who love his art, and want more.
It’s bad enough Max has his demons that he is trying to get through, now he is told he has lung cancer with only a few months to live.
Wow, it sucks to be Max.
You know what he needs right now? Cancer treatment? Nope, turns out Max needs a vampire.
Such is “Manhattan Undying.”
Okay, it’s not that simple, let’s get to more.
We know about Max (Luke Grimes), he wants to make his final masterpiece, but the “muse” isn’t there. Enter Vivian (Sarah Roemer). She’s a vampire, yes, the “party all night, sleep all day, never get any older, and never die” kind of person. We are introduced to her at the same bar Max is at only she takes another guy home to “suck his blood.” Vivian does, however, notice Max’s painting in the bar and has this desire for Max to paint her.
Being a vampire she can mysteriously show up and disappear, and there she is, in Max’s artist loft, ready to be painted. The problem is Max isn’t quite ready to paint her, at least not in his head, and so comes a joint psychiatry session for the both of them. Vivian helps Max come to grips with his mortality while she is coming to grips with the ability to live forever, always with the chance of dying if daylight comes. Vivian also has another problem, she really wants to know what she looks like.
You might recall from your vampire lore that you can’t take a picture of a vampire, nor can their reflection be seen. All of a sudden it hit me, how in the hell does a vampire get ready in the morning? Vivian was always well put together, her hair perfect, her make-up just right, but how does she do this? I guess it might be similar to a blind person, or she could ask someone how she looks, but she seems to have no one, except for horny guys, to reinforce that she doesn’t have lipstick half-way up her cheek. She really wants to see if she is beautiful.
Sorry, I digress, back to two, lost souls.
So, the both of them seem to need each other. Vivian, however, keeps “feeding,” and now the cops are on her trail. Max, on the other hand, figures out she is a vampire, but he isn’t afraid. Nope, tasks at hand must be accomplished, and suddenly the “inspiration” comes to Max and frantic painting begins. Max has found love, max has discovered life, and it’s time for Max to paint and die.
With his painting done now it’s time for the big reveal, right? Spoiler alert, spoiler alert, spoiler alert. Fucking artsy ending. Yes, Max is done with his painting, Vivian doesn’t even look at it at the time, Max gets his final showing, the people are assembled, the cover is dropped, and the crowd is in awe, including Vivian. Who doesn’t get to see it? Me, that’s who. Yup, the painting could be an absolute piece of garbage, to be loved only by art wackos, but, instead of showing the masterpiece, the film folks leave us with the “let the viewer imagine what the painting looks like” moment. Bastards! And I apologize for spoiling the fact you won’t get to see the painting, but dammit, I hate endings like that – I need my closure.
Look, “Manhattan Undying” isn’t the greatest of films, but it is an interesting look at two people who need each other to discover life. Is also bring up the age-old question of how does a vampire know what they look like? Luke Grimes does a great job as the messed-up artist who can’t find new inspiration, and Sarah Roemer portrays a wonderfully sad vampire, lost with the ability to live forever. The rest of the story is kind of “blah,” and I almost found the cop investigation scenes a complete and unnecessary distraction from the rest of the movie. In the end enjoy this 2 1/2 stars out of 5 of people finding each other, even if one of them is a vampire. Maybe you are the person who appreciates the “imagine what the painting looks like” moment, but for me I hated it.
That’s it for this one!! L8R!!