Just when you thought vampires had been long-buried, Blood from Stone exhumes the undead creatures once more. Writer/director Geoff Ryan provides a tonally ambitious vampire thriller that offers up the habitual blood-splatter while concomitantly dealing with relationship drama and existential dread. Suffice it to say, Blood from Stone has a lot going for it.
For centuries, Darya (Gabriella Toth) has been a vampire bride to Jure “Joe” Alilovic (Vanja Kapetanovic), who was the one who turned her into a vampire in the first place. Nothing stops Jure from going to bars every night, making conversation with vulnerable folk, and then ending the night by having his way with them; in other words, sucking their blood and taking their life. Darya has had enough with Jure’s recklessness and drunkenness, so she runs away to the bustling streets of Las Vegas, where she meets a couple of men she enjoys spending time with.
“Darya has had enough with Jure’s recklessness and drunkenness, so she runs away to the bustling streets of Las Vegas…”
However, Darya is unable to move on from her past relationship with Jure because they both distinctly exist as vampires, and their shared lifestyles and experiences render them semi-compatible. Even so, Darya has Jure to blame for her vile urges; he knowingly subjected her to the repugnant experiences associated with being a vampire by turning her into one. Fortunately, Darya has managed her blood-sucking desires, but who knows how long she can keep those instincts at bay. Woefully, the same cannot be said for Jure, who continues to leave a prolific body count behind.
Blood from Stone is a brazenly vicious, jolting, and oddly perceptive vampire thriller that alternates between genres. Right from the start, the enigmatic character of Jure is drinking alone in a bar. Soon enough, Jure seizes an opportunity to lure a group of young men outside to drink their blood. Jure does this by swaying them with free drugs and alcohol, which he does, so he can feel the effects of the chemicals when he drinks their blood.
The first impression of Jure is that he’s careless and hard-bitten. A wide, distant shot of Jure stumbling away from the bloody scene at the bar attests to his compulsive behavior. Instead of being a self-assured, doughty vampire with biting charm (which you would expect for a vampire lead), Jure is a floundering, hedonistic, and furtively glum drunk, who also happens to be a vampire. Vanja Kapetanovic delivers an outstandingly brooding performance as Jure, who has the perfect pitch and physique for a role that entails so much built-up hostility.
"…a vivid metaphor for drug addiction, considering that drug addiction is all-consuming and life-altering."