FILM COLUMN: Blood Relatives


BLOOD Relatives (now showing on Shudder) tells the story of Francis (Noah Segan), a 115-year-old Yiddish vampire who hasn’t aged a day over 35 and comes across as the Jewish Fonz.

Francis has been roaming the American backroads for the best part of a century in his 1969 Barracuda Fastback, donning a black leather jacket that could have been lifted from the backstage area of Happy Days, and mostly keeping to himself.

Life is lonely but uncomplicated, and that’s just how he likes it.

But when a teenage girl, who has been following him across the country, finally catches up with him, Francis finds himself in the most meshuggeneh of situations.

Jane (Victoria Moroles) shows up on his motel doorstep and claims to be his daughter, and as it turns out, she has the fangs to prove it.

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However, the last thing this nice Jewish boy needs is to be schlepping this kvetching teenager around the highways and byways of backwaters America. Instead, he promises to leave her with her only living relatives, rather than being lumbered with him and his hobo vampire lifestyle.

Francis is not ready to sink his fangs into family life and he has some big decisions to make as they set off on the road.

Will he find the chutzpah needed to step up to his responsibilities or will Jane have to fend for herself out in the world, left with relatives she has never even met before?

The pair share the same urges, and clearly have a lot to learn from each other, while they figure out where the road takes them.

Blood Relatives is a rather heartfelt and contemplative vampire film that is steeped in pathos and awkward dad jokes. The directorial debut from Segan, the film’s leading man, is an unusual and rather sorrowful horror-comedy, but there’s enough bite to keep us watching this bittersweet road movie until the end.