What happens when you take the classic story of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, known to have killed up to 100 or more young girls in her time, and mix that into a modern day social satire comedy horror film? You get Chastity Bites, a horror film with a little Clueless, Heathers, and other high school films tossed in.
Leah (Allison Scagliotti) is one of the outsiders at her school. She writes for the school newspaper and is always looking for the next big scoop, even if it makes her fellow classmates hate her more. Her only friend is Katharine (Francia Raisa), a shy, pimply faced girl who is the only one that realizes Paul (Eduardo Rioseco) is totally in love with Leah. Leah’s enemies are a clique of rich girls she refers to as The Hiltons, they are led by Ashley (Amy Okuda).
Everything changes in their sleepy little town when a woman named Liz Batho (Louise Griffths) shows up and starts a chastity club called VAG (Virginity Action Group). The formerly slutty Hiltons take up the chastity cause which confuses Leah. She’s also got a really bad feeling about Liz. Things get worse for Leah when Katherine shuns her and joins the Hiltons and VAG. And she still hasn’t noticed that Paul likes her yet!
At the same time a series of brutal murders have been taking place around town, all virgin women. Liz sits down with The Hiltons’ mothers and reveals the secret of her beauty: virgin blood.
Leah slowly begins to put two and two together and realizes every member of VAG is in danger, but without Katharine’s help how is she going to save the day? Plus she’s still a virgin and that could spell big danger when going head-to-head with a virgin killer. If only there was someone who could help her with both her problems.
Chastity Bites is a very fun movie balancing the horror with the social commentary very well. It pokes fun at people’s obsession with beauty (both with the teens and the teen’s moms) as well as social cliques. It’s hilarious to see the girls still arguing with one another even though they know they are about to die.
Leah is a very strong female lead, which is really great to see, and she is played perfectly by Scagliotti. The film does fall into the cliché trap of trying to hide the heroine’s beauty behind ugly glasses and bad hair only to reveal how pretty she is at the end when the glasses are gone and the hair is perfect. As with most cases, this cliché doesn’t work here, because Scagliotti is obviously pretty, even when hiding behind the glasses and hair.
Griffiths is great as Liz. It is very easy to believe that she is a 400 plus year old who has stayed beautiful with the help of gallons and gallons of virgin blood. She carries herself with the kind of grace you expect from a character on Downton Abbey, which is a nice contrast to all the of the modern high school kids running around her.
Chastity Bites is very fun, campy horror film. It’s got really great characters, a fun story and equal amounts gore and laughs. The film has a little bit of a rocky start, but once it picks up speed it’s easy to enjoy what this film has to offer.
The film is presented in a widescreen format. With sound choices of 2.0 stereo or 5.1 surround sound. It’s a low budget film and looks it, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s a very well produced film for it’s budget and I appreciate that they use tons of fake blood instead of CGI blood.
For extras you get a Behind the Scenes (13 min.) featurette, that has some great interviews with cast and crew, plus a trailer.
As far as low budget horror films go, this one is up there. It’s a fun time and it’s got a very strong female lead. Plus Stuart Gordon shows up in a cameo role, so it’s got that going for it. If you love horror and camp, Chastity Bites is definitely worth a viewing.
Grand Entertainment Group presents Chastity Bites. Written by Lotti Pharriss Knowles. Directed by John V. Knowles. Starring: Allison Scagliotti, Francia Raisa, Louise Griffiths, Eduardo Rioseco and Amy Okuda. Running time: 93 minutes. Rating: PG-13. Released: February 11, 2014.