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Book: Sounding Funny

Chapter: Red In Tooth And Lipstick: Music and Sound Design in Lesbian Vampire Killers

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.24492


Phil Claydon’s Lesbian Vampire Killers (2009) is a low-budget British horror/sexploitation spoof that draws on a number of strands of populist British cinema. Originally envisioned as a direct-to-DVD production, the comedic romp follows the lesbian-vampire-killing adventures of two extraordinarily unlikely ‘heroes’ in search of sexual adventures during a hiking holiday. While the film secured a substantial return for its investors, it has attracted the derision of cinema critics and adverse reaction from gay media outlets for its representation of lesbianism. Despite this panning, the film includes a number of original and accomplished aspects; in particular, its musical score and sound design. This chapter analyses the manner in which the film’s sonic elements relate and give substance to the film’s slender narrative and its superficial renditions of quasi-lesbian vampiric lust within a comic framework. In particular, the chapter analyses the dynamics of the alterations of theme and mood between its comic and horror elements and how music and sound orientate and inflect these.

Chapter Contributors

  • Claire Butkus ( - cbutkus) 'Independent'
  • Jon Fitzgerald ( - jonfitzgerald) 'Southern Cross University'