Young Louise, a punk and horror fanatic, has finally come to understand and accept that she is a Succubus, but her past comes back to haunt her when she meets the reincarnation of a guy who died from having sex with her years ago. Her heart can't decide what to do now that the love of her life, a fellow horror fan, is back and wants her. Even though he is unaware of their past.
If you combine New Wave productions such as "Liquid Sky" with filmmakers like Nick Zedd and Hans Scheirl, and inject the mutation with classic horror movies, German Expressionism, the VHS era, sweet romance and punk, what you get is "Video Diary of a Lost Girl". That some of these things are direct influences is obvious, and you just need to look at the style of the movie, and at the number of posters and tapes you see in the background, to be sure of it. It's a love-child of fanatics, clearly. And it's that enthusiasm, that only fanatics can truly bring, that makes this crazy ride worth taking. Because, and I have said it before, crazy doesn't equal good or interesting. But besides being crazy, "Video Diary of a Lost Girl" shares something that I have recently found in "The Ghastly Love of Johnny X", "Flick" and similar. They're made by people who love the genre and want to hail it, not imitate it even if the style is based off of it. And the product of that is neatly packed entertainment. And all three a interesting spins on romances!
The movie starts with the creation of Adam, Eve and Lilith. And where humans are the distant spawn of Adam and Eve, there are also a number of women who are the spawn of Lilith. Louise is one of them, a Succubus, but also one that the other equals look down to because she was born not knowing she was different. It wasn't until she found a guy that she liked, slept with him, and he died as a result of it, that she understood something was different about her. Now she is trying to live a regular life, working at an adult video store and watching horror movies in her spare time. It's not until the same guy she once loved appears to her again - as a reincarnation, unaware of who Louise is - that her being a Succubus becomes a problem. She had no issue just bringing home random men for her needs, but when she yet again falls for Charlie, she knows she can't have sex with him.
You know, the story is rather simple, and a very typical, classic love story. And I quite like it, I think it's sweet in all its oddity. The real punch in "Video Diary of a Lost Girl" is in the visuals and the editing. Glorious colors, crazy use of greenscreens, plenty of scenes played through a degraded VHS tape, and then of course the use of old horror movies to keep it a full circle. The closest I can think of that resembles this is really the Hans Scheirl productions due to the low-budget approach to it all. But quite obviously, "Liquid Sky" is a direct influence, whereas I'm not even sure the filmmakers have seen "Dandy Dust".
Make no mistake, this movie wants to be silly. The comedy is very intentional, and it's everything from poor make-up, silly jokes, strange plot decisions, and so on. It's fun because it manages to handle the material in the right way. In no way does it ever come across as moronic-stupid such as "The Taint" did. However, I would've been amazed watching something like this that didn't use comedy at all. I think a really fascinating piece of work would come out of it - if done right.
Between actual nudity and quick inserts from pornography, I draw yet another parallel to Hans Scheirl. "Video Diary of a Lost Girl" doesn't shy away, in true punk/New Wave fashion it doesn't mind rebelling a little. Children should probably stay away, but I do believe that this movie is sweet enough that most people old enough can and SHOULD give it a shot. It's not nudity that comes off as crude, gross or filled with fart jokes, but rather as artistic choice above everything. And if you are gonna tell a story of a Succubus, vagina dentata, or anything similar, you better be ready to show us some skin. We're animals, after all, and it's not nice to trick an animal!
If there is one problem I have with this fun movie, it's the length. Not because the style gets tedious (after about 30 minutes you barely react to the strange editing style), but because I feel the movie halted for a while here and there. It's not a completely smooth ride, and that could be a problem when, essentially, you're watching a romantic comedy. But other than that, it's hard to be harsh towards this movie.
"Video Diary of a Lost Girl" is a wicked fun crossbreed/bastard child. This is a movie for people with a sense for experimental art, old retro junk, horror movies, punk, independence, silliness and just having a good time. Often powered by style but I think the heart and soul still manages to be in the story. And I applaud Lindsay Denniberg for being able to control a monster like this in such way. Highly recommended if you have a few friends over!