Welcome back to another edition of “Best Of / Worst Of Character Moments”. Our subject today is the Filipino horror story “Blood of the Vampires”, which I found particularly interesting due to its cultural roots and inclusion of a heavy ghostly presence and Orthodox sensibility.
Our focus characters are: Daniel Castillo, Christina Castillo, Administrator Castillo, Mr. Escodero, Eduardo Escodero and Lenore Escodero.
We also have a caveat to place: Our subjects are obviously involved in vampire shenanigans, so they won’t be held liable for anything that they do after they’re undead.
Our Characters Make Us Proud:
Daniel- Daniel gets a Half-KUDO as a ghost for protecting Leonore for a little bit when she’s able to call for his supernatural intervention.
Christina- Daniel’s sister doesn’t earn a kudo.
Mr. Castillo- Mr. Castillo only gets to share in a group kudo.
Mr. Escodero- Eduardo and Leonore’s father doesn’t earn a kudo.
Eduardo- I really appreciate that after Eduardo finds out about the family curse he, unlike his father, doesn’t keep it hidden from his sister who needs to know as she may be directly affected. He gains a Half-KUDO for showing better judgment than Mr. Escodero.
Leonore- Leonore tries to protect Daniel from her family’s curse, though pretty ineffectively. Still, I’ll issue a Half-KUDO.
We have a special KUDO to Mr. Escodero’s Personal Valet who really takes control of destroying the vampire curse over the village after his master dies, and he plays the active role in trapping Eduardo and the vampire household in their burning home in the end. He’s the story’s actual hero.
Okay, this one is pretty weird and surely could only have happened in a foreign film: I have to issue a KUDO to Vampire!Eduardo for having enough respect for Christina Castillo to ask for her hand in marriage from her father after he’s attacked her in order to save her honor... despite being a bloodthirsty fiend, he's actually concerned about her family's reputation.
We have a Group KUDO being issued to the entire village from novitiate to farmer to Mr. Escodero’s valet to the priest to Mr. Castillo to the village doctor… everybody comes out to exorcise the Escodero manor and destroy the vampire curse hanging over the estate.
We finally have a Half-KUDO to the unseen supernatural force [presumably angels of God] who both put Leonore to rest before she completely becomes corrupted by the vampiric curse and then drives the vampires into huddling in the cellar long enough for Mr. Escodero’s Valet to entrap them.
Our Characters Deeply Disappoint:
Daniel- Daniel doesn’t earn a demerit.
Christina- I’m not sure how to respond to Christina. After she’s attacked by the vampire, Eduardo, she doesn’t tell anyone. When he arrives to ask her father for her hand in marriage to save her honor after he attacked her, she agrees to the marriage, still without saying anything about his drinking her blood. I can’t tell if the attack put her immediately under his control, or if she’s just so distraught by her loss of honor that she’s willing to protect her family’s social respect by agreeing to a marriage with her attacker. I can’t issue a demerit to her because I can’t know what exactly happened to her mind because of the vampire bite but I’m left really uncomfortable by this development and am hoping she didn’t just stay silent about Eduardo being a vampire out of shame when obviously it’s imperative that the village be warned.
Mr. Castillo- I’ve nothing to issue a demerit to him over.
Mr. Escodero- I have nothing but the sympathy for the horrible burden of Mr. Escodero -- but… and you surely knew there was going to be one… everything he’s done has only destroyed his family and the Castillo’s. He has also prolonged the suffering of the woman who he clearly adored, rather than putting her to peace. It’s such a horrible situation, but I must give him a DEMERIT for his weakness; There is just too much destruction wrought by his not doing the right thing long, long ago that visits its effects on innocents.
Eduardo- G’d dammit, Eduardo. He gains a great big DEMERIT for exacerbating the horror of the Escodero family and leading to the Castillo’s suffering by removing his crucifix from his throat and not stopping his mother from biting him, causing him to also be infected as a vampire.
Leonore- Leonore does nothing to earn my ire at her.
I must issue a special DEMERIT to the Town Priest who hears the last confession from Mr. Escodero involving his wife’s current state… AND DOES NOTHING for nearly the entire film, even when bodies start piling up.
I am also issuing a Half-DEMERIT to Mr. Escodero’s Valet for letting his fealty to his master blind him to the threat of having a vampire locked in the cellar for years which only gave the infection a chance to spread.