Sunday, April 24, 2011



JOE: Lamia was to be our vampire epic. I don’t remember who came up with it, Jeremy or me or maybe we're both equally guilty. Anyway, we decided to write a short vampire movie to shoot before we went to Florida. We weren’t sure what the heck it was going to be about other than it would revolve around two vampires that were bitter enemies. Jeremy named the characters Tauin and Deucalion. Deucalion loved being a vampire. Tauin did not. Tauin was actively searching for a cure to his affliction. He enlisted the aid of a strange doctor, so named Polidori. Can you guess why we named him that? Because Polidori wrote the first vampire story! Ta da!
Okay, Polidori was an evil bastard who pretended to help Tauin find a cure when in actuality what he wanted was to discover the means of harnessing the vampire's powers in his secret laboratory. He was developing a serum with the blood of Tauin and other vampires as the main ingredient. He intended to use the serum on himself in order to transform into some sort of super being. There ya go, short plot rundown such as it was originally intended.

JEREMY: Ah yes, Lamia. Sometime between Laugh A Little and Blood Pudding Joe and I started toying around with the idea of doing another horror movie. I had seen some footage of an unfinished vampire movie Joe and Dar had worked on before I met them and thought it had potential. I asked Joe why he hadn’t finished it and he said that they didn’t know where to go with the story. My first thought was that he and I should come up with a premise and work it around the material already shot. Joe one-upped me and suggested that we scrap the original footage as he didn’t think it was all that good and do something new.

Joe came up with the title Lamia, explaining that it referred to a female vampire. I thought it sounded both exotic and creepy and was all for it. The next step was to name our antagonist and protagonist. I remembered the name of a vampire-like character my cousin, Chris Nicholson, had created a couple years earlier named Tauin Bright and, dropping the last name, decided to use that for our hero.

The Deucalion handle originated from my having read The Odyssey in high school. Out of all the names mentioned in that epic poem that particular one stood out for some reason and I never forgot it. I intended to use it for one of my comic book characters down the road but decided it would make a cool name for a badass vampire instead (Ironically, Tauin Bright did make an appearance in comic book form in the last few issues of my Decade series).

The plot would revolve around Tauin, who longed to be rid of the vampire curse. He made an unholy alliance with the mad doctor, Polidori, who assured him that through modern science it was possible to find a means of curing him. To this end he talked Tauin into hunting down and either capturing or killing other vampires for experimentation. The vampire community didn’t take well to one of their own preying on them and Deucalion, an old rival of Tauin’s, brought together a gaggle of vampires to aid him in tracking down and destroying the rogue vampire.

This allowed for me to write several high-energy action sequences, which have always been a staple of my writing. Some worked, like a scene near the beginning with a scuffle between Tauin and another vampire under a bridge in the pouring rain; others didn’t, like when Deucalion and the other vampires corner Tauin in a restaurant and during the ensuing battle Tauin stabs one of the vampires in the heart with—get this—a shish kabob.

I believe it was at this point that Joe and I began to rethink the nature of what we were creating here.

Vampires living in packs, trading blows with each other, and searching for cures are pretty much part of the norm nowadays, what with Blade, Underworld, et al, but in 1994 this concept was still pretty underused. Joe and I felt like we were treading on new ground with our idea of a vampire action film. The problem was that our vision of it was steering dangerously close to satire.

And where was the titular character in all of this, the female vampire, Lamia? As far as I can recall we either forgot about adding a female character in the midst of all of the battles and kabob-stabbings or, being relatively geeky and lonely guys in those days, just didn’t know any girls who wanted to act in it. We attempted to rectify this oversight in a later draft by having a woman named Rebecca Kane become infected by a vampire at the beginning of the movie (the same vampire Tauin fights under the bridge). Tauin works to find a cure for her as well as himself while Deucalion attempts to seduce her into backstabbing her potential savior, thus creating a sort of bizarre love triangle.
JOE: If memory serves, Jeremy was to direct this movie as well as play Deucalion while I was to play Tauin. Seeing as how we wanted Lamia to be a homage to all sorts of vampire literature and films Jesse was to play a character named Gorff, a weird little Reinfield-type character who assisted Polidori. I really don’t remember if Darren was going to be in it or not. Unless he was to play Tauin and I was to work on cinematography. Oh well, doesn’t matter now.

JEREMY: Actually, I was to play Tauin and Joe Deucalion. I always thought Joe could pull off a pretty nasty villain, and by this point I had already played villains in both Joe and Dar’s movies and was looking to expand my horizons. We wanted Dar to play the role of Polidori as we felt that with his kinky bird’s nest of hair, hawkish nose and comic nature he would make the idea mad doctor. Jesse playing the deformed, simpleminded Gorff was a no-brainer. I mean, if we had a movie poster with all of the principle actors on it and asked someone to point out which character was Gorff the odds were good that they would point to Jesse.

JOE: Jeremy and I did quite a bit on the development end of Lamia. He did a lot of concept art, some of which is shown here. We had costumes and locations as well as storyboards and actors at the standby. And even though we didn’t have a camera we were serious about making this movie before we went to Florida. Then it happened. While Jeremy and I were trying to iron out the ending of the script it dawned on us that Lamia as it currently stood just wasn’t very good.

After some serious consideration we decided not to make it. Time was growing short in Indiana and the script just wasn’t as good as we knew it could be. One problem may have been that we were using a role-playing game for a source of ideas instead of just using old vampire lore. What role-playing game you might ask? Vampire: The Masquerade , that’s what. Silly, I know. That’s why Jeremy and I decided to put Lamia away for a while.

JEREMY: I believe this was a wise decision on our part, though I was crestfallen that I would not be able to direct the film. I was itching to try out my directorial talents at this point in my life.

JOE: So we shelved Lamia for the time being, though we still kick the concept around from time to time.

So there you have it, the tale of Lamia that never was.



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