John Webb spends some time with a creepy Vampire Clan.

Once Bitten 

John Webb spends some time with a creepy Vampire Clan.

If there's one thing everybody seems to understand when it comes to mysterious teen-agers, it's that they're reckless because they don't realize they're mortal. That concept is taken to its extreme in John Webb's movie Vampire Clan, in which members of a Florida goth gang strive for immortality by drinking each other's blood. That it's a true story makes this month's Indy Film Showcase all the more troubling.

Webb first slithered onto the moviemaking scene with his 1997 short The Goiter Boy. He has a couple of scripts in circulation and a deal with MTV for an original feature called Fake I.D. Will making a vampire movie early in his career damage his reputation? Kathryn Bigelow and Roman Polanski pulled the same stunt, and it didn't harm their careers at all.

Webb's zombie movie has a few shortcomings, but it's not without its own creepy style.

It was in 1996 that a gang of aspiring young vampires did, in fact, kill a kid's parents. They were captured later that night and are now serving sentences that stretch up to life in prison. Webb can be forgiven for embracing film clichés such as microphone-waving TV reporters because he does such a good job of creating an atmosphere that might inspire such a crime. He also employs the Tampa-based band Genitorturers to provide a frightful soundtrack.

The unknown cast is headed by Jared Leto-lookalike Drew Fuller, whose charisma makes him the perfect leader of a gang of disaffected youth (unlike other cast members, who appear to have had their thirtieth birthday parties). And with one of the teens played by Kelly Kruger, who could pass for Clare Danes in a dark alley, Vampire Clan goes down like an odd cocktail of My So-Called Life and Nine Inch Nails.

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