Does the world really need another werewolf movie? Why does Agnes Bruckner look so glum? And what has happened to the career of French heartthrob Olivier Martinez?
These and other questions are prompted by the arrival of "Blood and Chocolate" from German director Katja von Garnier. It's a relentlessly silly horror/fantasy/romance that is merely the latest twist on a tired premise. Fourteen years ago, Von Garnier made a terrific female-bonding satire called "Making Up!" ("Abgeschminkt!"), but the pizazz and originality of her directorial voice have been diluted beyond recognition.
After a brief Colorado-set prologue in which a girl watches as her entire family is killed by an angry mob, the action switches to present-day Romania. Now grown, the girl jogs through Bucharest trying to forget her troubled past and the family massacre for which she blames herself. The young woman, Vivian (Bruckner), is a werewolf, here referred to as loup garoux, its mythological moniker. Sheltered by her aunt Astrid (Katja Riemann) for a decade, Vivian is the preordained future mate of pack leader Gabriel (Martinez). What complicates matters -- and is more than a little icky -- is that Gabriel is Vivian's uncle by marriage to Astrid. Gabriel and Astrid share a son, the petulant, power-hungry Rafe (Bryan Dick).