Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I will be reviewing the horror/comedy web-series ORAZIO'S CLAN by writer/directors Riccardo Bernasconi and Francesca Reverdito. To best describe the story I will use my own plot summary:
We follow a trio of gypsy vampires who have sworn off drinking human blood. As they drift their way through life they have to deal with blood-sucking vampires and dangerous exes, all while trying to stay sober.
About ninety seconds into this web-series, I was sold. The buoyant score drew me right in and I knew nearly immediately that, like it or not, I was going to continue watching this just to listen to the music. The fast paced nature of the soundtrack combined with the Romani style perfectly matches the shady yet lively nature of this piece.
Now, while the music made it clear to me that this was going to be something wholly different and entertaining, it was the first real joke that had me hooked. There was a subtle innocence to some of the humor that spoke to the nature of the characters rather than just being a laugh for the sake of a laugh. Keeping the humor character specific is a tough act to juggle as it sometimes means forgetting a joke that would seem out of place, so I was duly impressed that they were able to successfully represent their characters while making me giggle.
That is not to say that all is sunshine and rainbows, there are some much darker hints dropped during the course of events. One of the main struggles turns out to be the struggle Orazio's clan has with sobriety. For years they have built their reputation on not taking the blood of humans, but doing so has denied them the strength that comes from consumptions of mortal plasma. This is most clearly seen in the character of Tacito who has grown physically weak from living off of the blood of animals. Watching him and Orazio navigate this lifestyle they have chosen proves to be interesting as it parallels the human struggle with addiction.
While this first season solves most of its problems quickly and without much of a struggle, there are hints of a deeper vampire mythology that seem ripe for exploration in future episodes. While I like that there is definitely groundwork laid for the next season, I wish that this season had spent a bit more time fleshing out its antagonists, especially Dragan. The lack of background on Dragan in particular is glaring as he is pretty much written out without us ever really understanding much about whom he is or his powers. Going forward I hope to be able to dive more into the mythology of the various roles as this is definitely a character focused piece.
Speaking of mythology, I was a little put off by the fact that they depart from vampire lore and allow Orazio and his clan to travel without any issue during daylight. I realize that they made the distinction that his clan is not like the Vlad clan, but it is never explained why they get to live by different rules. While I would normally stop watching something that breaks a core rule without any explanation, here the use of light was done in such stylish manner that it formed part of the atmosphere of the piece. Therefore, they get a bit of a pass, but I hope there will be an explanation provided in the future.
Since I mentioned the style, I feel as if I should elaborate a bit to show why I ended up enjoying their daytime adventures. One of the main reasons was that the way that the natural light played upon the blanched out backgrounds formed a brilliant contrast to the colors associated with Orazio and his clan. Watching these distinct vagabonds wander admist the mundanely hued landscape brought a dreamlike quality to the proceedings that only furthered its charming appeal.
All in all, this is an amusingly charming entry in the vampire genre that puts its characters first. The hints towards future seasons make me excited for the possibilities as I would love to spend some more time with these vampiric vagabonds. I hope that going forward we get some more background and mythology while still keeping the characters and humor just as sharp. Fans of WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (2014) and VAMPIRES (2010) will find a lot to love in this series.
The Creeping Craig
ORAZIO'S CLAN can be viewed HERE