Vampires are being resurrected across popular culture from Twilight to True Blood – spawning a new phenomenon of bloodthirsty real-life teen vampires. The internet is helping to bring together those with an interest in the occult – forming vampire cults. Filming with a ‘pack’ of teens from San Antonio, Texas, the documentary follows the ‘vampires’ in their daily lives, observing everything from friends and family to feeding, all to get a deeper understanding of what draws these young people to ‘vampires’ or ‘wolves’.
Michal is 18 and realised she was a vampire in her early teens. She drinks blood, but only manages it about once a month and says it tastes metallic – ‘of pennies, salt and rust’ – and drinking it gives Michal a high. One of her best friends, 17-year-old David, is also a vampire and has been ‘out of the coffin’ since the age of 12. He also drinks blood and feeding for him is an intimate event, something he only does from female donors – a situation that can cause jealousy with his long-term girlfriend.
David and Michal identify themselves as vampires but they hang out with a larger group called the ‘Crimson Blood Wolf Pack’, a self-defined posse of werewolves and one of several packs scattered around the city. However different and eccentric these young vampires may appear, they take themselves deadly seriously.
Hanging with the pack, the film makers hear about the prejudice they have faced from a public that doesn’t approve of kids wanting to be different. The teens also give honest and emotional accounts about their grief when such intolerance pushed one of the wolves to suicide. The documentary gives insight of what being in the pack offers – support, friendship, love – and even people willing to give you their blood.
Looking back to the teens’ childhoods, their parents and guardians consider the difficult experiences that have marked them, leading to poignant questions about why they might not want to be human.