There's a lot more Shakespeare in James Franco's remake of seminal TV movie Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? than you would expect. (That is to say there is a LOT, when you'd probably expect none.)
In typical Franco fashion, the actor-director-producer-poet-professor-artist-TBD turns his new Lifetime movie into a discussion about gender politics, vampires in literature as a queer metaphor, and throws Macbeth and lesbian vampires into the mix because why not?
And as incredulous you will be that all of that is unfolding on your TV screen, and trust us, you'll be scratching your head the entire damn time, you'll also be wondering why it's there at all. Here's why: there are two concepts at play here, and Franco should've chosen one.
He should've either remade the TV movie about a college student who discovers her abusive boyfriend is actually an obsessive murderer into a modern version of that same cautionary tale, or he should've made a B-movie about a group of lesbian vampires who prey on date rapists and abusive men that uses vampirism as a metaphor for a discussion about sexuality.
Because both of those things, separately, are enjoyable, heightened (or completely suspended) reality escapes with revenge stories at their core. In the Lifetime movie, the woman realizes she's being lied to and smacks that dangerous d-bag on the head with a canoe oar (an escape by canoe is something sadly missing from the remake). In the vampire movie, a group of heavily sexualized women turn society's expectations on their head and get even with the men who try to take advantage of them by literally tearing them apart with their teeth.
Putting them together? Too much in one place.
But please, do not let this scare you away from the insane piece of cinema that will play on Lifetime at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. It is something that must be seen to be believed—and even then you might not believe what just happened.