It's not every day that one of the world's greatest living filmmakers helms a low-budget horror film about witches and vampires and a "third-string writer of popular fiction" (played by a pony-tailed Val Kilmer) who interrupts his book tour to kill them, but Francis Ford Coppola has had to make tough choices since One From The Heart nearly bankrupted him in 1982.
Based on the trailer for the director's Twixt posted today by organizers at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it will be screened next month, the movie looks less like unadulterated schlock and more like a searching, thinly-veiled autobiography along the lines of Tetro and Youth Without Youth, Coppola's last two movies that found limited release. Bruce Dern and Elle Fanning are on hand to play the salty old timer who knows a thing or two about killing vampires and the young girl who may be turned into a vampire, respectively, but the trailer's focus rarely strays from Kilmer and the indignities faced by an artist who thinks he's working below his station: little money (Kilmer's Hall Baltimore hasn't thought to open up a vineyard), an unsupportive spouse, and apparently, the constant threat of being attacked by vampires.
Maybe because he visited the terrain before when he directed Bram Stroker's Dracula in 1992, Coppola doesn't seem invested in the vampire-slaying, or the 3D imagery promised by the film's Comic Con press release, or even the fact that Ben Chaplin is playing Edgar Allen Poe and the film is set in the present day.
But it's nice that he's back.