So you like vampires. Well, forget your wimpy Twilight crap. Forget Daylight, Blade, True Blood or even Buffy. This cult TV series from 1996 sexed up vampires first.

So you don’t like vampires. Well, did you like The Godfather and Melrose Place? Or perhaps Wall Street and Days Of Our Lives? Because Kindred: The Embraced is like a cross between these. With vampires.

The series follows San Francisco police detective Frank Kohanek (C Thomas Howell, who played Ponyboy in The Outsiders), whose investigation of local mobster Julian Luna (Mark Frankel, who died in a motorbike crash at 34, shortly after Kindred finishing airing) uncovers the preposterous truth that Julian is a vampire prince in one of five clans. As he tells Frank, “We call ourselves Kindred. Vampire is a word humans invented; they needed a name for their fears in the night.”

Kindred masquerade as humans, hunt for blood to sate “the Hunger”, and recruit members via “the Embrace”. They also party in their own nightclub, the Haven, and have lots of vampiric s-x. But rather than being campy cape-wearers, these are gangsters and corporate raiders jostling for political power within their governing body, the Council.

In Australia, Kindred: The Embraced always screened incredibly late at night, when you were so tired and bleary that you were never exactly sure if you were dreaming this keystone of ’90s Gothic. The dialogue is satisfyingly trashy: “I like the moon. It’s subtle and it’s harsh”; “This is your vengeance against me … served as cold as your heart!” And with only eight episodes, you can suck it dry in an evening or two.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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