16 January 2008 | wade-author
I was blown away by the substance of this documentary of extremely rare and vanishing information on Maila Nurmi a.k.a. Vampira. One thing you would never expect--and the disk is worth it for this alone--is the many sage lessons in life that Maila shares. The sequences come together in a tight weave of insights from those who knew her before her fame, and tributes from her horror host "descendants," almost none of whom have ever been coaxed to talk before. But the main star, as it should be, is Maila herself, breaking new ground in dramatic fresh interviews, and never-told stories.
Just like when any cult hero gets honored, we can only be amazed by how many stalkers and frauds with an ax to grind come out of the woodwork to say they should been the ones interviewed instead of the more relevant people and Vampira confidants chosen to be in the film. But that's just an interesting back story that surfaced. What I notice is that the documentary doesn't try to be the be-all and end-all encyclopedia on the subject. I'm thankful for that because it doesn't get caught up in the repetition of things seen elsewhere that an all-encompassing tome would bring. While there is a sliver of necessary overlap, the truth is the film is packed with anecdotes and analysis that obviously doesn't exist anywhere else. The documentary is also worth it for the extras alone, mostly Count Smokula's hilarious tribute song "Vampira." The packaging of the disk itself adds to the mystique, perfectly capturing her life and times, and helping to make it a must-own collector's treasure.