Screened as part of NZIFF 2016

The Lure 2015

Córki dancingu

Directed by Agnieszka Smoczyńska Incredibly Strange

A bizarre, sublimely surreal vampire-mermaid musical from Poland about two siren sisters who lure their prey from the stage of a trashy Warsaw nightclub.

Poland In Polish with English subtitles
92 minutes CinemaScope / DCP


Włodzimierz Niderhaus


Robert Bolesto


Kuba Kijowski


Jarosław Kamiński

Production designer

Joanna Macha

Costume designer

Katarzyna Lewińska


Zuzanna Wrońska
Barbara Wrońska


Kaya Kołodziejczyk
Jarosław Staniek
Betty Q


Kinga Preis (vocalist)
Michalina Olszańska (Golden)
Marta Mazurek (Silver)
Jakub Gierszał (bass player)
Andrzej Konopka (drummer)
Zygmunt Malanowicz (boss)
Marcin Kowalczyk (Triton)
Magdalena Cielecka (Miss Muffett)
Katarzyna Herman (militia officer)
Katarzyna Sawczuk (Nancy)


Sundance 2016


Special Jury Award (World Dramatic), Sundance Film Festival 2016


Hands down the greatest vampire mermaid musical fairy tale ever made. Before their Disneyfication, mermaids were feared hybrid fish-women who lured men to a watery grave. So it’s refreshingly welcome to see a filmmaker transpose the muddy sexism of the Little Mermaid to the sleazily decadent clubs of Warsaw in the 80s, returning the sweet mermaid to ferocious man-eater in one of the most entertaining and utterly bat-shit feature debuts in a very long time.

Slithering across the screen like some intoxicating sexy fusion of 80s cult hits Café Flesh, Splash and The Hunger, The Lure tells the seductive tale of mermaid sisters and the ill-starred sequence of events when one of them falls hard for a striking 20-something earthbound musician. Before long the sisters are flopping around in the back room of a kitschy discotheque in front of an owner who sees dollar signs in their exotic form and heavenly voices.

Wrapped up in the oh-so-thin veneer of Hans Christian Andersen’s fable, this bloody and naked cult miasma features wild musical numbers that are like escapees from Eurovision’s vaults, ranging from Donna Summer covers to original new wave and electro-punk tracks. The sultry sirens become huge draws at the club until hidden desires and strained familial bonds propel the film from absurd laughs to queasy body horror. There are some fully committed performances in this X-rated fishy tale but none more so than that of Michalina Olszańska, who radiates such amphibious sexuality onscreen that it’s easy to believe her bewitching allure is the real deal. — AT