Noah Segan in Blood Relatives

Noah Segan in Blood Relatives (2022)


Noah Segan as Francis, classical music-loving vampire

Across the Great Plains and Southwest, Summer 2022

Film: Blood Relatives
Release Date: November 22, 2022
Director: Noah Segan
Costume Designer: Michael Bevins

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!


Sometimes I read a description of or watch a trailer for a movie and think that it had to have been written specifically for me. A recent example of this phenomenon is Blood Relatives, Noah Segan’s directorial debut that premiered on Shudder four months ago, following a leather-jacketed Jewish vampire on a Paper Moon-style road trip in a classic muscle car through the neon-lit small towns of the Midwest and Central Great Plains while unpacking generational trauma with his daughter.

Needless to say, I loved the movie and urge all fellow fans to vote for it as Best First Feature for the 2023 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards, which ends on Monday, February 27.

Last month, I had the privilege of talking to Segan about his costume as laidback loafer Derol in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, and I was delighted to recently reconnect and discuss Blood Relatives, which he also starred in and wrote in addition to directing. Much of the story sprang from Segan’s transition to fatherhood, with additional inspiration from classic movies like Paper MoonNear DarkGanja & Hess, Raising Arizona, and even The Apartment (specifically the excellent “be a mensch” exchange.)

Our neon-lit journey begins somewhere in Texomaland, where Francis has put enough elbow grease into his ’69 Barracuda to land in a small town in Oklahoma, where he manages to score a $20-per-night motel room. Little does he know that, while he’s been blasting Wagner, he’s been tracked across the country by the teenage Jane (Victoria Moroles), whose mother had spent a Wednesday night with Francis fifteen years earlier while working at a bar in Idaho.

Having noted some of her own vampiric traits, Jane sought out her mysterious father to learn the truth about her true nature… and ends up with a lot more than she bargained for as the bodies begin to stack up. After all, the family that slays together, stays together.

Noah Segan in Blood Relatives (2022)

Francis in his everyday costume of black leather motorcycle jacket and dark T-shirt, while Jane wears a Screeching Weasel T-shirt. “I had been a Screeching Weasel fan since I was Jane’s age and became buddies with Ben Weasel over the course of the pandemic,” Segan shared. “He was gracious enough to offer music for the movie.”

What’d He Wear?

Jane: We should talk about your style.
Francis: I look bitchin’.
Jane: You look like you’re dressed as the Fonz for Halloween. Every day.
Francis: (after a beat) Nice Jewish boy.

Noah Segan worked with Michael Bevins, whom he praised as “the ultimate Swiss Army knife costume designer” for his resourcefulness within the film’s limited budget, to develop the costume he envisioned for Francis, “a man stuck ‘out of time’… I led with the car as the initial basis for what we do with the rest of the aesthetic of the film and character,” Segan explained of Francis, who ostensibly halted his growth around 1970, around the time his Barracuda would have been only a year old.

Francis’ wardrobe centers around a black leather motorcycle jacket, a style dating back to the late 1920s when Schott introduced its Perfecto model which, “more than any other garment suggested a kind of anarchy,” according to Josh Sims in Icons of Men’s Style. This association between motorcycle jackets and rebellion was solidified through characters like Marlon Brando’s disaffected biker in The Wild One (1953) and—more relevant to the themes of Blood Relatives—Bill Paxton’s psychotic vampire Severen in Near Dark (1987). Segan would also wear a black leather motorcycle jacket in his first movie, Rian Johnson’s 2005 directorial debut feature Brick.

Noah Segan in Brick (2005) and in Blood Relatives (2022)

Noah Segan’s primary costume in both the first movie he acted in (Brick) and the first movie he directed (Blood Relatives) consisted of a black leather motorcycle jacket over a dark T-shirt.

With its asymmetrical front zipper and abundance of zips, studs, and straps including a full belt around the waist, the waist-length motorcycle jacket remains one of the most recognizable pieces of outerwear nearly a century after its conception.

Bevins built Francis’ two screen-worn cowhide leather jackets from the First Manufacturing Co. “Fillmore” model, with the primary “hero jacket” sized to fit Segan while the other was tailored slightly too tight, reflecting the character’s weight gain. The Fillmore reflects many hallmarks of the classic motorcycle jacket, including the slanted zip pockets over the hips, an additional zip-up pocket slanted over the left chest, and an additional set-in pocket lower on the left side with a pointed snap-down flap. A zipper closes the end of each sleeve, and the “bi-swing” back pleats allow a greater range of arm motion for bikers.

Noah Segan in Blood Relatives (2022)

The rest of Francis’ outfit is comprised of simple but classic staples consistent with his “bitchin'” mid-century badass persona. He wears a plain dark brown cotton short-sleeved crew-neck T-shirt which Segan recalls was likely from Uniqlo.

Noah Segan in Blood Relatives (2022)

For Francis’ dark indigo denim, a pair of off-the-rack jeans were over-dyed and waxed by Bevins to harmonize with the rest of his biker-influenced appearance, worn self-cuffed. He holds them up with a black leather belt that closes through a large squared silver-toned single-prong buckle.

Noah Segan and Victoria Moroles in Blood Relatives (2022)

Francis wears black leather engineer boots, a natural complement to his motorcycle jacket. Developed in the late 1930s, this style was originally intended for railway engineers (as its nomenclature implies), but their full protective coverage and laceless design quickly found favor among the burgeoning biker movement in the years following World War II.

The shaft height may vary, but traditional engineer boots are characterized by steel-buckled straps around the inset and—more often than not—an additional steel-buckled strap around the gusseted top of each shaft. The uppers are heavy-duty leather, typically double-layered through the shafts with rounded, plain toe-boxes and attached to heavy leather outsoles.

Noah Segan in Blood Relatives (2022)

Francis attends a single-parent support group, still wearing his signature engineer boots; the frayed edges are not of his dyed and waxed jeans but rather of the navy-blue coveralls he wears working as a mechanic for Mopar Mike.

Francis’ transition into a family man requires more diurnal activity than a vampire would typically enjoy, so has to don additional layers to protectively cover his skin while still looking relatively common enough to avoid attention. As seen while securing work from the mechanic Mopar Mike (Aaron Spivey-Sorrells), he dons a plain navy-blue cotton twill baseball cap, black leather gloves, and a set of classic black-framed wayfarer-style sunglasses.

Noah Segan in Blood Relatives (2022)

When Francis and Jane reach California and need extra funds to establish a more normal domestic life, he pawns the trusty watch we’ve seen on his right wrist for the entirety of the movie and—as we learn—at least seven or eight decades leading up to this moment. While haggling over the pawnshop owner’s $600 offer, Francis insists on more given that the watch is a German air force relic.

A watch enthusiast in real life, Segan had been very intentional about Francis’ timepiece, deciding that—for consistency with his background—he would wear one of the B-Uhr observation watches developed for Luftwaffe air crews during World War II. These watches were supplied at the time by five manufacturers across Germany and Switzerland, including A. Lange & Söhne, and in two iterations: the Type A was functionally simple with only an outer ring white numeric hour indices against the plain black dial, while the Type B introduced in 1941 pushed the hours into a center ring and the minutes and seconds—denoted in intervals of five—to the outer ring.

Segan purchased a pair of inexpensive, quartz-powered B-Uhr watches (with the Type B inner hour ring) to represent the A. Lange & Söhne piece that Francis would wear on screen. He then sent the watches to Weston Cutter—whose company Haven Watch Co. produced the tie dye-dialed watch Segan wore in Glass Onion—who, in turn, worked with master watchmaker Donovan Paradise to rebuild, age, and modify the two watches for screen use: one with the second hand removed to conceal the tell-tale tick of a quartz watch, and another with the second hand left intact but the battery removed.

“This kind of watch—this really simple, well-made, mechanical, hand-wound watch—ostensibly could run for eight decades, but I figured that the band would have worn out, so I opted for a simple nylon pass-through NATO-style strap,” Segan explained.

Noah Segan in Blood Relatives (2022)

Noah Segan in Blood Relatives (2022)

Francis hesitantly parts ways with his B-Uhr watch, letting go of the past in order to fund his future with the daughter he’s getting to know.

Settling into domestic life means enrolling Jane in school and meeting her new principal, for which Jane convinces Francis to adopt a new style more consistent with the traditional idea of suburban fatherhood.

Francis: I can’t tell if I’m schvitzing because it’s getting light out or because I look like a…
Jane: Dad?
Francis: …schlemiel.
Jane: It’s great. You look ten years older.

On an early fall day, he now wears a khaki zip-up windbreaker over a teal camp shirt with a maroon baseball cap for added protection against the daylight. The jacket and shirt still feel very mid-20th century, an era with which Francis is clearly comfortable, with Segan sharing that the rest of his outfit was more traditional off-the-rack “Dad gear” like Walmart khakis and Avia sneakers.

Victoria Moroles and Noah Segan in Blood Relatives (2022)

Francis sticks to his ’50s aesthetic for a parent/principal conference, though it’s less The Wild One and more Weekend Ward Cleaver.

Eventually, feasting on a vampire’s idea of “junk food”—pre-packaged raw meat instead of human flesh—grows out Francis’ dad bod to the point where he can’t even comfortably fit into his favorite jacket anymore. Jane gifts her old man a new leather jacket that she stole expressly for him… then asks if she can wear his old one.

Sourced from Michael Bevins’ collection, Francis’ new black leather John Varvatos jacket is a “café racer”, a style developed in mid-century England that has also been popular with motorcyclists but more of a streamlined cut than the snappy and flappy Perfecto-style moto jacket.

Noah Segan in Blood Relatives (2022)

Once again clad in some well-fitting leather, Francis seeks out one more deserving victim.

The Car

Jane: Your car… 1969 Barracuda fastback with a 383 in blue.
Francis: That’s the one…
Jane: They made two shades: Ice Blue, code B-3, and Blue Fire—that one was B-5, that was one was rare. I didn’t know which blue it was.
Francis: They also made a B-7: Jamaica Blue.
Jane: Not in the 383. They only made 272 fastbacks in the 383 and the slapstick automatic… and only 16 in Ice Blue, 11 in Blue Fire.

Francis and Jane then confirm in tandem that his 1969 Plymouth Barracuda parked outside is, indeed, one of the eleven produced with a Blue Fire exterior, finished with a black stripe across each side. “It’s not exotic, it’s domestic,” Francis corrects Jane when she mocks him for driving such an eye-catching car while trying to maintain a low profile.

Noah Segan and Victoria Moroles in Blood Relatives (2022)

With a little elbow grease here and some questionably acquired carb gaskets there, Francis has kept his blue Barracuda running for more than half a century.

Jane reveals to Francis that her internet research led to her discovering that only three of those eleven Blue Fire-painted 1969 Roadrunner fastbacks with a 383 V8 and “slapstick automatic” are still registered, including his, which was registered to “an elderly woman in Minnesota,” whom Francis claims to be his aunt.

This on-screen narrative charmingly parallels the actual Barracuda’s origins, which Segan shared had been purchased in the early 2000s by his friend, cinematographer Tom Richmond, from “a little old lady in Pasadena” who kept it running but never restored it, as the car was a daily driver rather than a show car. Richmond was living in Venice, California when he had purchased the ’69 Barracuda, and—when he moved to New York about ten years later—he gave the car to Segan with the instructions to “keep it running… take care of it,” which Segan has done in the decade since.

While much of the dialogue matches up to accurately describe the car, Segan shared that his Barracuda actually has a 318 cubic-inch V8 rather than the 383 described by Jane. “I wanted it to be a rarer car that would make it easier to find,” he explained, while also sharing that his Barracuda does indeed have “a slapstick automatic… which is a very cool transmission from back in the day.

Introduced by Hurst for the 1967 Pontiac GTO, this transmission was technically marketed as the “dual gate” shifter for its ability to either perform as a typical automatic transmission (shift the lever into “drive” and let it shift, well, automatically) or by moving the lever into a second gate that would allow the driver to manually upshift and downshift like a standard transmission, albeit without the clutch.

Noah Segan's 1969 Plymouth Barracuda in Blood Relatives (2022)

1969 Plymouth Barracuda

Body Style: 2-door fastback coupe

Layout: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive (RWD)

Engine: 318 cu. in. (5.2 L) Chrysler LA-series V8 with Carter 2-barrel carburetor

Power: 230 hp (171.5 kW; 233 PS) @ 4400 RPM

Torque: 340 lb·ft (461 N·m) @ 2400 RPM

Transmission: 3-speed TorqueFlite “slapstick” automatic

Wheelbase: 108 inches (2743 mm)

Length: 192.8 inches (4897 mm)

Width: 69.6 inches (1768 mm)

Height: 52.8 inches (1341 mm)

The striking blue ’69 Barracuda may look familiar to fans of the new Peacock series Poker Face, starring Natasha Lyonne and created by Segan’s friend Rian Johnson.

“It’s the same car!” Segan laughed, sharing that Johnson specifically wrote this model Barracuda into the series. “When they were getting ready to produce the series, they took pictures of the car and scanned it to build show cars recreated for the show.”

How to Get the Look

Noah Segan in Blood Relatives (2022)

Francis maintains a look inspired by mid-20th century rebels, anchored by a classic black leather motorcycle jacket and engineer boots with unique details informed by his past like his distinctive German pilot’s watch.

  • Black cowhide leather motorcycle jacket with asymmetrical front zip, slanted zip left chest pocket, slanted zip hip pockets, set-in lower left pocket (with snap-down flap), bi-swing back pleats, full belt with silver-toned single-prong buckle, and zip-back sleeves
  • Dark brown cotton crew-neck short-sleeve T-shirt
  • Over-dyed dark indigo waxed denim jeans with belt loops and five-pocket configuration
  • Black leather belt with squared silver-toned single-prong buckle
  • Black leather engineer boots
  • Black-framed wayfarer-style sunglasses
  • B-Uhr “Type B” German pilot’s watch with plain steel case, black dial with white outer minute/second ring and inner hour ring, and black vinyl NATO-style pass-through strap

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Check out the movie, currently streaming on Shudder.

The Quote

Come on, man. Be a mensch. Be a person.

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  1. Pingback: Poker Face: Charlie's Jacquard Cardigan » BAMF Style

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