"Vlad" is Vlad the Impaler, of course, whose mythic cruelty was an inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. In this sly sequel, Vlad really is undead. More than a postmodern riff on 'the vampire craze,' Vlad is also an anatomy of the Mexican bourgeoisie, as well as our culture's ways of dealing with death. For - as in Dracula - Vlad has need of both a lawyer and a real-estate agent in order to establish his new kingdom, and Yves Navarro and his wife Asuncion fit the bill nicely. Having recently lost a son, might they not welcome the chance to see their remaining child live forever?
Adam Gorozpe, a respected businessman in Mexico, has a life so perfect that he might as well be his namesake in the Garden of Eden - but there are snakes in this Eden too. For one thing, Adam's wife, Priscila, has fallen in love with the brash director of national security - also named Adam. Another unlikely snake is the little Boy-God who's started preaching in the street wearing a white tunic and stick-on wings, inspiring Adam's brother-in-law to give up his job to follow this junior deity and implore Adam to do the same.