The film is described as being set in "the Iranian ghost town Bad City" and depicts the doings of "a lonesome vampire" but actually the film was shot in the town of Taft in Kern County, southern California. An early short film with the same title from Amirpour screened at festivals and won Best Short Film at the Noor Iranian Film Festival. The film is based on Ana Lily Amirpour's graphic novel with the same name, which was illustrated by Michael DeWeese and edited by Ben and Jon Conrad.
The film received positive reviews from critics. Variety said in his review that "Ana Lily Amirpour's auspicious debut feature is a sly, slinky vampire romance set in an imaginary Iranian underworld". The Hollywood Reporter, praised the film by saying that "this moody and gorgeous film is finally more about atmosphere and emotions than narrative – and none the worse for it". Indiewire graded the film A− and said that it gives "the impression that you're witnessing something iconic and important unfold before you".
Boss Guardian Review