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Vampire’s Kiss
USA 1989
Directed by Robert Bierman
Running time 88 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars


Vampire’s Kiss is a smart movie. A little too keen to say so but nevertheless as a comedy it’s funny – not because of its jokes (there are none) but for its persistent and perverse tongue-in-cheek excessiveness.

Nicholas Cage plays Peter Loew (perhaps a homage to Peter Lorre) a typical 80s New York yuppie, suit by day, pick-up artist by night who is seeing a psychiatrist (Elizabeth Ashley) for depression. One night, he picks up a hottie (Jennifer Beals) who at the height of their passion sinks her fangs into his neck. Peter’s behaviour starts to become erratic and eventually he realizes that he’s been turned into a vampire.

Robert Bierman’s film which was written by Joseph Minion who penned Martin Scorsese’s inexplicably much-admired 1985 film, After Hours. This film has a similar mainstream look but in the service of B grade content it is much more deserving of cult status. Going above and beyond the call of duty (apparently he really ate that cockroach) Nicholas Cage delivers a tour de force of over-acting, as if The Joker were burlesquing Max Schrek.  This grandstanding sweeps all before it although as Bierman ramps up the joke with more and obvious ludicrosity its appeal diminishes somewhat and the ending is rather anti-climactic.

Vampire’s Kiss doesn’t have the tragi-comic chops of delusional comedies such as Scorsese’s King Of Comedy or Ben Stiller’s The Cable Guy but if you like wryly off-beat humour it’s a better-than-average diversion.

 

 

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