Vampire’s Kiss

(USA 1989)

“Alva, there is no one else in this entire office that I could possibly ask to share such a horrible job. You’re the lowest on the totem pole here, Alva. The lowest. Do you realize that? Every other secretary here has been here longer than you, Alva. Every one. And even if there was someone here who was here even one day longer than you, I still wouldn’t ask that person to partake in such a miserable job as long as you were around. That’s right, Alva. It’s a horrible, horrible job; sifting through old contract after old contract. I couldn’t think of a more horrible job if I wanted to. And you have to do it!”

—Peter Loew

Vampire’s Kiss is a strange one. Peter Loew (Nicolas Cage) is a yuppie literary agent in Manhattan. He spends his days working on clients and berating his assistant, Alva (Maria Conchita Alonso), who can’t locate a contract from 25 years ago. He spends his nights picking up one-night stands at bars and clubs. He also sees a psychiatrist (Elizabeth Ashley), who is getting concerned about him.

One night, Loew picks up a hot vixen named Rachel (Jennifer Beals) and brings her back to his apartment. During their romp, she bites him on the neck. Thus begins his descent as he gradually turns into a vampire. Eeek!

After getting past his affected accent—a curious not to mention annoying mix of British guy and Valley dude that comes and goes depending on where he is—it’s fun to watch Cage act more and more like a lunatic as his character unravels. Loew becomes increasingly weird, disheveled, and belligerent, especially toward Alva. He eats bugs and birds. He converts his apartment into a crypt complete with a makeshift coffin. He avoids daylight and keeps sunglasses on at all times. The bit with him running around all night one Saturday wearing fake plastic vampire teeth he bought at a magic shop is truly funny.

It doesn’t take long for the whole thing to get old, though. Robert Bierman’s directing isn’t bad, but it’s hard to tell what exactly is behind the decidedly misogynistic vibe. Aside from scenes of New York City in the late ’80s and laughable knock-offs of New Order and Dead or Alive songs playing in a few dance club scenes, Vampire’s Kiss doesn’t offer all that much.

103 minutes
Rated R

(MoviePlex) C-

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