Friday, October 14, 2016

Once Bitten

Year 8, Day 288 - 10/14/16 - Movie #2,466     

BEFORE: This is a last-minute substitution - this film (and tomorrow's) ran on cable in early October, and I was planning on saving them for next October, but then I noticed that Megan Mullally has a small role as a high-school student in this film, and I could carry her over from "Hotel Transylvania 2", which saves me from doing a weird link from Adam Sandler to Abbott & Costello.  (Oh, it exists, but this is more direct.)  

As a bonus, I can keep the vampire theme going for another two days.  I apologize, however, if you were expecting Mel Brooks to carry over into "Dracula: Dead and Loving It".  Turns out, I have my limits.  

But since I already had a schedule that would take me through to the end of the year, and to film #2,500 - if I add something to the 2017 plan, I have to take something away.  Most likely it will be the Spencer Tracy "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde", and a documentary I had planned for December.  I think I may also want to add the three Frankenstein films that TCM just ran, because I can link easily in and out of that chain - which means I have to postpone "Nosferatu" and "Faust" until 2017.  Hey, I wasn't really looking forward to watching those anyway.  Germans, am I right?  So dark and depressing.

THE PLOT: A vampire Countess needs to drink the blood of a virgin in order to keep her eternal beauty. It seems that all is hopeless, until she bumps into Mark Kendall.

AFTER: Now, I realize there was a whole wave of these films in the 1980's, when everyone from George Hamilton ("Love at First Bite") to Geena Davis ("Transylvania 6-5000") tried to make vampires fashionable and glamorous (Glam-pires?) to varying degrees of success.  This time it's Lauren Hutton, who for some unknown reason can't survive on just human blood, there's some kind of reset in the system so that if she doesn't drink a virgin's blood on three successive occasions before Halloween, then something bad will happen.  What, she dies?  Loses her powers?  Is forced to move out of Los Angeles?  

There are many, many plotholes in this scenario.  Mainly because having sex does not alter a person's blood chemistry in any way, not as long as they use protection, anyway.  Umm, yeah, this was made in the 1980's for sure.  At a time when people were just coming to terms with herpes and AIDS, why not make them concerned about vampirism as well?  Only this is a bit of a spin, where having sex might be dangerous, but hey, at least it will keep beautiful vampires away.  Wait, is that a good thing or a bad thing?  

I guess this is a debatable point, because high-schooler Mark Kendall has a steady girlfriend, but one who won't have sex with him.  And the beautiful woman he meets in a nightclub will take him home and fool around with him, but she also wants to drink his blood.  (Which he confuses with oral sex, mainly because either action will make him pass out.)  

That L.A. nightclub is a little weird, because every table had a phone on it, and it seems that if you found someone attractive you could call their table and arrange a face-to-face meeting.  This is not only moronic, I don't think it was ever a thing, because why couldn't you just walk over to that person and start talking, why did you have to call them first?  Maybe this is what people did before speed dating and Tinder, but I kind of doubt it.  

As in "Lost Boys", the main character finds himself turning into a vampire, although it takes him a LONG time to figure it out.  Doesn't he wonder why he no longer enjoys his burgers well-done, but raw instead?  Isn't he the least bit curious why the sunlight suddenly burns his skin, and he has to wear sunglasses all the time?  I mean, this is right up Jim Carrey's alley, it's like his character from "Dumb and Dumber" is suddenly craving blood and can't figure out why.  

Outside of Hutton and Carrey, the acting here is just abysmal.  The high-school buddies are total horndog stereotypes, because someone thought that vampire movies needed to be more like "Porky's" or "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".  And the girlfriend character is dumber than dirt, even when the solution to keeping her boyfriend safe is so freakin' obvious (umm, just sleep with him already) it takes her an eternity to land on this as a solution.  The scene where she asks for advice from the (oddly-accented) bookstore owner (because hey, who knows more about vampires...) was just painful to watch.  "Wait, do you mean that a vampire could drink the blood of a person, like a high-school student?"  Oh, God, honey, put the pieces together, already!  

It all culminates in one of the most pointless chase scenes ever, as Mark and his girl dash around the Countess' mansion, with vampires attacking from every side, without ever harming them.  Because really, what could vampires possibly do to people?  All they do is hiss a bit, and then when they're defeated (by the power of teen sex, of course...) well, they just let our heroes go, of course.  Ironically, this is a vampire story with no teeth.

Also starring Jim Carrey (last seen in "Dumb and Dumber To"), Lauren Hutton (last seen in "American Gigolo"), Cleavon Little, Karen Kopins, Thomas Ballatore, Skip Lackey, Richard Schaal, Peggy Pope (last seen in "9 to 5"), Peter Elbling.

RATING: 3 out of 10 beef patties

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