Year 8, Day 277 - 10/3/16 - Movie #2,459
BEFORE: I usually start watching my movies right after midnight - because I like to get a jump on the next day. That's all year long, by the way, but only in October does it really start to make sense. What better time to watch a scary movie than during the witching hour?
I've got the New York Comic-Con coming up this week, so even though I just got rolling again, I'm going to take a four-day break, starting Thursday. Working at the Javits center from sun-up to sundown, then coming home just to shower and sleep and do it again - that leaves no time to watch movies. So two more films after this, then I'm on break again until next Monday. Still plenty of October to get to my whole Halloween chain.
I've got no direct linking out of "Vampire in Brooklyn", but at least Joanna Cassidy from "Vampire in Brooklyn" was also in "1969" with Kiefer Sutherland (last seen in "Flatliners") so that helps justify staying on a vampire theme. This is a film that has sort of fallen through the cracks during previous Halloween seasons - I suppose it would have made more sense to watch this last year and link from "Flatliners", but I didn't think of it, nor did I have a copy of this at that time.
THE PLOT: After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires.
AFTER: Talk about a movie being released at the right time - the "Goth" culture was just coming in to its own in 1987, if my memory serves. So every high school in the U.S. probably had a gang of kids with spiked up hair, dressed all in black with longish fingernails, who were only wearing all black because they couldn't find anything darker. Logically, it's not much of a stretch to suspect that those misfits were up to something, drugs at the very least, if not dabbling in satanic rituals. And from there it's just a short jump to vampirism, right?
OK, maybe that's just me, because I never hung out in the courtyards with the cool kids, or even the kids who were so cool that they didn't care about being cool. Silly me, I was in the library studying, or possibly taking a nap, since I was balancing school, extracurricular activities (singing, not sports) and a part-time job. But every high school had the "outsider" kids, and if you were lucky then these troubled youths found each other and formed a gang - if you were unlucky I guess they stayed loners and shot up your school. But I digress.
Last night I covered vampires in Brooklyn, NY, tonight it's sunny California, which doesn't seem to make much sense at first - vampires can't be exposed to sunlight, after all. But these come out at night and patrol the boardwalk of a seaside town, and ride around on motorbikes. Newcomer Michael notices a girl that's always hanging out with the Goth kids, and when he tries to get close to her, he draws the attention of the gang. A few childish dares and a couple of pranks later, and he starts to notice that it's hard to see his own reflection in the mirror. Hey, what was in that drink, anyway?
Fortunately, his younger brother made friends at the local comic shop by properly organizing the Superman comics (finally, a social interaction I can understand...) and those friends are well-versed in the rules of fighting vampires. "Just drive a stake through your brother's heart - simple, right? Oh, wait, you like him? Well, then it gets tricky." Instead they have to find the lead vampire and kill him, then all of the "half-vampires" he created will revert to human. That's the theory, anyway.
I wish there had been time to really examine the process of a teen turning into a vampire, and the best ways of fighting back against them, but there just isn't that kind of time, the movie's only 97 minutes long. So there's not much time for character development, and there are a lot of shortcuts. Usually involving the help of a dog, or people picking up on situations rather quickly. Umm, except for Michael figuring out he never should have gotten involved with this gang in the first place. But I guess if you're not IN the gang, then you could become one of their victims, which seems to explain why so many kids end up with their faces on milk cartons. (What WAS up with that in the 1980's, anyway?)
NITPICK POINT: I just don't think it's that easy to confuse garlic with shredded cheese. Sure, I've seen bakers on cooking shows accidentally mix up salt and sugar, but there's just no way to mince garlic that would cause it to have the texture of parmesan cheese, and I think anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of Italian cooking would have to agree.
The title is a reference to "Peter Pan", of course, since he never grew up, and vampires don't either. There are other vague references to the J.M. Barrie story, like a dog named "Nanook" instead of "Nana". I've got two "Peter Pan"-related movies on the watchlist, but I won't be able to get to them this year. And the fictional setting of Santa Carla is a spin on Santa Cruz, which really was labelled as the "murder capital" of the U.S. at one point, due to a serial killer in the 1970's. But Santa Cruz translates as "Holy Cross", so it's doubtful you'd find a lot of vampires hanging out there.
I had some technical issues with this film, a lot of the dialogue was out of sync, but I'm going to assume that there was some problem with the pay-per-view broadcast. I also had several scenes appear in black and white, but I think that was due to a worn-out VCR. Yeah, I still use good old videotape to transfer my movies to DVD, it's an extra step but one which is supposed to help me spot problems before I burn the film to disc. Epic fail tonight. But these are technical problems with my equipment, I can't really hold them against the film. I mean, who makes a vampire film in black and white, right? What good is it if you can't see all that rich, red fake blood?
Also starring Jason Patric (last seen in "The Prince"), Corey Haim (last seen in "Silver Bullet"), Dianne Wiest (last seen in "Sisters"), Edward Herrmann (last seen in "The Great Waldo Pepper"), Jami Gertz (last seen in "Quicksilver"), Corey Feldman (last seen in "Maverick"), Barnard Hughes (last seen in "Best Friends"), Jamison Newlander, Alex Winter (last seen in "Freaked"), Billy Wirth, Brooke McCarter, Chance Michael Corbitt.
RATING: 5 out of 10 canteens of holy water