Vamp [Blu-ray] 1
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- Predating the 1990s cycle of vampire-stripper films (From Dusk Till Dawn, Bordello of Blood, etc.) this cynical entry from director Richard Wenk concerns frat boys looking for a go-go girl to perform at their upcoming party. Wandering to the wrong side of town, the randy youths enter a seedy strip joint populated by vampires. Grace Jones is the nasty ringleader, Katrina, who acknowledges the film's debt to Hammer's Vampire Circus by performing an erotic dance painted in zebra-stripes. Among the heroes, co-star Robert Rusler is far more interesting than the bland lead (Chris Makepeace), while Gedde Watanabe manages to be both unfunny and offensive by turning in the most ridiculously stereotyped Asian performance since John Wayne assayed Genghis Khan in The Conqueror. This is the least of the comedic vampire films that came out in the mid-'80s, and although Billy Drago is menacing as the evil Snow and Greg Cannom's special effects are striking, Vamp remains unfunny and not frightening in the least. Famed female bodybuilder Lisa Lyon appears as a stripper named Cinnamon, and Dedee Pfeiffer, Hy Pyke, and Simmy Bow are among the recognizable supporting cast. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi
- AMG Rating
- The mid-'80s gave birth to a string of horror comedies, most of them junk, but this unique entry manages to rise above the pack in a number of ways. First off, Vamp boasts a tight script by director Richard Wenk that gets the blend of comedy and horror just right, allowing the two moods to switch off with each other in ways that cleverly toy with the audience's expectations. Wenk also directs the film with a sure hand, giving it a crisp, colorful look and working in some unusual set pieces between the expected horrific and comedic moments (like a fight scene set to the tune of "Volare"). Best of all, the film boasts a game cast that brings the story's many colorfully drawn characters to life. Chris Makepeace makes an engaging "unlikely hero" type, Gedde Watanabe provides some skillfully timed comic relief, and Billy Drago and Grace Jones invest some genuine menace into their villain characters. All in all, Vamp is the rare horror comedy that doesn't insult a horror fan's sensibilities, and is likely to interest those who don't normally go for anything horror-related. ~ Donald Guarisco, Rovi
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