“After an encounter with a neck-biter, a publishing executive thinks that he’s turning into a vampire.”
Directed by: Rober Bierman, Rated: R, 103 minutes
Vampire’s Kiss proves that Nicolas Cage has always been one of the weirdest motherf**kers in Hollywood. It’s a film that’s so disturbingly bizarre on so many different levels and leaves you more dumbfounded than anything else. There’s very little plot, barely any character development, or even any humor in a movie that’s supposed to be a black comedy. It’s strange to the point of being really hard to describe and is probably one of the worst films of The Cage I have ever seen. And that’s saying a lot. I think?
Peter Loew (The Cage) is a full-time literary agent and part-time creep. He drinks, he parties, and always brings home a lady friend. He’s far from sophisticated or suave, yet he still manages to end every night with a little wrestling in the sheets. On a particularly drunken night, Peter’s love session is interrupted by a bat that flies into his window. At first, it just scares off Peter and his lover, but as he returns to his apartment the next day, the thought of the bat arouses him. Yes, a flying rodent turns The Cage on. After talking about it to his psychiatrist (Elizabeth Ashley), Peter truly believes something is going on in his life. The next night, Peter brings another woman, Rachel (Jennifer Beals), home with him, whom he immediately falls in love with. She’s a bit kinky in the bedroom and bites Peter very hard on the neck (to the point of drawing blood). The next morning, Peter begins to feel a bit different than usual and assumes he’s turning into a vampire. What then plays out is a series of events that grow weirder and weirder as Peter truly believes he’s a bloodsucker (even though he’s not). He threatens people, craves blood, eats a cockroach, avoids sunlight, sleeps in a coffin, and even buys a set of fake plastic fangs to really take on the persona he’s creating. His work suffers, his friendships suffer, and the relationship he has with his assistant Alva (Maria Conchita Alonso) escalates to dangerous heights.
Nicolas Cage is at an all-time weird in Vampire’s Kiss and you can’t figure out if you’re supposed to care for the man or laugh at his downfall. And it’s really hard to care about a character that has absolutely no redeeming qualities about him. He continually thinks he’s better than everyone, talks down to his co-workers, and speaks with a pseudo-European accent to give off the idea that he’s in a higher class than you. He’s a lot like American Psycho‘s Patrick Bateman, but lacks any of the charm or good looks. Instead, we’re left with a swarmy little f**ker who loses his mind and slowly becomes so far gone you can’t help but shout at the screen. Along with the lack of development of Peter, Vampire’s Kiss has a script that irritates you more than anything. So much of the dialogue hurts your ears and you think that a lot of what is said was actually notes on the script itself, and not the actual words meant to be spoken. Several scenes just feature The Cage screaming at a mirror (where he apparently can’t see his reflection) or at another individual. For instance, there’s a particular scene where Peter is screaming at Alva, telling her she’s going to get raped, while demanding she shoots him with the gun she has in her purse. Oh, and he’s threatening to fire her the entire time as well. You’d think that something like this, featuring The Cage, would be worthwhile, but it turns out more irritating than anything else. I mean, this is well before The Cage hit his stride. It’s still hard to believe this is the movie he decided to do after Moonstruck AND Raising Arizona.
Vampire’s Kiss is a movie that deserves none of your time or attention. It’s an absolute mess of a film that can barely tell its own story and features acting so bad, it’s almost funny. Had Vampire’s Kiss starred anyone but Nicolas Cage, it would have been washed away in cinematic history. But, unfortunately it does star The Cage and this little, yet bizarre, look into the man’s past filmography is hard to swallow. Even his crazy antics and horrible hair (yep, he even had it then) can’t save a script so full of shit with characters just as bad. There are very few, if any, redeeming qualities of Vampire’s Kiss and I would highly recommend staying away from it. It’s over the top in the worse sense of the phrase and actually makes Twilight look like a half-decent vampire flick. Sure, I may have missed the point, as it features The Cage going FULL Cage, but I just couldn’t give it the love it so ached for.
no direction in the story line with the film losing itself twenty minutes in
horrible dialogue that makes you cringe when you hear it and equally terrible acting by people who are given absolutely nothing to work with
yuppie, insane, and out for blood
Overall: One and a Half Cages out of Five
What films do you consider over-the-top but done so to great effect?