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Vampire's Kiss

USA, 1989, Color, 103 min
Director Robert Bierman
Screenplay Joseph Minion
Photography Stefan Czapsky
Music Colin Towns
Nicolas Cage Peter Loew
Maria Conchita Alonso Alva Restrepo
Jennifer Beals Rachel
Elizabeth Ashley Dr. Glaser
Kasi Lemmons Jackie
Bob Lujan Emilio
Jessica Lundy Sharon
Johnny Walker Donald

Peter Loew, a sleazy literary agent, is a typical yuppie of the late 80s. At night he prowls the Manhattan bars looking for some adventure and the kick that will make his rather boring and lonely life more colorful. One night he hooks up with attractive Rachel, and in the course of their relations, she bites him on the neck and sucks his blood. Now Peter begins to change. He doesn't feel quite right. He is irritable and starts to let down his girlfriends, forgets dates and terrorizes his secretary Alva, who is supposed to find some dossier for him, which more and more becomes an obsession for him.

Suddenly, it dawns on Peter that Rachel has turned him into a vampire and he begins to do quite crazy things: he sleeps under the sofa, avoids daylight, eats living cockroaches (and it is said that this was no trick. Cage really chewed and devoured it!) and imagines that he has no mirror image anymore. When he finally tries to shoot himself with Alva's booby pistol, which of course doesn't work out, he is convinced for good that he is immortal. He drives himself more and more into madness and even goes out to buy a set of plastic fangs with which he attacks women. His decay is inevitable. And soon he errs through the streets of New York babbeling and hallucinating and stumbles towards his through and through vampiric redemption.

Now what are we supposed to think about this one? The distribution company advertised this movie as a black comedy, but actually the movie is to dark and hopeless to be such one. A lot of critics see "Vampire's Kiss" rather as an art movie, but we have to admit that we generally have some difficulties with this expression. One thing is sure: we do not deal with a classic vampire movie here. Some friends of the flick may especially love this aspect, which, according to their opinion makes out its special charm. Well, see it as you want to see it. This is Vampire Word, we prefer real Vampires.

Often the clever making of this movie has been praised, for a long time you pretendedly don't know if Peter really is a vampire or if he only imagines everything. But those who watch the movie closely will soon find the solution. So this argument doesn't count either.

What makes the movie worth seeing is Nicolas Cage's completely lunatic performance. Here, it seems, he was given free rein by director Robert Bierman, to act like a total madman. As already mentioned above, the scene with the cockroach is said to be real. Now that's what we call method acting.

It is a pity that Cage became a mega star some years later and since then could mainly be seen in some stupid blockbuster movies. It's only in Lynch's "Wild at Heart" that his performance was as brilliant as in "Vampire's Kiss".

Cage should have been awarded five bats, but the movie itself is only worth...


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