Ever hear the term “ahead of its time”? I hate that term. Its usually used to refer to something that was a failure. You know this really stunk but its so ahead of it time if it came out now it would be a huge hit. Movie people say it all the time. Vamp is often referred to that way. But the fact is, it was not ahead of its time. It was a great film, just an odd hybrid of horror, comedy, and soft erotica all built around Grace Jones who was getting her 15min of fame at the moment.
You see this was in the era of over the top horror films, mostly slashers that took themselves seriously. Sure they were unintentionally funny but never played for laughs unless you count a parody like Student Body’s, and even those were nearly nonexistent. Vamp never takes itself seriously. It truly is a horror comedy that was promoted the wrong way.
It’s the story of a couple of guys who hook up with a rich kid with a car, played to perfection by Sixteen Candles standout Long Duck Dong. Who was also getting his 10min of fame. Sorry Dong, Grace had an extra few months under her run. They head out to pick up strippers for a party and go to a seedy club where they get to witness Grace Jones perform. To this day it is still scary to watch that. Turns out the club is for Vampires. One of the kids gets turned they have to fight their way out, they end up in a sewer, battle with head vampire, twist to it the end.
I’m not trivializing it, in fact I love it. It ranks in my top 5 vampire films of all time. Its number 3 to be honest. It’s just really hard to go into detail because for me it’s hard to write about comedy. When one of the kids is turned he keeps thinking of going to night school and figuring out what types of jobs her can work at during the night because he obviously can’t be in sunlight. I mean sure there are great gore shots, amazing practical effects, nudity, and blood galore but the humor is what makes this film flow.
All the actors do an amazing job and play there parts to perfection. Grace Jones is great in her role as the stripper vampire. And yes if you’re thinking “This sounds familiar” it is a film that Tarentino does enjoy. His screenplay for From Dusk Till Dawn plays homage to this film. He will tell you that himself.
The film never really got a great release but Arrow has changed all that. It’s pretty loaded. Here is what you get
High Definition digital transfer
Original mono audio
Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
One of those Nights: The Making of Vamp - a brand new documentary featuring interviews with director Richard Wenk, stars Robert Rusler, Dedee Pfeiffer, Gedde Watanabe
Dracula Bites the Big Apple (1979) - Richard Wenk s celebrated short film
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil
Overall this is a hell of a great film and a must have for any collection and this print is absolutely amazing.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 stars!