VAMP – Movie Review

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VAMP

  • RELEASE DATE: Available on October 11th on Blu-ray (Click Here to Purchase a Copy)
  • WRITTEN BY: Donald P. Borchers, Richard Wenk
  • DIRECTED BY: Richard Wenk
  • STARRING: Chris Makepeace, Robert Rusler, Grace Jones, Gedde Watanabe

VAMP is one of those flicks that I’d always see at the video store as a terror teen and say to myself “You need to rent this…there are most likely equal amounts of boobs and blood involved!” Then my keen, intuitive movie choosing powers would kick in and I’d grab ZOMBIE LAKE instead (which admittedly had more than its fair share of boobs involved both in front of and behind the camera). So long story short; I finally saw VAMP when it was on TV one Sunday afternoon, and for some reason or another (maybe the odd tone of the film, maybe the severe editing it received for broadcast) it didn’t click with your’s cruelly. Well, that brings us to now…let’s take another look at VAMP and see what nearly thirty years can do to an opinion.

VAMP is the story of Keith and AJ; two college dudes that are charged with providing a stripper in exchange for initiation into a fraternity. Tagging along is rich nerd Duncan, who provides the car our heroes need to travel to the sleaziest part of town imaginable to find their boob baring holy grail. Well; as in real life, the strip club they decide upon just so happens to be home to a coven of vicious vampires, led by the absolutely bizarre Katrina (played with silent, other-worldly insanity by Grace Jones; which honestly wasn’t much of a stretch). What follows is a desperate fight for survival as our heroes attempt to make it through the night alive with legions of bloodthirsty creatures at their throats (not to mention a street gang led by an albino Billy Drago thrown if for shits and grins). Oh, and this film is also a comedy…partially.

Looking at VAMP now I can see why I didn’t dig it as much as I hoped in the 1980’s. Tonally, the film is all over the place; it’s trying to be a comedy one minute and a fright flick the next, not to mention the off-the wall characters, and bizarre situations…and all of that is why I absolutely love the film now! The entire film exists in a neon drenched, sleazy world all its own, and there isn’t another film like it! Adding to the madness are some really fantastic vampire make-ups and whatever the hell Grace Jones is up to (wait until you see her stripper routine which is more of a performance art piece than anything else). Special mention also needs to be made of the uproarious performance of Gedde Watanabe as Duncan; his ridiculous horny nonsense had me rolling!

As much as I enjoyed my revisiting of VAMP the extra features contained in this release added to the fun. Starting things off; you get a fantastic documentary that details the films production and includes interviews with most of the main cast and crew (with Grace Jones surprisingly absent). Also included are the short film DRACULA BITES THE BIG APPLE (from VAMP’s director Richard Wenk) and a collection of rehearsal footage. Rounding out the package are a blooper reel, a collection of TV Spots and trailers for the film, as well as an image gallery.

If you dig a good fang bang with as much emphasis on guffaws as gore, you can’t do much better than VAMP; it’s a fun n’ freaky fracas that really is unlike anything else before or since!

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