I Saw A Film!
Between Beverly Hills Cop the third and The Nutty Professor Eddie Murphy dropped this little number in the mix, a kind of darkly comic Nosferatu romp set in the big city. The theme is similar to Coming To America, as our suavely grinning vampire is looking for his lady (one who is not quite a vampire but may have the potential, as far as I could tell). The lady, playing a cop, is the gorgeous, but somewhat overlooked Angela Bassett. All in all, I thought the dead ship wrecking in the modern NYC harbor a nice call-back to the original old movie, and Herzog’s remake. And while there’s a lot of kooky loose playing with vampire lore in this film it’s a pretty satisfying “blacula”. Look, there are so many vampire films shoveled out, and let’s not forget the dreadful Twilight phenomena, that we no longer have a core idealization of exactly what vampiring is any more than we have an idea of what a freaking zombie actually is. So, let’s just dispense with the whole, “That’s not a vampire!” one-upping and let Murphy charm us with his fun idea of vampiric potentials.
Bassett’s cop character is daughter of a Caribbean witchcraft specialist and it turns out our brand of Eddie Murphy blood-sucker originates there. Bassett also seems to spend her nights painting violent images that she hallucinates and it turns out are spectacularly attached to some of the kill sequences. Oh, and we do follow some horror film tropes, the roommate of Bassett is a bit of a flirty playgirl and so in the audience’s mind “deserves” being eaten up, so we don’t hate Murphy too much, right away. The main theme of the story is that our sweet cop Angela doesn’t relish becoming a blood sucker like Mr. Murphy insists she must, and as he brings her helpless bleeding victims – like a sea lion training its young with a half-dead penguin – Angela flees (as opposed to the endless pleading of Bella in the Twilight series to be made vampiric).
The fun side of the show is that while the vampire is twee and the sequences fairly inevitable they are compelling enough for a vamp story. Angela looks great, and the gross out moments are in good hands, Wes Craven directs and the gore is gore, and the vampire’s trusty familiar gradually rots away rather gruesomely.
All in all a fair product with some star power. Running free on American Prime. And YUP Eddie will play a few roles in the film. It’s his thing!