Wednesday, May 2, 2012
My Best Friend Is A Vampire (1988)
It's Wednesday (AGAIN sigh, so not Friday, get the hint already lol)
...And for this week, how about the movie that ironically, I first remember seeing after I contracted my own version of an STD, aka the NOCTURNAL variety....
My Best Friend Is A Vampire
Director-- Jimmy Huston Writer--- Tab Murphy Starring--- Robert Sean Leonard Evan Mirand Leeanne Locken
Company: Kings Road Productions
The Basic Scoop, The Poop, The Lowdown:
A young, average Texas teenager named Jeremy Capello is suckered (literally) into giving up his virginity to young hottie Darla with a dark secret (read: VAMPIRE.) Rather than immediately bemoaning the fact he's now got fangs instead of a brand new car, our young hero Jeremy tries to make the most of his new...uhh...situation. But being a vampire isn't always as easy as it looks. (Tell me about it dude!!)
What's Pretty Good:
It's familiarity. No really, it gets a lot of things right about us Vampires. Some people might find the plight of our young hero, and the end results of it ( or AKA the lack of immediate dark coolness) to be a little disappointing (what?? He's too...uhh...NORMAL!!) but what are you gonna do? Thems the breaks! If you were a badass before you became "Nocturnal" or maybe just a dork (like me ;) ) that's just what you'll be AFTER you become a Vampire. Only with fangs and a few added perks. :)
The whole butcher shop motif, nice touch of course,realistic? Si, but I do have a HUGE nitpick about it (get to that in just a second.)
>/br> It's almost like the dude who penned the script consulted with one of us. (I wonder how much they were paid for their consulting work...I'd work for doughnuts...on retainer. lol :) )
The setting, for once, is some place different than the usual New York City neighborhood, small California/Pacific Northwest town etc (the two coasts ) this one is actually set and filmed on location in TEXAS for a change (Flyover Country) in practically my own backyard (or right next door to it thereabouts...AKA Houston.) While not explicitly stated too much as I recall, there are certainly enough clues, and for the most part Texans are portrayed pretty accurately (I.E. sans giant cowboy hats and ridiculous accents...though they COULD have sprung for more pickup trucks I think lol ;) )
The casting of Robert Sean Leonard (known to the world today as Dr. James Wilson from House M.D. ) was a solid move for a flick like this. Jeremy comes off a likeable boy-neck..err..I mean NEXT door, with a nervous grining bemused face throughout the flick (the expression that seems to be Leonard's trademark lol ) While, yeah, it's kind of type-casting, you've also gotta remember that this is one of "Bob Leonard's" earlier roles, this is where his typecast trademark was born, and in any rate, why the Hell am I babbling anymore about it? It works for the character and makes this flick more watchable so what of it? :P
What Kinda Sorta Really, Really Sucks:
In case you just might have forgotten just what "era" this was made in, this is an 80's flick, and a movie made for teenyboppers of that time, so all the doofus cliches' of that decade come BLARING through like a giant shiny chrome boomboxs playing the "one-hit-wonder" Young MC over and over again. (Risky Business Tom Cruise sunglasses, vanity license plates, horrible hairdos, bad film soundtracks, etc.)
It's also very similar in plot to a CERTAIN earlier and more popluarly well-known Vampie teenbopper 80's comedy starring Jim Carey (which I may get around to perusing again one of these days, good flick!) Sure that was common with 80's movies made for the teen-20somethings crowd ( Weird Science vs Real Genius or say The Lost Boys and Near Dark etc) but you've still gotta make a mention of it.
The plot's pretty predictable too. Chances are if, just by reading this review, if you can imagine what you THINK "Young Wilson from House as a Teenage Vampire" would be like, and what might happen, then that's what DID happen.
The "Scare Factor" of course is zero, buuuut, you were expecting that, because this film really isn't a horror movie at all. It's a cheesy teen sex comedy with fake Vampire fangs, that's it.
Oh, and one more thing, pigs blood...PIG'S BLOOD?? Don't they know that real Vampires NEVER drink la Sanguine de Miss Piggy?? It tastes like shit man!! lol
Overall Film Grade: C-
This is a throwaway light 80's comedy with a little Vampire flavor thrown in for a measure. Not particularly amazing or anything, but not horrible by any stretch either. Light faire...like a cinema rice cake with chocolate syrup on top.
It was one of the first flicks I can vaguely remember watching after my own new "lifestlye makeover" so I can relate, and has a tiny soft spot in my heart like Mac'N'Cheese....with virginal yak's blood smeared on top!
Movie Comfort food! :P
If you're an aficionado of 80's cult films and cheese, you might enjoy this film, or if you're a "Wilson" fan you might be curious to see just what your favorite TV Doc was up to in his younger, even more boyishly goofy-looking days. If neither of those appeal to you, then you can skip this film.
I give you permission. LOL :)