Vampire's Kiss (1989) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Vampire's Kiss (1989) is a truly awful film. Nicolas Cage, who had had a fairly big success with Moonstruck, was set to play the lead, and his agent advised him that this role was not good for his career. He dropped out. Then the actor they hired to replace him dropped out, so Cage decided to do the film after all.

As the film opens, we see him pick up Kasi Lemmons, and take her home to bed. The film degenerated rapidly from there. We learn that Cage sees a shrink regularly, and is an executive at a literary agency. He spends most of his time speaking in a gawdawful affected accent, and terrorizing his secretary, Maria Conchita Alonso. Then he takes Jennifer Beals home one day, and imagines that she bit him on the neck. From that point on, Cage thinks he is a Vampire, and becomes even sillier, and I fast forwarded to the end quickly.


The Beals/Cage scene was advertised as a hot sex scene with breast exposure. What was actually exposed was a huge adhesive breast patch.

Kasi Lemmons shows nipples in her scene, before their tryst is interrupted by a bat in the apartment.

Cage should have listened to his agent.

Nic even reappeared on the DVD, doing a feature length commentary with the director, and he claimed to be proud of the film. He mentioned the accent, offering the insight that it was based on an affected fake accent his dad assumed, one that had always irritated him. The producers hated it, but the director loved it.

Kasi Lemmons, who provided the only real nudity, is now much better known as a director, and her credits include Eve's Bayou and Caveman's Valentine.

Scoop's note:

Just to show that just about anything can happen in the world of awards, Cage's performance was chosen for the Best Actor award at the Catalonian Film Festival in 1989

On the other side of the coin, Hal Hinson of the Washington Post had this to say about Cage's performance:

You've heard of actors making a strong choice and going with it? Well, see it in the flesh! Stomping, snorting, his hair hanging over his eyes like a curtain of foppish dementia, Cage acts as if he has been taking hits off of Dennis Hopper's gas mask. There's no way to overstate it: This is scorched-earth acting -- the most flagrant scenery chewing I've ever seen. Part Dwight Frye in "Dracula," part Tasmanian devil, Cage makes the previous champ -- Crispin Glover in "River's Edge" -- look like Perry Como.

The Critics Vote


The People Vote ...

  • with their dollars: it grossed about 3/4 of a million dollars.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a D-. It is not funny, is not scary, and Cage is irritating every moment he is on screen.

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