11/21/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Anchor Bay presents
Vamp (1986)

"I'm in the mood for love, simply because they're naked!"
- Duncan [singing] (Gedde Wantanabe)

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: August 21, 2001

Stars: Chris Makepeace, Sandy Baron, Robert Rusler
Other Stars: Dedee Pfeiffer, Gedde Wantanabe, Grace Jones
Director: Richard Wenk

Manufacturer: Crest National
MPAA Rating: R for (violence, gore, language, nudity)
Run Time: 01h:33m:02s
Release Date: August 21, 2001
UPC: 013131141894
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B-B+B- B+

DVD Review

When looking back, it would seem that the 1980s brought about a lot of horror movies that tried different things, mainly humor. For example, the unofficial sequel to Night Of The Living Dead, Return Of The Living Dead turned out to be a bizarre satire of everything the Dead movies stood for, but it was wildly successful anyway. The whole "funny horror movie" syndrome produced a lot more misses than hits, though, and I think the great horror/comedy films of the 1980s could probably be counted on one hand, and I'll give you a hint: most of them weren't mainstream productions. One of the most perplexing and original of this breed is Vamp, a fast-paced prototype for a lot of the tongue-in-cheek thrillers we see nowadays. It stands as probably one of the most unusual, but fitting, hybrids of those two genres. Parts of it work and parts of it don't, but the whole thing occupies a very unique niche.

Keith (Chris Makepeace) and AJ (Robert Rusler) pledge themselves to your average, generic, college fraternity. Of course, in the process they have to undergo some kind of initiation. In their case, they wind up making the fraternity a promise that they'll deliver a superb strip show for a party, thus insuring them membership. Like all great plans, though, things are easier said than done. As they and their temporary friend Duncan (Gedde Wantanabe) head off into the world of Los Angeles' nightlife to look for strippers, they wind up at a rather strange establishment, the After Dark Club. They think they've hit sexual paydirt, but they soon discover that the club is filled with very unusual, sinister people...and then there's the vampires. Heading up the blood-sucking dancers is Katrina (Grace Jones), the most mysterious of them all and possibly most dangerous. Keith, Duncan, A.J., and a waitress, Amaretto (Dedee Pfeiffer), must all figure out a way of getting out of the neighborhood alive, but that will prove much harder than it sounds.

Vamp has primarily made its name for the appearance of musician/actress/dancer Grace Jones as the deadly Katrina. While Jones has had many film appearances, very few them have been more than simply an exploitation of her weird personality. What makes Vamp much different is that her presence is actually quite sparingly used, and she also has no spoken dialogue. Instead, her mere presence is used as a intimidating factor. While her short appearance might disappoint some people, it actually seems to work better that way, especially since putting her in more of the movie would have been pushing things a bit. Beneath her appearance, though, Vamp is still an entertaining horror film. It experiments with a lot of radical departures from the norm, including an extremely high level of comedy. Some of the jokes and humor fall pretty flat, I must admit, but I admire the attempt.

I've endlessly heard Vamp compared to the more recent From Dusk 'Till Dawn, as both movies share very similar aspects. I guess I'd have to agree, but Vamp certainly is the more inspiring and original film. From beginning to end, director/writer Richard Wenk is obviously trying very hard to make a film that's both creepy and hilarious, and considering this was 1985, the attempt itself was outrageous. It's not a masterpiece or anything, but it's a fun film with a very flippant attitude about how it presents itself. If there are any flaws, I'd have to say the casting really doesn't work. Well, more accurately, Chris Makepeace doesn't seem to fit. He does a good job, but I can't help but think he doesn't grasp the right attitude for a college kid who'd be out looking for strippers. Otherwise, the film has the right touches, especially in the smaller roles. Vamp is well-handled and entertaining, despite being a little over-ambitious and falling short. It's not on the same floor as other 1980s horror/comedy masterworks like Evil Dead II or Fright Night, but it can certainly be in the same building.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The film seems a bit aged and a little soft, but the transfer does manage to capture the wild, multicolor cinematography quite well. It's a very dark movie, but no details are left behind and the original balance of light/dark seems well maintained. Colors do not bleed or fade out and this is certainly most vivid Vamp has been in some time. In some ways, the film looks much like old sci-fi, B-movies when Technicolor got really big, where everything was lit in some elaborate, weird manner.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The mono soundtrack is pretty uneventful. While the dialogue and sound effects all sound fine, it could have done with a little juicing up, at least into stereo. Regardless, there are no complaints here. It sounds fine, it just seems to lack a certain about of punch for such a wild film.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 27 cues and remote access
2 Original Trailer(s)
7 TV Spots/Teasers
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director Richard Wenk, actor Chris Makepeace, actress Dedee Pfeiffer, actor Gedde Wantanabe
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 01h:13m:20s

Extra Extras:
  1. Original short: Dracula Bites The Big Apple
  2. Rehearsal footage
  3. Blooper reel
  4. Promotional art gallery
Extras Review: Starting things off is an audio commentary featuring director Richard Wenk, Chris Makepeace, Dedee Pfeiffer, and Gedde Wantanabe, which constitutes the bulk of the central cast. I'm sure plenty of Vamp fans wet themselves upon hearing about the reunion and I guess they can't be blamed. It's a very active commentary with loads of information on all sorts of things, including auditions and how certain people eventually got what parts, etc. The commentary is live (they are all together watching the film) and it makes a great addition to the film, exposing the personality and wit of the individual people.

The disc contains Richard Wenk's short film Dracula Bites The Big Apple, which originally got him noticed and, subsequently, in the director's chair for Vamp. It's about 22 minutes long and is photographed at 1:85:1 with anamorphic enhancement. It's basically a comedy short that shows Wenk's ability to mix horror with sight-gags to produce a positive effect.

Some rehearsal footage is presented; essentially practice for a big Grace Jones scene. Richard Wenk takes the role of Jones' victim while they work out camera angles and other elements.

The blooper reel is about 6 minutes worth of edited-together goofs and deleted footage. Interestingly enough, there are a few cool scenes that apparently never made it into the film. There's some videotape problems, but otherwise a really interesting grouping.

There is a collection of promotional artwork and photo stills, some trailers, and more TV spots than you can shake a stick at. The general presentation is impressive, and the keepcase booklet contains a brief essay by Michael Felsher.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

It's easy to see why Vamp has such a devoted following. It's a highly stylized experiment with a traditional horror movie that succeeds in keeping people guessing. It's a bit dated, especially in terms of it's rather deadpan humor and one-liners, but the flaws can be excused when looking at the bigger picture. Fans get a great special edition here, so kudos once again to Anchor Bay.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store