Updated: Oct 7, 2021
The first kiss could be your last.
Landing between other mid 80’s bloodsucking classics Fright Night, Near Dark & The Lost Boys, Vamp suffers by comparison with a (bad) jokey tone that undercuts the many great elements here - the main one being Grace Jones herself as the wordless, otherworldly Vampire Katrina.
The setup is right out of Porkys or any other '80s frat comedy with two dudes heading to the city to procure a stripper for their frat house party. But they need a car so they take Duncan, a rich, friendless guy with said car with them. Their entrance into the underworld is kicked off when the guys run a red light, get the car into a spin & suddenly end up in a sparsely populated neon wasteland. And in a plot twist which predates From Dusk Till Dawn by a good 9 years, they end up in a strip Club run by bloodsuckers.
Vamp is well shot, has '80s style to spare with lots of pink & green neon lighting (even the sewers are nicely coloured) & a real Into The Night / After Hours freewheeling madness propelling it along. Plus we have a typically menacing Billy Drago & his mostly albino street gang, a creepy vampire kid, a pumping synth score & Grace Jones in a metal bikini tearing out throats & adorable Dedee Pfeiffer in leopard print with Madonna hair doing the effervescent '80s dream girl thing.
But the two leads aren’t charismatic or even likeable enough to carry the film let alone lift it to the status of the other '80s vampers. And Duncan is another painfully unfunny caricature that sucks the life out of every scene he’s in. With better leads & more Grace this might’ve been elevated beyond cult status. It’s still a ton of fun though & worth a look for fans of Ms Jones & the decade.
3 metal bikinis out of 5.