Vamp
Director: Richard Wenk

Cast: Grace Jones, Chris Makepeace, Robert Rusler, Dedee Pfeiffer
Review by Brian M. Sammons

I do not like writing bad reviews, I’d rather use my time pointing out things to people I think they should check out, instead of warning them away from others, but sometimes you just have to do it. Such is the case here.

Now I’m not slamming the movie, that is fine. In fact, Vamp is one of my favorite silly guilty pleasures from the ’80s.

No, I’m talking about the travesty of a Blu-ray fresh out from Image Entertainment. It’s as bare bones as bare bones can get. Now if this was some old, all but forgotten film that’s never been on any disc before, like the ’80s-tastic Killer Party I wish someone would bring out someday, that would be one thing. Then I would just be happy to have it in any form. But this movie has already been on DVD and it had special features on that, so the fact that they’re completely missing here is just insulting. The fact that Arrow Video from the UK also brought this movie out on Blu-ray just about a month back, stuffed with extras and region free, so that it can be played on any BD player in the world, is just embarrassing.

So should you buy this? Well what do you think?

But let’s make it official and let’s get to it.

Oh and since Image gave us a bare bones disc, consider this a bare bones plot recap.

A couple of cool college guys are looking to get into a fraternity but to do so they must hire a striper for an upcoming party. Unfortunately for them, the make the huge mistake when they go to the After Dark Club in the big, scary city and try to hire an exotic stripper played by Grace Jones, who just so happens to be the queen of all the vampires in town. And boy, are there are a bunch of vamps in that place. Soon things turn bloody and get hip deep in hot ladies, bad teeth, bug eating, killer tow trucks, albino street gangs, murderous elevators, and yes, lots of undead fiends thirsting for your blood.

Vamp is one of their rare movies that mix horror and comedy well. Additionally there’s a whole bunch of weird WTF moments in it from start to finish, and I really loved that about this flick, as do a lot of others. This movie has garnered quite the cult film status and for good reason, it really does things you wouldn’t expect and it does that a lot. It is well directed with a great, and unique, sense of visual style and all the actors do their jobs well. Chris Makepeace is the embodiment of the nice guy, Robert Rusler is the quintessential cool guy, Dedee Pfeiffer is great as the ditzy blond, and Gedde Watanabe (of Sixteen Candles fame) is perfect as the nerdy comic relief. Even Grace Jones, who I never really liked in earlier roles like Conan The Destroyer and A View To A Kill, is really good here as the titular Vamp. Hmm, maybe that’s because she never once utters a single word? Yep, if I was a betting man, I’d put money on that being the reason.

So the movie is a great slice of ’80s comedy-tinged horror and as such it deserves better than a bare bones release.

That said, to be honest, this new Blu-ray from Image did look great and it is bargained priced to move. So if you’re on a budget (and who isn’t these days?) and you want to get Vamp in HD and just don’t care about special features, this disc will do that for you. However if you’re a fan of this film and can come up with some extra scratch, do yourself a favor, pass on this no thrills disc and get the deluxe edition from Arrow Video. You can thank me later.

About Brian M. Sammons

Brian M. Sammons has penned stories that have appeared in the anthologies: Arkham Tales, Horrors Beyond, Monstrous, Dead but Dreaming 2, Horror for the Holidays, Deepest, Darkest Eden and others. He has edited the books; Cthulhu Unbound 3, Undead & Unbound, Eldritch Chrome, Edge of Sundown, Steampunk Cthulhu, Dark Rites of Cthulhu, Atomic Age Cthulhu, World War Cthulhu and Flesh Like Smoke. He is also the managing editor of Dark Regions Press’ Weird Fiction line. For more about this guy that neighbors describe as “such a nice, quiet man” you can check out his infrequently updated webpage here: http://brian_sammons.webs.com/ and follow him on Twitter @BrianMSammons.

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