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3.7 out of 5 stars
Embrace of the Vampire [Blu-ray]
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374 of 395 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Does this movie have a plot worth watching? No. Is it a masterpiece of staging and set direction? No. Will this movie show up in a retrospective of great American 20th Century cinema? Not a chance in hell.
So what does this movie have? Well, Alyssa Milano, frequently nude, and occasionally in softcore sex scenes. Does that make it worth watching? Yes, definitely if you enjoy Alyssa Milano. Her portrayal of a naive, virginal co-ed rings a little less than true, but her seduction scene with the photographer alone is almost worth the price of the tape. The vampire orgy sequence and her dream foursome certainly round out the cost of the video. I would, however, recommend the DVD version if you're planning on buying it. The DVD's ability to have short sections run repeatedly without degrading the playback quality will prove invaluable.
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200 of 212 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2000
Format: DVD
If you're looking for a plot, good acting, thrilling action sequences, characters that you can care about, a good script, or a memorable movie experience, then you're looking at the wrong movie. However, if you're looking for a softcore porn movie starring Alyssa Milano's bare breasts, you're looking at the right movie.
Alyssa Milano gets naked. You see her nipples with amazing frequency. She lets guys touch her in dream sequences. She lets a female photographer touch her, remove most of her clothing, and then kiss her. But beware, Lesbian Sex Scene seekers - Alyssa does not go further than kissing. Yes, that's right - she loses her nerve and runs out of the room. Taking the time to get dressed again, unfortunately.
So if you're a fan of Alyssa Milano's breasts, then by all means rent this movie. Or buy it. It's worth it if you enjoy seeing her bare, heaving bosom. However, if you like movies that you can watch all the way through without saying "God, Hollywood will produce ANYTHING!", then this movie is not for you.
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130 of 138 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I place this film along side "Showgirls" as a truly indispensable guilty pleasure, this film is an absolute riot, you just can't keep a straight face. It begins in "the past," one of those historicaly ambiguous time periods where folks wore armer but also had perfect hair and teeth, some guy is minding his own business, sleeping or whatever outside by a brook, it looks like one of those romance novel covers. Three buxom vampires come up out of nowhere, they look suspiciously like exotic dancers from Deja vu, or perhaps the local Hooters rented these "vampires" for the day, he doesn't put up much of a fight (neither would I) and soon we are transported to "the present day," sometime in the late 90's I assume to a school that looks a lot like Stanford. Alyssa Malano is a new student, she is a virgin and tells us so, repeatedly in conversations with her long suffering boyfriend, she is fond of crucifixes and kneels and prays a lot, the prayers do her little good however for soon the very vampire we saw in the beginning, is back, evidently he was somehow frozen in time and his coffin was transported to some old building on the college campus (a fraternity prank perhaps, the old, lets move the coffin thing) the coffin, and it's occupant, go unnoticed at this strangest of colleges, a school where there is easy parking and no students ever seem to venture out of the dorms much, at least no one sees this caped vampire walking around the school, perhaps they think he is the dean, or some new security guy, the one with the cape, who knows. Our fanged friend is not really all that interested in Alyssa's blood, he is more obsessed with her breasts, as are the cameraman, the writer, the actors and actresses and the audience, and what breast they are! This is the first time I can remember a pair of hooters having there own theme song, but they do, a special "boob anthem" is played every time poor Allissa is forced to remover her top, why she has to be topless for so much of the film is a mystery, a mystery no one gives a rats ass about, we wanted boobs and we got them. Nice boobs too. I had to feel a little for Allyssa though, she couldn't seem to understand why virtually every scene had her jugs bared, but she was a good sport about it. Most of the film takes place in "dream sequences", even though she is wide awake sometimes (at a party everyone dissapears so our heriion can meet the vampire and disrobe...again) and a total stranger, a women meets the hapless Allyssa on the campus and shows her a shiny new camera, apparently MS Malano has never seen one before and soon she is off in the studio, removing her shirt and kissing this strange women, that settles it, I am getting a camera and heading straight to the nearest college campus, right after a get a cape and some plastic fangs. This is a horror film but all the real horror seems to be on the face of Allissa Malano who seems shocked that she, and virtual everyone else, has no dialogue and that she is constantly having her breasts examined, yes it's good to be a vampire, or a film maker, I wonder if the Olsen Twins will be ready to make a "Vampire" film when they turn 18, I certainly hope so.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Alyssa Milano's mother (who is also her manager) has made a crusade of tracking down nudie pics of her daughter on the internet. She's denounced such websites' "exploitation" on national TV, and has even developed a side business as a cybercop, lending her web-busting skills to other stars. Milano's mother/manager could have saved herself the trouble had she instead steered her daughter away from doing this film.

Embrace of the Vampire is softcore horror porn, and the source for many of those Milano skin pics. After TV's Who's the Boss was canceled (but before Charmed returned Milano to star status) Milano was just another unemployed former child actress, so maybe this porn film seemed like a good career move at the time.

Milano has stated in interviews that she wanted to demonstrate that she was not the goody-two-shoes girl she'd played in Who's the Boss. In other words, she wanted to "grow" as an actress. So she did Embrace of the Vampire, in which she goes topless in several scenes, engages in a lesbian romp with Charlotte Lewis, and participates in orgies with characters tonguing various parts of her nude body.

Mission accomplished.

Actually, Embrace of the Vampire uses Milano's virginal image from Who's the Boss by casting her as ... a virgin. A virgin whose boobs are straining against her too-tight blouse and who undresses before her boyfriend (albeit asking him not to look), but still, a virgin. A virgin who dreams of orgies and fondles lesbians and doesn't know why.

Here's why: Milano is the reincarnation of Martin Kemp's true love. Some 300 years ago, a pack of scantily clad vampresses turned Kemp into a vampire during a blood orgy. Now that he's rediscovered Milano, he has three nights to rekindle her love for him. If so, they will live forever as vampires. If not, he dies and loses her forever.

Why the sudden three-night deadline? Why not.

The plot and motivations are paper thin, as is typical of porn. Milano wanders around campus, wondering why she's having so many sexual dreams, even daydreams. Her boyfriend wanders about, wondering if she's so pure. Kemp wanders about, seen by Milano but often not by others. Lewis wanders about for some bisexual action. Other collegiates wander about their parties and campus back alleys for some hetero action. Amid all this wandering there's much carnal action, and more carnal dreaming. Occasionally, Kemp kills someone for dissing Milano. John Stanley (in his Creature Features movie guide) correctly refers to it as a "meandering, almost formless script."

Kemp has the best lines. Like many vampires, he agonizes and suffers a hyper-romantic vampire angst over a lost love. His appearance is a touch effeminate (too much eyeliner), but it lends an appropriate sinister element to his character. He is part romantic vampire, part bloodthirsty beast. Lewis's small part is pointless to the "story." All that's required is that she undress, and when she does, it was worth the wait. Rachel True (The Craft) has an even smaller role, the fate of all the characters who keep their clothes on.

All of the above three are more interesting, more charismatic, than Milano or her boyfriend. At film's end, Kemp's tearful bloodthirsty angst, and Milano's tearful rediscovery of her love, the "tragic" star-crossed ending, and the Christian iconography, all mirror Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992). One senses that director Goursaud was trying to rise above her porn material.

However, this is no poor woman's Bram Stoker's Dracula. Milano is no Winona Ryder and Kemp is no Gary Oldman. For that matter, none of the other talent on this film compare to their counterparts. And the budget just isn't there. The strength of low-budget horror is a gritty authenticity, which this film tries to hide rather than utilize.

How low was the budget? Listen, I was an extra on both Bram Stoker's Dracula and Embrace of the Vampire. (In both instances, I kept my clothes on.)

I worked one day on Embrace of the Vampire. Don't look for me, I ended up on the cutting room floor, and extras are rarely mentioned in credits. But let me tell you an "inside story" on the making of this film:

We were shooting in a nightclub on the Sunset Strip. The extras were divided into three camps: union, nonunion, and Modesto extras. Union extras earn the most, especially once overtime kicks in, so they were wrapped after eight hours (they were only hired in the first place to fill a union quota). This was during my nonunion days (I'm in SAG now), so I put in a full 14 hours, after which we were paid in cash and wrapped. The Modesto extras were still working when we left.

Now what, you may ask, is a Modesto extra? I also wondered, and so I asked one. I was told they were from an acting class in Modesto, California. They had been bussed in to work on the film as part of a "class assignment." In other words, they were PAYING to come to work.

There's not a whole lot to learn about being an extra. It's neither glamourous nor difficult. And nonunion extra jobs for twentysomethings are VERY EASY to come by. The lampposts in Los Angeles are covered with flyers seeking cattle, ehr, extras. I did it for the cash, and because if you do it often enough, you increase your chances of getting into the union (which I did, after some 13 grueling months).

NEVER PAY for the "chance" to be an extra, not in Los Angeles. I made the mistake of volunteering to be an extra a few times, but wised up after a few months. My guess is the producers of Embrace of the Vampire paid this acting teacher to bus down some cattle, and far less than even nonunion extras cost. I know this teacher was getting paid by the students, and that they were not getting paid to be on the film.

Another inside story: Someone stole a silver pin belonging to a crew member. She was near tears because it had sentimental value. Never leave anything of value lying around on a set.

And some trivia: John Stanley says this film was "originally conceived as The Nosferatu Diaries," but on the set, we were told the working title was The Collector.

Embrace of the Vampire is a decent time-killer ... barely. If you're looking for horror, there are hundreds of better films. Dozens of better vampire films. Even many superior erotic vampire films -- Vampyres (British, 1975) comes to mind.

But if you're looking for Milano nudies, this is the film to see.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The story is weak. The special effects are minimal and poor. However this is not why this film sells at Suncoast or here $ plus shipping. This film offers one thing and one thing only.... nude shots of Alyssa and plenty of them. This is not a flick you'd want to watch with your significant other. Some have said that the acting is bad but I tend to disagree.... it's marginal.
Basically this is a rip-off of the very good ( IMHO ) Dracula flick starring Winona Ryder about a reincarnated soul.... that the main Vampire needs or else he's screwed for a life of eternal sleep.
This flick rates a grade B only because of the talent that must have been tricked or drugged into appearing in it. Jennifer Tilly does the best job but her role is quite short... less than 5 minutes. Charlotte Lewis has an excellent scene near the end with Alyssa but it's brief and ended rather strangely. Martin Kemp does a reasonable job but you are left with the impression that it could have been better. Other than the famous people it would have rated a D or worse.
If you want to see why Lynn Milano, Alyssa's Mom, is so upset at webmasters.... or want to see some extremely graphic lesbo scenes starring... Alyssa.... than by all mean get it. If you are looking for a good vampire flick.... skip it.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
What can I say that hasn't already been said. . . This movie isso riveting and accurate in its depiction of nude vampire life oncollege campuses, that I found myself wondering if it was a gritty documentary or merely a work of stunning fiction.
I think I speak for the rest of the reviewers in this forum when I offer up my sincerest kudos to everyone involved in the making of this classic movie. It truly has redefined the "nude lesbian vampire orgy" genre.
By the way, while Alyssa Milano gives the best performance of her career since episode #62 of "Who's the Boss,"...
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2007
Format: DVD
So that there be no confusion, I would like to submit two reviews for this movie - one for the Alyssa Milano fans, the other for all others.

To the true fans of Alyssa Milano - WOW, yibiba yibida yabada, houley-douley, spin my nipples and call me Susan. Alyssa is HOT HOT HOT in this one. You'll see more of her in this film than in any other (so far as I know). You'll also see her do a suggestive lesbian scenario and also a highly sensual scene with two others, including one female, almost totally nude! As for the film plot, acting, script, musical score... who cares. 5 stars all for Alyssa.

To all others - this film has nothing really going for it unless you want to see lots of nudity (particulary of Alyssa). The acting? - well frankly there are single-celled organisms floating over the abyssal plains of the deep Atlantic Ocean with better acting capabilties; An orang-utan could have written a better script; and the film is about as scary as watching a fluffy bunny rabbit frolic about in pleasant green fields. 1 star for this movie (that includes me ignoring my complete obsession with Alyssa).

Hope this helps.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2000
Format: DVD
Well it is not a horror movie despite the word Vampire on the title. But it does have Alyssa Milano without her clothes on most of the time. That's the reason to buy this DVD. I am giving it 3 stars for Milano, Charlotte Lewis, and the picture quality of this DVD which is very good. The 5.1 Dolby Digital doesn't have much to offer. Looking for a good horror story? Look elsewhere. This DVD is only worth buying because of Allysa and Charlotte Lewis.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Look, if you come to this movie looking for a great story and very high quality acting, I am not sure how you got here. I have given this film 2 stars just for Alyssa Milano, who looks incredibly suculant. To make it worse, they advertise this film as a horror and I think I remember 2 dying throughout the entire film. The only, and I do mean ONLY, reason to see this film is for Alyssa's nude scenes, and her sort of lesbian scene with a photographer. The rest of the film leaves a lot to be desired.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2003
Format: DVD
I'll just come out and admit it - I was one of those who bought this movie for nude scenes of Alyssa Milano. As it turned out in this film, she has a good ability to play both the innocent girl and seducing woman types very effectively. I had seen screen captures of one particular scene in this film and that was enough for me to put down my $$. Normally, and almost always, I'm into provoking drama movies that have a message...
That being said, 'Embrace of the Vampire,' has no significant message to speak of and as a story, is simply average - which isn't that bad really since it could have been handled a lot worse. Harold Pruett (Milano's boyfriend) is the only real stand-out of the film, bringing a nuance and believability to the role...
...and now the reason you *will* want to consider seeing this movie: the photo shoot scene. The directing, photography, writing, and nuance in acting in this one scene jumps about 30,000% (and of course, Alyssa Milano is great to look at) - and the very best thing about it is probably the music. By far the most erotic piece of cinema (hell, the most erotic ANYTHING) I've ever seen, it truly is a surreal and rewarding experience...
If you are simply looking for some eroticism or a tolerable (I hate to say it) soft-core flick, then this is *well* worth looking into. If you are looking for a engaging horror/thriller film, then look elsewhere (preferably in the direction of John Carpenter)...
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