33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2005
Innocent Blood is a most unorthodox cinematic stew of mobsters, vampires, eroticism, gore, and outrageous, sometimes campy humor. All of these elements mesh together to create a stylish, original, completely unlikely and fun B movie, which despite its gore, is heavier on humor than on horror.
Marie (played by the beautiful Anne Parillaud) is the sexy vampire whose picky eating starts the mayhem. Mob boss Sal the Shark Macelli (played wonderfully over the top by Robert Loggia) is her prey when her feeding is interrupted before she can finish him off, allowing him to revive and become a vampire as well. Marie must join forces with an undercover cop, (Anthony LaPaglia) to stop Macelli before he turns his whole crew into an unstoppable force of undead made men .
Innocent Blood is at its most outrageous hilarity when Macelli is attempting to discover what has happened to him. Reviving on a table at the morgue looking like bloody death warmed over, he gets up and runs off, pursued by a security guard and befuddled medical examiner (Frank Oz) who don't want to loose such an important corpse. He gets away and heads for his lawyer's house, where the situation becomes more gruesomely funny by the minute as he and his lawyer (Don Rickles) try to discover what has happened to him. The humor is irreverent, sometimes gross, and always sidesplitting.
The movie was filmed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and if you are unfamiliar with the town, you will be amazed at the stunning beauty of the urban landscapes that are used so effectively here. Someone has said about modern Pittsburgh that if it were a European city, people would go hours out of their way to see it, and in the gorgeous cinematography of Innocent Blood, you will see why.
With a great cast of character actors, plenty of sex, gore, vampires and mobsters, all seasoned liberally with ribald humor, Innocent Blood is as entertaining of a guilty pleasure as you could ask for. I highly recommend it.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Rule number two: Always finish your food.
Innocent Blood is one of my favorite movies, combining vampires, mobsters, detectives, and a fresh supply of blood, all for your entertainment. What will surprise you about the movie is how well the cast performs, there is some very underrated acting in this low budget sleeper film.
Marie (played by stunningly beautiful Anne Parillaud) is a vampire, she takes lives; but not innocent ones. She carefully selects her food from the smorgasbord of human monsters available.
Joe Gennaro (Anthony LaPaglia) is a detective, deep undercover with the Pittsburgh mob, when Marie picks one of his mob associates to feast on. When Joe shows up at the crime scene, the US Attorney assigned to his undercover operation pulls him off the case and exposes him as a cop. (Angela Bassett plays the attorney, Sinclair)
Marie is always careful to "finish her food", meaning that when she is done with dinner, she shoots them in the head to ensure they do not return undead. Marie has her eye on the mafia Kingpin, Sallie "the Shark" Macelli (Robert Loggia does an amazing performance as Sal) for her next meal, but when she gets him alone and feeds, his minions manage to chase her away before she can finish off her meal.
Of course, Sal returns to the living on the slab in the morgue, and discovers that although his looks have suffered, he is more powerful than ever before. Sal sets to the job of "converting" his staff, including his number one henchman Manny Bergman(played by Don Rickles, no joke!) with plans of taking over Pittsburgh completely.
Joe is after Sallie to make an arrest, and Marie is after Sallie to finish her dinner, and the two of them eventually clash in a very sexy motel room scene as they team up to destroy the monster that Sal has become.
Innocent Blood is a movie for all of us Vampire Purists, even though there winds out being a little vampire/human romance, Marie never denies what she is, or tries to find a cure. In her own words, "I take lives," she stands firm on who and what she is.
Of particular note here, one of my favorite scenes is Don Rickles as a vampire. Now I know, it's not designed to be funny, but I laugh my hinder off every time I watch it. This scene alone makes the movie worth a rent; and if you like vampire movies you will wind out buying it. Also, look for some great performances from Luis Guzman (as fellow cop Morales) and Elaine Kagan (Manny's wife Frannie).
All in all, Innocent Blood is a fast paced action flick with vampires and mobsters and lots of killing and biting; with some exceptional acting thrown on top for flavor. You can't go wrong. Enjoy!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2003
This is not your typical vampire movie. No old castles or haunted houses, just Pittsburgh! It doesn't qualify as scary (actually it's more of an action/adventure film than horror) and you won't need to leave the lights on while watching it. What it does offer is a change of pace from the more conventional movies about the undead (or should I say the unliving??) The vampire is the hero in this flick, not the mean, fearful creature depicted in most films of this genre. The plot and action are centered around the head mafia family in Pitt and the inevitable run-in with the vampire. This is good stuff...funny, too; not side-splitting funny but comical. The language gets a bit rough and would not be suitable for younger ears, but, hey, this IS about the mafia. There is a generous amount of gore ... mostly humorous rather than offensive. There is also a bit of nudity (I told you this was good stuff!) I won't spoil the movie by telling you everything about it; instead, you can see it for yourself. The only complaint I have, and it's a minor one, is that the tape and dvd are only available in fullscreen. It would be nice to have both fullscreen and widescreen versions on the dvd since there aren't any special features taking up space. Overall, I give it an "A".
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2000
First off, let me say that this a great B movie -- good acting, good direction, and a good script that never takes itself too seriously.
Unfortunately, like so many early Warner Bros. DVD releases this disk fails to deliver on the potential of the movie. It offers full screen format instead of anamorphic widescreen or the letterboxing available on the laserdisc release. The production notes are insignificant. The movie begs for a commentary track. Even a spotter's guide to the cameos or appearences of Landis' hallmarks ('See You Next Wednesday' and 'The Girl from Ipanema') in the film would have been nice.
Hopefully WB will realize that this movie didn't sell on DVD because they packaged it poorly, not because people don't want to own it. That might mean an eventual rerelease in widescreen.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2004
The packing house used in this movie was actually right down the street from my old house, and I remember that for about a week, everyone on the street would stand outside and watch. My Mom even had the opportunity to go to lunch with the one actor, which she turned down. When I finally saw Innocent Blood a few years after it was released, I was hooked, and I watched it over and over and over again(I was 8, so its no wonder I'm so strange now. lol). Anyway, it's a pretty good movie, and any fan of vampire movies should see it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2003
I was pleasantly surprised by "Innocent Blood". Based on the concept that there are good vampires, and then there are others. Anne Parrilaud (from La Femme Nikita) is Marie, a vampire who only kills evil people. She didn't ASK to become a vampire, but since the process is not reversible, she is at least a 'considerate' vampire. She is always careful to 'finish her food', by performing a "central nervous system disconnect", in order to prevent them from rising as one of the 'undead', and becoming a vampire like herself. She is quite enchanting in her role. She crosses paths with some mafioso, broadly played by Robert Loggia, Don Rickles (his attorney), and friends. There is quite a lot of profanity tossed around by the bad guys, as in "Don't touch the f***ing car". The movie would have been as good without it, but I have known actual people who spoke in this manner constantly. There is also considerable blood and gore. I suppose it just isn't easy to rip out the side of someones' neck with your teeth without making a mess, and the film shows this in some detail. The story revolves around what happens when one of Maries 'meals' is interrupted, and she isn't able to perform the central nervous disconnect. The result is that this particular entree (Robert Loggia) does indeed rise again, while in the morgue no less, just before being cut into by a very puzzled Frank Oz. He proceeds to recruit others in his "family" while Marie and a police detective with very mixed feelings try to prevent the (ahem) "born-again" mobsters from taking over the city.
The detective is played by Anthony LaPaglia, and when he initially discovers Maries' true identity, he is very repulsed. However, she convinces him that she isn't such a monster, and eventually they become quite close. The scene when she finally wins him over is quite stimulating, some viewers may need to take a cold shower before finishing the movie : )
The film has numerous moments of subtle humor: A running gag in which a security guard is watching old movies on tv, while missing something important happening on the closed circuit monitors. Or the selection of CD's in one of the mobsters cars is shown to be all Frank Sinatra. There are frequent scenes where various television sets just happen to be showing various old Dracula movies, including the original with Bela Lugosi, as well as some newer ones which viewers may recognize. The humor is not of the 'knee slapping' type, but I was amused.
I really did enjoy Anne Parrilauds' portrayal of Marie. She is far and away the sexiest vampire I've ever seen, bar none. I would estimate that this movie would appeal to those who enjoyed "American Werewolf in London" (same director, John Landis), or who like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". It's a dark movie, but with some funny moments, and some VERY sexy moments, thrown in for good measure. This film answers the question "What happens when vampires become aroused?" I now know the answer, and if you watch, you will too.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2004
John Landis made a splash with An American Werewolf in London (a film he wrote in high school). But as fun as parts were, we always new it had to end in tragedy. That is not the case with Landis's look into vampire mythology and Innocent Blood.
The film opens with a beautiful nude vampire Marie (Anne Parillaud) strutting about her apartment and planning her next meal. She has a conscience and is looking through the papers for real criminals to taste. She lives by a strict code (never play with the food, always finish the food, etc.). But things take a turn when she targets some local gangsters.
Her first target doesn't seem right . In reality he is a cop in deep cover. But she quickly finds a true gangster. Then, when she is really annoyed by Sallie, the head of the family, she goes after him (Robert Loggia) but is interrupted before she can finish him and ensure he does not rise. Sal, street-smart man that he is, quickly sees the advantages of being a vampire and sets out to convert the whole organization.
Now Marie must try and put a stop to what she created. To do this she needs the help of the man who lived with the family for two years. Her knowledge of what Sallie is combines with his knowledge of what Sallie was and a new type of turf war begins.
This is a wonderful film. Marie really is a sympathetic character although she can use a smile in extremely manipulative ways. Romance and an amazing handcuff scene round out the crime, vampires and killing. Landis could not have done better.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 1999
Innocent Blood is one of my top five favorite vampire movies. Definitely not run of the mill, it ranks with The Lost Boys; Near Dark and The Hunger as a vampire tale with a difference. Starring the visually stunning Anne Parillaud as a vampire with a conscience and a little bit more on her mind than biting every neck in the neighborhood. Pittsburgh, PA does the catering for her particular tastes. Anne is supported by Anthony LaPaglia as the cop who doesn't know whether to love her or run for cover, not being sure what part of her menu he's on, the main course or an extended dessert. Innocent Blood contains, in my opinion, one of the steamiest love scenes on film between these two. The cast is enhanced further by Robert Loggia as the gritty mob boss whose appetite for garlic is not shared by our lissome vapire and Don Rickles, the mob's lawyer who learns a whole new meaning for steak tartare. Definitely not for the kiddies, Innocent Blood is a vampiric romp with all the gore and mayhem any bloodsucker could desire with an ending that will leave you all asking the question, "Will love find a way?"
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2000
This is best vampire romance I have ever seen. The main character is a brilliant actress called Anne Parillaud, she plays the role of the vampire in this case the good guy. We get to see a little of her life in which not every thing goes according to plan. This film is getting on a bit, no million dollar effects, but still a very good movie.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2012
John Landis returns to the genre of horror films which he mocked successfully with the modest box office hit-turned-cult classic: AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. INNOCENT BLOOD was to do for vampires what AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF did for werewolves, only this film did not do so well at the box office because it was overshadowed by the more grandiose BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA. The film, however, has enjoyed a great video life, and in all fairness, is certainly a lot more fun than the Coppola film.
And FUN is the keyword, as Landis once again spoofs both the horror and gangster genres with this film. From the very beginning when sexy female vampire Anne Parillaud decides she's hungry for Italian food, we know we are in for some fun. She inadvertently becomes involved with crime boss Sal, or Sally the Shark - as he is known to all his friends (played by Robert Loggia), who she fails to finish off when she gives him the near-fatal bite.
In a remarkably funny but rather gruesome scene, Loggia, presumed dead and covered in a body bag wakens from "death" or what appears to be death, in a morgue and runs around frantically looking for a telephone to call his lawyer (Don Rickles), who he then turns into a vampire as well. Don Rickles a vampire? C'mon... fuhgettabboutit.
In a matter of a short time, Sal has turned his whole crew of thugs and hitmen into vampire mafioso, and now Parillaud teams up with a confused cop (Anthony LaPaglia) to stop Sal and his undead thugs.
The death scenes in INNOCENT BLOOD are highly imaginative, Landis-style, of course. Don Rickles' death as a vampire in the film's most memorable scene has him rising from his hospital bed to attack a nurse from behind, as she is walking towards his room's window. As he prepares to pounce, she unknowingly draws open the curtains and allows the bright morning light into the room. In an incredibly gory but comical scene, Rickles' arms fall right off of his body as he literally burns to ashes before our horrified eyes.
As usual for a John Landis film, the effects are great, but the gore level will actually turn the stomachs of even the most diehard horror fans. There are some very funny lines delivered as well, and the cast does a great job of delivering some real tongue-in-cheek performances. You will recognize some of Sal's thugs years later as members of Tony Sopranno's crew, but I digress.
Much of INNOCENT BLOOD is humorous for one reason or another and the film is by far one of the more amusing and entertaining contemporary vampire movies made to date, blending humor with horror. Landis uses the familiar trappings associated with the vampire mythos, such as garlic, sunlight and stakings - imagine the irony of being an undead Italian and realizing garlic is now a no-no.
These devices cast against a 'gangster' background give the film a fresh and original flare that most vampire movies made after 1986 have lacked. Within seventy-two years we had seen everything from a Nazi Vampire to a bloodsucking cowboy right on down to an African prince. What was left? Oh yeah - Gangster Vampires - of course!
As always, Landis uses clips of old horror films in the background on TV sets such as THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS, Universal's DRACULA, and even THE GORILLA! Whenever presenting fresh material, Landis, like Joe Dante, John Carpenter and Steven Spielberg, to name a few, feels that it is necessary to remind the viewer where horror films originated.
Parillaud is brilliant as the beautiful female vampire giving a new dimension to an otherwise traditional role. She's sweet, sexy, beautiful and deadly. Contradicting tradition, Parillaud's vampire very clearly cast a reflection. She also seems able to fly, although what we see is the camera moving about in thin air. This vampire has the ability to enter a building unbidden, and seems unaffected by running water. Landis has cleverly taken the traditional vampire trappings of classic films and reworked them to fir his movie.
Loggia is great as a mafiosso bloodsucker, delivering what is probably one of his better performances in recent years. In the film, he is dramatically destroyed by fire, leaving Parillaud as the sole vampire, but not before delivering some of his best work as an actor.
Despite a few loopholes in the script, Landis' INNOCENT BLOOD is well worth watching. Fans will either really love it, or really hate it (Brandon) Nevertheless, it should not be missed.