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To Sleep With A Vampire
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Scott Valentine is a vampire who is torn between his need to feed and his desire to learn about the world of humans. But when he kidnaps Nina, a beautiful but troubled stripper, his world is turned upside down. For after she discovers that he cannot be hurt physically, Nina tries a new tactic of seduction.
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Luckily for me, "bad" is more or less the default production mode of a vampire film, to the extent that truly exceptional ones come along only sporadically (e.g., Only Lovers Left Alive and Byzantium in the span of 2012-13, but with nothing good in adjacent years).
To Sleep with a Vampire. The title alone should be a badness alert. Why then not a 1-star rating? Because badness can be enjoyable. This one doesn't even pass as camp: it's more of a faux erotic very slightly art-house silicone boob theater of the absurd. I laughed out loud numerous times, but couldn't figure out if the joke was on me. According to the definitive book The Vampire Film, this flick is a remake of Dance of the Damned.
Here are some of the lowlights:
The acting. Beyond wooden, it was petrified. I think (?) Scott Valentine was trying to channel a mysterious, suave (despite hanging out at strip clubs), age-old soft-spoken vamp, but he comes across as mentally disabled (not so much crazy as just demented). I'm going to go ahead and blame the director for this, because Mr. Valentine is, on paper, a legit actor (if you're old, you may remember him as Mallory's boyfriend on Family Ties: the dude with lots of earrings in one ear). Come to think of it, the whole movie probably looked good on paper.
The characters. Few in number, they are: Jacob (the vamp), Nina (main stripper), Cabby, Stripper #1, Stripper #2, Prom Queen, Skinhead #1, Skinhead #2, Drunk, Drunk #2, and Sheriff.
Yup, that's how exciting it gets. The two "Skinheads" aren't even bald, and the Drunk only has one line (I think it included four-letter words, which are used with reckless abandon in this flick). Oh, wait: the excitement consists of a motorcycle crashing into a car and bursting into flames, and a couple of fight scenes.
The soundtrack. Not bad, although at times it features the worst kinds of music from the 70s-80s (yet this was filmed in 1993).
Vampire rules in this flick.
Superpowers: telekinesis, teleportation, heightened sensations.
Limitations: black & white vision (??), sunlight = death.
Other: can be seen in mirrors.
- "You wanna die. Tonight, I have to feed. For a start, change your clothes."
- "I sleep all day, and if I get up, it's because the gardeners run the g-damn blower."
- "You're not one of those bondage freaks or anything, are you?"
- Woman: "You are weird." Vampire: smiles, "Yes."
- Vampire: "Do you converse with a hamburger before you eat it?" Woman: "Depends how lonely I am."
The story is simple. A young vampire (Scott Valentine: "Family Ties", My Demon Lover) stops in a strip club and is captivated by an exotic dancer named Nina (Charlie Spradling: Wild At Heart, The Doors) who, as it turns out, is just as haunted and tortured by her past as he is. What begins as a easy promise that will ultimately end with him killing her soon changes as these two unlikely strangers begin to find common ground. He desperately wants to know what it is to be human again while she starts to appreciate her life instead of wanting to end it.
While it is a horror movie, TSWAV is more of a love story of a different sort. Valentine is very believable in the role especially when he is in full Vampire mode and he does make a menacing presence, but at the same time he is very vulnerable and sympathetic. And Spradling is no simple damsel in distress. She does take charge and is equally strong and smart in defending herself against the ultimate predator. While some of the effects are a little hokey, the story overall makes up for it. We know these two people and we do care enough for both of them.
My two favorite scenes is the one on the beach where he's lying on a towel and she uses a huge light to act as the sun all while describing to him what a simple day at the beach feels like. The other one is where he gets her into her son's room whose father has prevented her from seeing on their son's birthday and she is given the opportunity to say "Happy Birthday". The ride back in the cab where she says thank you closes it perfectly.
While its clearly no Interview With the Vampire or Lost Boys, TSWAV is a haunting little gem that desperately needs to find its audience. Very little gore, some nudity, violence and a sex scene between Valentine and Spradling, and a touching but heartbreaking ending is what you'll find here. Plus there's a rich, character driven story that is a very rare find in any Roger Coreman movie. Definitely give this movie a shot before the sun rises and it returns to the ashes of obscurity.
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Eleniak in Second to Die?Read more
I LOVE THIS MOVIE AND ENJOY WATCHING THE STRIPPER.
VERY GOOD SERVICE....THANK YOU