Saturday, June 25, 2011

Nicolas Un-Caged: Vampire's Kiss (1988)

If you've been around this blog for a long time, then you would probably know that I enjoy making fun of old Nicolas Cage now and again. But I've been unfair. I haven't seen that many of his movies. So, from now until the end of this blogs life, every Nicolas Cage movie I watch (and I will try to watch as many of them as possible), will get the title 'Nicolas Un-Caged'. Because he really is un-caged, in just about every role he takes. To go with this new sporadic feature, will be a 'Nic Cage Crazy Scale', which goes from one Nic to five Nic's. Everything else will be as normal. In this edition, I go to the tippety-top of Nic Cage crazies, and take a look at Vampire's Kiss.

I first heard about Vampire's Kiss through the brilliant "Nic Cage Loses His Shit" video, where the film is prominently featured as he runs down the street yelling "I'M A VAMPIRE! I'M A VAMPIRE!", yells the alphabet like it's the end of the world, and wandering through the city with a piece of wood going "oooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh". So I was curious - what does this all mean? It looked pretty crazy from the clips used in that marvellous video. I guess I was expecting a very straightforward showcase of just how crazy the Cage is. But no. I got quite a confusing psychological dark comedy with a lead actor who just went all out in his role.

From the get-go, Peter Loew (Cage), a yuppie literary agent, is a little bit on edge. He has been known to get ticked off when things do not go his way, and he spends a lot of time explaining his life to a therapist (Elizabeth Ashley). After he finishes work he spends his nights at several clubs, and one night he meets Rachel (Jennifer Beals), who he takes home. But it turns out that Rachel appears to have fangs and begins feeding on our dear Peter. From this day forward, Peter is convinced that he is a vampire: he fails to see his reflection in the mirror, he wears sunglasses to 'avoid the light', and he sets up a vampire cave where he and his sexy vampire girlfriend Rachel live. We see Peter basically go off his nut in every way possible, but is he really a vampire, or is he just insane?

Now, this actually has a very good premise, and with the amount of remakes out there at the moment, this should really be the highest priority. However, this is really one of a kind. Saturated with cheesiness, this flick has everything I hate about (most) 80's movies: painful sexual encounters, an odd music video vibe, a really bad's no masterpiece. Then again, Vampire's Kiss isn't the worst movie ever, like I expected it to be. As I said, the premise is good - and the way they go about it, for the most part, is just about as good. There is a lot of ambiguity about the film, leaving a bit of confusion in it's wake, but unltimately, that confusion leads to a very nice psychological thriller, of sorts. I guess you could say this movie is a somewhat disturbing portrait of a man unhinged. Sure, it's a bit far-fetched, but the madness that Peter assigns to himself is quite shocking to watch. Especially when he eats that cockroach...

This movie is dominated by Nicolas Cage's performance, in all of it's over the top glory, which pretty much takes any chance of this film being taken seriously away. I could never quite believe that his craziness was actually a form of mental illness. And yes, it is hard to sympathise with such a man. He really is more crazy than any human should be. One has to applaud Nic, though, because it does take a lot of courage to become this unhinged on screen. However, his performance does break this film. It could have been a smart thriller about a man questioning his sanity, but instead it just became...proof that an actor shouldn't be left to let himself go so much. This was obviously a project for Nic to let out all of his problems through being a man who thinks he is a vampire. Unfortunately, Nic had a lot of problems.

THE VERDICT: In the end, Vampire's Kiss can be easily be described as a bad film. But underneath that nutso performance from Nicolas Cage is quite a smart little story, and a very entertaining watch.

What I got:

The Nic Cage Crazy Scale:


  1. This Cage Rage scale has made my day.

    I am looking forward to these Cage watches. (And great review, as always.)

  2. Wow. I can't believe I missed this on my recent That Crazy Nicolas Cage marathon! Even the pictures make this look ridiculous. I'll also echo the thoughts that the Cage Rage scale is classic.

  3. I totally forgot Jennifer Beals was in this. Wow.

  4. Cherokee - Haha, I'm glad you like it! I've really got to dig around for some Cage movies. My Fatso account shall be getting a good workout!

    Dan - How could you miss this one?! It's the craziest ever (well, I'm just guessing it is, because I don't think anything could top it). Thanks!

    msmariah - Indeed she was...very different to what she usually did...

  5. Haha I totally saw that video on Youtube! That was when I finally realized you had been right about Nicholas Cage all along, and he was the craziest actor out there! I can't take him seriously from now on haha.

  6. Thanks for this info. Keep up the neat work. I'll be returning often thanks for sharing...
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