Tuesday, 1 February 2011

ONCE BITTEN 1985

This week I'm reviewing Once Bitten the little known vampire film staring Jim Carrey and Lauren Hutton from 1985. Once Bitten was one of the many comedies based around the horror genre that were very popular in the mid 80's like Full Moon High, Fright Night, Teen Wolf, House, Monster Squad and Gremlins.

This Movie starts with a great song and we see the sheriff from Blazing Saddles Cleavon Little in riding chaps sorting out what we assume is a bloody Mary or a hangover drink for his master, but wait this is a vampire film it must be blood. The house is decorated in the classic colour of the 80's... White, even the coffin is white with a pink interior and TV inside and the master is actually a mistress, played by Lauren Hutton.

The movie just jumps right into exposition, no foreplay, a bit like the Jim Carrey character and his friends when it comes to sex.

So the plot is as it is explained in the first 5 minutes that Lauren, the Countess needs to drink the blood of a virgin Three times before all hallows eve or she will become old but this is the 80's and virgin blood is hard to come by apparently. The Jim Carrey story is that he wants to sleep with his girlfriend but she's not ready.

So the vampires who live and work for the Countess are having trouble looking for a virgin that isn't 12 years old; now what they should do is go to a comic book store or one of those war hammer shops, your bound to find someone who is a virgin there.

As I’ve said Jim Carrey's girlfriend won't put out so he seeks the advice of his best friends who are also virgins Jamie and Russ, oh and if you didn't know they were the comic relief they work at a buger stand dressed as clowns.  Russ acts like he knows all about women but he is just an idiot and out of the pair the best lines come from Jamie like this one “There's to much pressure for getting laid, it's like taking drivers test for manhood.” Mark (Jim Carrey) and his friends decide to go to Hollywood to get laid as they figure it will relieve the pressure to have sex.

We get a montage of them driving around Hollywood in an Ice cream van, because that’s Jim's job selling ice cream. The Vampires are out looking for a virgin and seem to know that the Ice Cream van has virgins in it.  Random part of the montage is seeing a woman walking a Lion, apparently that was normal in the 80's. Anyway they go to a club where you have a number and a telephone on your table so you can call someone across the room and start something, it's kind of like today’s chat roulette online but more classy.

So again this movie doesn't waste to much time we get a joke where Russ is hit on by a man in drag and then the Countess invites Mark over for a drink and she tells him to call her Countess and he replies “wow that’s nice I had a dog called king once” you can see Lauren is trying not to giggle at that.

A disgruntled husband turns up and pulls a gun on Mark's friends and the police are called and Mark is rushed out the back with the Countess.

They arrive at the countesses house and she explains “We just moved in the previous owner slaughter his family and then hung himself.” so she lives in the amityville house.  The countess leaves to fresshen up we get another gay joke and as Vampires don't have a reflection she has Sebastian (Cleavon Little) do her make up and basically tell her that she is the fairest in the land.

We learn that female Vampires don't bite you on the neck but bite off all your buttons, she sends him back home and makes him believe he got laid. Robin his girlfriend over hears him and his friends talking about their night in Hollywood and she breaks up with him. we then get a few signs that he is changing into a vampire and his parents probably think he is on drugs. We then have a strange dream sequence where Mark tries to act all smooth but fails comically.

Mark persuades Robin to get back with him, which works surpise surpise.  He then takes his friends to a laundromat to pick up chicks and he finally says what we have all been thinking “You two are insane and what you know about women would fill an atom sized piece of toilet paper.” The funny part of their scene is that Jamie's idea of protection is a rubber glove cause he doesn't know what size to get.

Mark goes shopping at the clothes store Robin works at, the Countess is in the changing room, he notices that she doesn't have a reflection and doesn't question it so she gets her second drink from him. We get more scenes showing that he is changing into a vampire and a really silly scene where two kids run off cause he turns round to give them their ice creams and pulls a classic I’m a vampire face without fangs with that silly noise we have all made when we do that. But why would two boys run off, the more believable thing would be for them to laugh at him and tell him he's stupid or a pedo

He has another dream sequence this time in the classic cheesy vampire style with him doing what I can only describe as the claw, well actually he is doing that vampire mind trick on Robin while Countess watches.

He wakes up and it cuts to the high school dance that seemed to be in every teen 80's film with the obligatory choreographed dance number, this one is really funny and has Robin striping to reveal a white lacy dress; the dance number is basically a fight between the Countess and Robin for the love of Mark and Robin wins this round. Mark runs off and sees his reflection disappear for a moment and he finally says “I think she is a vampire and is turning me into one.”

Robin investigates vampires and how to tell if he has been bitten by going to a book store and asking the owner about vampires. In the movies of the 80's if you had a question you needed answered you would ask a librarian or a book store owner, now a days you ask google or wikipedia.

So she finds out that female vamps bite the artery closest to the source of untapped sexual potency and asks his friends to check if he has a bite mark near his balls and hijinks ensue, including as Jamie puts it, re-enacting a prison rape scene in the showers.

We now have thunder and lightning, which means we must be near the end of this film and time for the final battle, as for some reason Robin gets into a limo with Sebastian. Mark and his friends go after her in his ice cream truck and they sneak into the house, free Robin and then get caught by the vamps. Mark is tied to a table and about to be bitten the third time.  Robin breaks free and she and Mark's friends untie him, there is a chase around the house and well it ends with Jim and Robin in the coffin meant for him and they have sex, the Countess finds them and says “you couldn't have you had less then a minute... you could have, but you didn't have time to enjoy it.” So he's not a virgin any more meaning that the countess has failed and she ages rapidly.

This movie is really silly but a lot of fun basically it is a cougar story, with lots of gay jokes and we get an early look at the comedy of Jim Carrey and see how flexible he is. I saw this movie as a child and like many of the movies of the eighties it is pure cheese but that doesn't mean it's awful it is what it is, a fun film.

It's rare to see a female vampire movie, but they do exist, however, most films about vampires are about the male kind, this is partly because the stories of vampires are written for women and apparently we like vampires because they are in control and well as far as I can tell it has something to do with women loosing their virginity which is very obvious in this film and Fright Night where Charlie's girlfriend is seduced by Chris Sarandon's Vampire, she bleeds when he bites her and has what sounds like an orgasm.

I would recommend this film only if you like 80's cheesy comedy horror films like Monster Squad and Teen Wolf, but if you prefer your 80's vampires a little more serious well then I'd stick with The Lost Boys or Near Dark.

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