Once Bitten (1985) Review: Jim Carrey Does Vampires
“A one-night stand with eternal complications!”
Synopsis: A vampire Countess needs to drink the blood of a virgin in order to keep her eternal beauty. It seems that all is hopeless, until she bumps into Mark Kendall.
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Once Bitten’s premise is pretty fantastic: now that it’s the ’80s, a sexy vampire can no longer find the virgins she needs to live off of.
The entire movie is over-the-top ridiculous – a thoroughly ’80s campfest. It’s made even better by virtue of starring a very young, pre-goofball Jim Carrey as Mark Kendall. He’s one of the only virgins left in the area, he drives an ice cream truck, and he ruins his relationship with his girlfriend left and right, in the grand tradition of high school flicks.
Like another, more serious ’80s vampire film The Lost Boys, Mark’s encounters with the vampire Countess have him on the road to becoming a vampire… only without realizing it. His naivete is such that he just thinks it’s weird the Countess keeps undressing him with her teeth. (I mean, dude, she has a naked picture of herself in her living room. The teeth thing is really all you find concerning?!)
The acting is about what you’d expect from this type of cheesy comedy/horror, but everyone is engaging and the two female leads are both distracting in their own very different ways. Lauren Hutton as the seductive Countess sports more than one neckline low enough to show belly, and Mark’s girlfriend Robin resorts to skimpy outfits to try and keep her man interested.
Of particular note is an epic dance-off between the vampire countess and the sweet girlfriend with Mark caught in the middle. It’s funny, sexy, and very well choreographed. (We also get a preview of Jim Carrey’s goofball persona here; his body control and flexibility are stellar!)
Yes, Once Bitten is all campy and not creepy, but it provides a fun take on vampires… and who doesn’t love some ’80s music in their horror?
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B
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