WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A man who seems to have a normal life suddenly begins to change after a particular dream-like evening with a special lady friend. Is he really turning into a vampire or is he just an asshole using it as an excuse to act like a jerk? Or better yet, is he even aware of anything that is happening to him or is he just plain "losing his mind"? Nic Cage over-acting as best he could...ensues.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This is a flick for which I had very fond memories from back in the day, but watching it again after all these years, I can't say that it was as great as I once remembered it. One thing I will say about the film is that it's definitely very, very bizarre! It's not a "normal" film by any means, and could essentially be described as the chronicle of disintegration of one man's mind. And don't let the title fool you because it doesn't have as much to do with vampires as it does psychoses and a brutal employer/employee relationship. Cage, however, remains as kickass as I remembered him before he signed his own soul over to producer Jerry Bruckheimer and started punching in his time card to get into work every morning. For anyone who wants to see a movie in which Cage actually acts well, pick this puppy up, or check out LEAVING LAS VEGAS, RAISING ARIZONA or WILD AT HEART. His character is extremely over-the-top here, but it works as you methodically feel him losing his marbles. Conchita Alonso is also really good in the movie (the Salma Hayek of her day), and I was especially surprised at her range and credibility throughout ("Am I getting through to you, Alva!?!").
The film itself doesn't really go anywhere, in that, there is no point A to point B type of plotline to follow, but it certainly does remain interesting to watch throughout, if only to see this man crumbling scene to scene. I did remember the film as being "quirkier" though, while this time around, I noticed the darkness of the movie more than anything. That's not to say that there aren't any lighter moments, since one of my favorite "Cage outbreak" scenes is in this movie (when he gets up and gives his shrink a lesson about the alphabet-- classic!), but overall, it's pretty dour. This film also features Cage actually eating a live cockroach (those were his "method" days, I suppose), so if that's your type of shtick...more reason to check it out. Overall, I would definitely recommend this flick to anyone looking to see something strange, something dark and something altogether bizarre and hard to put your finger on (somewhat reminiscent of AMERICAN PSYCHO but not as sharp). Anyone looking for a straight-forward movie should just move on to the next title.
Not much in terms of extras, but surprisingly there was a commentary track with director Robert Bierman and would you believe, actor Nicolas Cage? I listened to this whole track because I am a big fan of the "old Nic Cage" and his movies, and I'm glad that I did because it was quite interesting. The best part about it is that this clean-cut British director keeps pointing out how much of an "asshole" Cage was in those days, but...in a nice way! Ex: The director says, "Remember when we had to do that 'take' over ten times, Nic?" Cage replies: "No, why did we do that?" The director says, "Because you didn't want to move a foot over to your left that day". Cage laughs it off, knowing full well that he was in full-blown "method actor" mode in those days, and seems quite embarrassed by it now. Having said that, at least the man had artistic integrity in those days...but I digress. What's also cool is that both these gentlemen don't seem to have seen each other since they filmed the movie, and lots of "oh, remember thats?" show up along the way, as well as plenty of insight into the actual production, which sounds like it was a truly "unique" experience for everyone involved. All in all, a good listen especially for all those up-and-coming "actor boys" who think they're "all that". Listen to how Cage sounds whenever the director reminds him of his "attitude" in those days and beware. There's also the ill-fated trailer of the movie, which understandably could never capture what the film was truly about, and basically makes it look like a "goofy vampire" comedy. Oh well..
A solid "quirky" picture with Nic Cage in his prime and Alonso up to task as well. The DVD itself isn't packed by any means, and features a pretty lame menu (some animation and quaint one-liners from Cage from the movie would have been sweet), but the commentary is pretty good, especially if you're a fan of Nic Cage, who does get plenty of talking in, along with the thorough director. I'd recommend renting this first to see if you dig, and if you do, buy it because it's definitely one of those movies which you "get" more every time that you watch it.