Modern Vampires (1998) – Film

“Modern Vampires”

Movie #19: 31-Days of Horror Challenge 2017

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Dallas, a vampire, returns to L.A. to visit some old friends.  While there he picks up a young woman who turns out to be The Hollywood Slasher and brings her home to his friends who adopt her as one of their own.  Unknown to Dallas, Dr. Van Helsing has followed him to L.A. and has recruited some quite modern help in his hunt for vampires.   Also complicating his visit is a long standing animosity between Dallas and The Count.  

This social satire, cheesy, vampire movie from Richard Elfman and Matthew Bright is one of my favorite guilty pleasures.  It is irreverent and just wrong in so many ways, from the extravagance of the most exclusive Hollywood clubs to the elite upper crust’s form of recreation and relaxation.  The film offers a new and amusing way for a person is turned into a vampire that adds more subtext to, especially the backstory between Dallas and Van Helsing.  I wanted to say there is a sort of coming-of-age flavor to this, but Nico, The Hollywood Slasher, doesn’t really grow, although she does end up remembering her past and how she became a vampire, she is still excessively violent and impulsive.

The talent in this only begins with Elfman and Bright, starring Casper Van Dien, as Dallas, our anti-hero; Natasha Gregson Wagner, as the young, impulsive, Hollywood Slasher; Rod Steiger, as the aging, and oddly naive of the modern world, Dr. Van Helsing; Gabriel Casseus, as Van Helsing’s right hand man, Time Bomb; Kim Cattrall, as the sexy Ulrike; Craig Ferguson, as the decadent Richard; Natasha Lyonne, as Rachel;Udo Kier, you simply can’t have a good vampire movie without him, as Vincent; and Robert Pastorelli, as Count Dracula.  There is a lot more talent in this cast as well.

The score, in part, by Richard Elfman’s brother Danny, is great, of course.  The music actually has an effect on the vampires in this flick, the audience will note that when music with a strong beat is playing, the vampires move with it.  Visually, I thought this a great mix of beautiful sets and scenes, cheesy practical effects (lots of blood for those of us who love such), and flashes, which are intended to represent the vampire’s thoughts/emotions, during sex.

I would recommend this to people who are looking for something in a dark comedy with a fresh twist on the vampire genre.

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