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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

My Best Friend is a Vampire (1987)

Every October I hit up my local big box retailer to see what manner of impulse purchase I can make to add to the annual movie marathon. Most of the time I regret my decisions. This year I made two purchases, one that I regret and this one. I suppose that is a spoiler of sorts but honestly, I’m always down for some cheesy eighties’ horror comedy mashups.

Our main character is Jeremy who we first meet while he is having a wet dream. Hey man it was the eighties! He is crushing on one of his classmates, Darla, but everything in his dream goes sideways when a mysterious lady shows up. After seeing some high school shenanigans, we follow Jeremy as he delivers groceries, yes that was a legitimate after school job back in the day, where he meets the woman of his dreams. No seriously her name is Nora, and she is the woman who interrupted his teenage fantasy. She invites him back at midnight for… well things that I guess we thought were funny and acceptable in the eighties but would now probably get her on an “offender” list.

With the encouragement of his horndog friend (another staple of the eighties) Ralph he goes back. Before things get too naughty she bites him and a vampire hunter, played by David Warner, busts in. Jeremy makes his escape, but it seems that his lady friend is dispatched and now they are on his trail. The rest of the movie is him dealing with his new powers and learning the rules with the help of his new vampire mentor Modoc. All of this is happens while he tries to date Darla and with the hunters on his trail. Silly things happen and we find out that inexplicably no one died and being a vampire isn’t so bad.

I haven’t watched this movie since the last time I rented it in the early nineties. I remember it being a harmless bit of cheese and I’ve got to say my opinion hasn’t changed. Both the humor and horror are tame with this being a PG rated flick. That means no over the top scary effects and no nudity. The pacing is solid with the characters being introduced quickly before the movie then jams them into the predictable storyline. Not once was I bored. Though the flipside to this is that I didn’t remember much about the movie before rewatching it and will probably forget it quickly again. My Best Friend is a Vampire follows the formula and checks all the boxes but does so in a strangely forgettable way that just isn’t going to stick with the viewer.

I assure you this was how the cool kids dressed
If there is one outstanding thing about the movie it has to be the cast. Our lead is a very young Robert Sean Leonard who has gone onto do movies like Dead Poets Society and television like House. There is also a weird Star Trek connection with the previously mentioned David Warner as the vampire hunter as well as Rene Auberjonois as Modoc. Both of these men have had amazing careers before and after this movie. Kathy Bates of Misery fame has a small role as Darla’s mother. Speaking of mothers Jeremy’s is played by the amazing Fannie Flag. Not only was she an excellent actress and author but was also a semiregular on my favorite gameshow of all time The Match Game! Finally, we have the actress who plays Darla. Her name is Cheryl Pollak and had a brief but memorable career starring in movies like Pump up the Volume (a personal favorite of mine) as well as the recently review Night Life. It seems weird that with all this acting talent that the movie is so generic.

I can’t imagine needing to watch this again for another few years so I’m not sure I can recommend purchasing the new Blu-Ray. But if it pops up streaming somewhere or better yet if you can find an old VHS on the cheap then it is worth a look.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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