The Halloween Hit List: Vampire’s Kiss (1988)




Rated R

103 min.

Written by: Joseph Minion

Directed by: Robert Bierman

Vampire’s Kiss is one of the most important films ever made. This is an argument no person on planet earth has ever made, until now. How could I possibly make this argument about a film that nobody ever talks about, other than for the opportunity to mock it as one of the worst films ever made? Well, it is quite simply one of the most important films ever made because this is the film that truly gave birth to the artist known simply as The Cage. Although The Cage had already been working on the big-screen for six years at this point in his career, this is the first film where he truly embraces the acting style he now refers to as the ‘Western Kabuki’. Sure, he had already given incredibly off-beat performances in the likes of Raising Arizona and Peggy Sue Got Married, but Vampire’s Kiss is where he truly gives a performance the likes of which had never been seen previously.

From a script by After Hours scribe Joseph Minion, Vampire’s Kiss tells the story of publishing executive Peter Loew (The Cage) who becomes convinced that he is turning into a vampire following a one-night encounter with a woman who enjoys neck-biting. What follows is a fascinating character study of a man who is slowly, no make that quickly losing his mind, and The Cage uses every tool in his arsenal to make sure you have absolutely no clue what he is going to do next. While not so much a horror film as it is one of the most bat-shit crazy comedies of a decade that had its fair share, Vampire’s Kiss is one of those films that truly has to be seen to be believed.

Is it scary? About as far from scary as one can possibly get, unless The Cage’s acting scares you due to its sheer unpredictability.

Is it funny? It’s one of the funniest films ever made.

What’s the atmosphere like? It’s as if the story of Dracula was transplanted into a mundane New York office setting, that is if Dracula was an insane man who simply thought he had a thirst for blood.   

How are the performances? There may not be a more Cagey performance than the one on display here, and that’s saying something.

Why does it belong on The Halloween Hit List? It may not be scary and it may not in the strictest sense be a horror film, but it takes the mythos of becoming a vampire in an interesting direction that could certainly be considered spooky in a certain light (a very dark light where you can’t see a thing). Also, this is a list and a list without The Cage is like a vampire without his spiky teeth, unless of course that vampire went to a store to buy plastic fake teeth because his hadn’t grown in yet. Ya know, something sane like that, which happens in this very movie.

So, need to see one of the most important films ever made for yourself? Of course you do, which is why you can watch it in full right now ‘for educational purposes’ on Youtube via this link:

Enjoy! And of course, long live The Cage!