Before Renfield, Nicolas Cage played another, very different, bloodsucker in Vampire’s Kiss. MVD Entertainment has put together a great Blu-ray edition.
There are so many people that do not understand how great the early work of Nicolas Cage was. This was before Con Air and The Rock made him into a Superstar Household Name. This was in the late 80s into the early 90s. Those of us that were at ground zero for Cage and his truly wildly varied work understood he was special before Jerry Bruckheimer and the Oscars. Valley Girl, Raising Arizona, Peggy Sue Got Married, Birdy, Moonstruck, Wild at Heart, and… the pièce de résistance Vampire’s Kiss.
One would think that the film about a nebbish but severe Book Editor Peter (Cage) that gets bitten and slowly turns into a vampire… maybe, would be a particular kind of story that it could have been. You can see it. Comedy of errors that turns terrifying. Vampire’s Kiss takes both the comedic and terrifying, mashes them up, and pushes them out the other end in the most unexpected ways. If Cage wasn’t involved none of the most iconic moments that make this film such a Cultish delight wouldn’t be there. The terrorizing of his assistant about a contract. The fake teeth he buys because he’s short on money. The accent that keeps shifting in and out. The movement that looks like Groucho Marx by way of Max Schreck. None of it would unfold in the unique and weirdly funny way it all does.
Cage in this era, his most creatively wild, we get a film that is much more wily to pin down. Is it a comedy? Is it a horror film? Is it a critique of yuppies? Is it about madness? It’s all these things and none of these things. It’s a dance between Cage, the other actors, and director Robert Bierman which if any are even a slight bit out of key it ruins the whole enterprise. Thankfully from the opening moment of the New York Skyline to the final haunting image Vampire’s Kiss never missteps.
In fact, one can say without any sort of reservation by the end of the film it is the rarest of Cult Films: a tonally perfect modulated horror comedy.
MVD Entertainment has been provided with a beautiful transfer of the film. The image is sharp and handsome showing off the pre-Guliani New York City. The color production, contrast, and black levels are near perfect. Overall, the image gives a look of a freshly struck 35mm print.
They include the following;
- Commentary with actor Nicolas Cage and director Robert Bierman
- Photo Gallery
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- TV Spot
The archival commentary track with actor Nicolas Cage and director Robert Bierman begins with reintroductions because it had been since the production of the film and how after their first meeting Cage dropped from the project. Some of the details include the recasting with Judd Nelson; Nelson dropping out and Cage coming back onto the production; working with the various cast members; a discussion of a longer/extended cut; a discussion of the film being a non-Union shoot; Cage discussion about his “accent”/”voice”; the work of Kasi Lemmons – whose become a truly great director; a great story about the bat and Cage’s level of method acting; his love of the German Expressionism and how that transferred to Cage’s acting; the reaction during the preview process; working with Jennifer Beal; where Cage took some of his inspirations from; working with Maria Conchita Alonso; the score of the film and how they were able to get the massive sound of the score on a limited budget; a discussion about the infamous cockroach eating scene; and much more. Cage is engaged and a fascinating commentator along with Bierman creates a truly great commentary track. I’ve kept the details of the track to a minimum as this is a truly wonderful track if you’ve never heard. Anyone, anyone, anyone that’s a Cage fan, who hasn’t seen the film, need to listen to this track.
Original Theatrical Trailer (2:04)
TV Spot (0:30)
Photo Gallery – The gallery consists of 29 production stills, home video, and poster art that is accompanied by the film’s score. The images play automatically but can be with your next and back chapter stop buttons on your remote. The images can also be paused.
The Final Thought
Few films can rival the truly deranged lunacy of Vampire’s Kiss. MVD Entertainment has brought this Cult Classic to life with great image and picture. Highest Possible Recommendations!!!