Oscar® winner* Nicolas Cage is amazing (The New Yorker) in this outrageous, erotically charged thriller about a womanizing New York executive who becomes convinced that he's a vampire when one of his conquests bites his ... more »neck in the throes of passion. Jennifer Beals (Devil in a Blue Dress) sizzles as the femme fatale who sets Cage on his batty course in this darkly funny, lively, imaginative fantasy (Los Angeles Times)! *1995: Actor, Leaving Las Vegas« less
Karen G. from PENSACOLA, FL Reviewed on 3/1/2019...
So, this 'cult classic' left me cold. I'm sorry, but the character has NO redeeming qualities. He's a bully, he's abusive, and I wouln't watch it again if you paid me.
Nic Cage acting crazy. Yay.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Ruth P. from N CHESTERFLD, VA Reviewed on 3/27/2013...
Because I am a HUGE Nicolas Cage fan, I thought he was great in it, I truly believed HE believed he was a vampire!! It was incredibly bizarre and creepy, but aren't most vampire movies? His accent, body language, and that face!--all added to the general horror of the story, and I recommend this flick to anyone who thinks Cage is one of our "national treasures"--heh heh...
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 9/6/2010...
Has a similar premise to George A Romero's film Martin, but handles the material in a far more entertaining way. Nicolas Cage believes he's become a vampire after he's assaulted durning a one night stand by what he comes too believe is a female vampire (Jennifer Beals). He descends into his own insanity creating allowing Cage too deliver a very memorable performance.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Damian M. (ratchet) Reviewed on 3/11/2009...
An at times funny drama about a man convinced he has become a vampire. While trying to hold together his love life and work life Nick Cage plays a man who descends further and further into that belief. Reminded me of American Psycho at times.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
A seminal film
Eolake | Lancashire, United Kingdom | 08/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this first time in the movie theatre, and I got the feeling that most of the audience did not get it at all. After the film ended, one man said sarcastically: "I can't wait for the sequel!" I think most people think it is comedy, due to Nick Cage's extreme acting. But... I don't think it really is. It is basically unclassifiable, and as such has a hard time in the market.
To me it was strange, and funny, and fascinating. I see it as a portrait of a man who is going mad. This is rare, and an extremely difficult thing to do, because we know so little about madness. And of course it is a very uncomfortable subject also.
Cage was just fantastic in this role. Maria Alonso too, and so beautiful. I recommend it, if you like to try different things."
A classic, and Cage's best performance
songlife | Dayton, OH | 09/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a must-see for those who appreciate black comedy done well, and superbly acted.Cage carries the entire movie on his shoulders, and it's one of the rare times you'll see someone do that comedically with 100% success. His portrayal of Peter Loew, one of the weirdest characters in movie history, is truly a tour-de-force. There's a scene near the end that knocks me out every time: he carries on a delusional conversation with a wall, hallucinating other people and their reactions. The scene uses surrealism perfectly. Reminds me somewhat of Lindsay Anderson's classic films, like "If..." or "O Lucky Man", in which bizarre surrealism would often be injected into otherwise normal scenes - and it always worked because there were never any clear explanations for it written into the script. Viewers have to figure it out for themselves. (Although, as DVD commentary often reveals, usually the directors have no idea what it means either!) That's why I like well-done allegories - they require thought. Anyway, the part where Cage talks to the wall is a masterpiece. It's sidesplittingly funny as he mumbles his crazy responses to his own ghosts, yet sad and frightful at the same time, considering he's just killed a person and has blood all over his face and clothes. It works equally as well as he thereafter walks down the streets of New York with a wooden stake in his hand, screaming at his nonexistent girlfriend, while real sidewalkers (not extras) walk by, not even paying attention this babbling, insane man who is in fact Nicholas Cage performing what was perhaps the best scene of his career! This, as well as many of his other scenes in the film (such as his crazed recitation of the alphabet), were Oscar material in my opinion. It just doesn't get any better than that. His performance runs circles around Jack Nicholson's similar man-going-insane role in "The Shining". Jack, too, went over the top, but the difference is, he went way overboard, and too quickly, so it doesn't work. Compare Jack's phony-sounding "Here's Johnny!" remark at the height of his insanity to Nick's realistic rantings in the latter part of the film.Unfortunately, too many people saw it as hammy overacting, and criticized this film. To them I say, "How good could YOU have done in this role?!" They missed the point. It IS overacting, but it was done intentionally and successfully, and to pull that off requires tremendous talent. To run down a street shouting "I'm a vampire!" over and over may not seem like Oscar material, but it's the hammy way he does it that actually makes it work. It, and the many scenes like it in which Cage goes WAY over the top, are signs of true comedic genius, which, sadly, seems to have remained unexplored as his career has gone on. Forget the infamous cockroach-eating scene, that's just incidental and not worthy of all the bad press it got. There are far too many treasures in the film to focus on that brief scene. This movie was done when black comedies were not in fashion, and way too many people never 'got it'. This film won't work for people who demand the typical mainstream fodder. It works as both a comedy and an allegory (the allegory being vampirism for loneliness and alienation). There's barely a scene when Cage is not doing something very funny, especially in the scenes where he improvised totally nonscripted quirks for Peter Loew. But because there are some harsher scenes of murder, violence, mental torture, psychic sadism, and rape, viewers feel afraid to laugh - even though those darker parts are pretty tame. Primarily, this movie is a comedy. It's okay to laugh, because that's why Cage was jumping on desks, smashing furniture, and talking in a very affected accent - to make us laugh! That same weird accent that grates on some people's nerves just cracks me up. There's not too many movies you'll see where it's actually hilarious when a guy puts a gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger. That's just not funny, but Cage somehow made it humorous. (His strange cry of "boohoo" there is my favorite line in the movie). The supporting cast is also superb; dedicated actors who gave spot-on performances, like Kasi Lemmons and Maria Conchita Alonso. When you see a quirky, unusual, well-made film like this, it's easy to realize just how bad the mainstream movies. It's not tired cliches and hackneyed jokes that are funny, it's the *delivery* of lines that aren't normally considered funny. Nick doesn't have a single 'joke' per se in this movie, yet he's hilarious every second. This DVD is a real treat. It contains a few scenes that were not in the final cut, so although it's not advertised as being a 'director's cut', it really is. The commentary with Cage and the director is consistently funny and interesting. They noth chuckle frequently at Cage's antics. Cage reveals that most of what he was doing was either improvised before the cameras, or thought up in his hotel room the night before. The director imparts various tidbits about the filming. The one negative thing about the commentary is that the director talks nonstop throughout, rudely interrupting Cage constantly in mid sentence. I'd rather hear what Nick has to say, but he can barely get a word in as the director rambles on as each scene unfolds. Fortunately, Nick is a patient, polite person and the crosstalk is little. I hope someday, perhaps with this release, and considering the commercial direction Cage's career has gone, the film will get the recognition it deserves."
And you thought your boss was bad!
Cinephiliac | Los Angeles, CA | 08/25/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I tend to view Nicolas Cage's film career as split somewhat down the middle. There is 'interesting and edgy young Nicolas Cage' who turned in odd--if not downright weird--performances in minor films. Sometimes these performances worked against the grain of the film, however, they were always riveting. Then there is 'mainstream Nicolas Cage' who, after winning his Academy Award, tended to make safer choices as a leading man or a heroic figure. Cage's work has always been solid and intelligent, but his acting choices have lost much of their original maverick appeal.
Cage plays Peter Loew, an elitist and pretentious literary agent at a publishing house. Loew fancies himself a ladies' man, but in fact leads a rather cold and lonely life. Loew also speaks with a strange and completely contrived accent, which he feels will make him more interesting to people. Unfortunately, most people only find this annoying--virtually guaranteeing Loew's inability to connect with anyone in a meaningful way. One night, after picking up a beautiful woman (Jennifer Beals), Loew brings her home for what turns out to be a rather violent sexual encounter. When the woman delivers a savage bite to his neck, Loew becomes convinced that she is a vampire and that he will now become a vampire as well. Thus begins Loew's spiral into madness.
Alva (played to perfection by Maria Conchita Alonso) is Loew's beleaguered and bullied secretary, who finds herself becoming the focus of Loew's escalating and alarmingly inappropriate behavior. He rages at her over the smallest error, verbally abusing her as no other boss has ever abused his secretary. He chases her down the hall, even following her into the ladies' bathroom. Even after Alva completes the petty Herculean task Loew had assigned her, he responds by telling her "It's too late," and then brutally assaulting her. (Possibly my favorite scene in the film is where Loew leaps up onto a table, points his finger at Alva in a wildly exaggerated gesture, and shouts "THERE YOU ARE!" while she cringes in absolute terror. Although there is nothing intrinsically funny about bullies or mental illness, Cage's over-the-top performance imbues the film with the surrealistic qualities of a Max Fleischer cartoon.)
As Loew completely unravels mentally, Cage still allows you to see glimpses of the frightened man behind the madness. Cage conveys Loew's complete despair at his inability to stop himself. In many ways, Loew is a distant cousin to Patrick Bateman, the psychotic protagonist in American Psycho. As Loew devolves into his paranoid fantasies and delusional behavior, he becomes increasingly dangerous to everyone around him.
Whether he is chasing couples down the street screaming "I'M A VAMPIRE!" or attacking and killing a girl in a night club with a pair of ludicrous novelty vampire teeth, this is Cage at his most bizarrely entertaining. I loved this darkly satirical tale of insanity, but I realize it is not for everyone. However, if you are up for a walk on the weird side, this film just might be a perfect fit. "
Creative and well-directed
Chris D. Bates | Redondo Beach, CA | 06/12/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This was one of the first five DVDs a friend of mine bought after he got a player, and so I was curious about his choice. The things he chooses may not be perfect, but are invariably very interesting, as it turned out with this one. The only thing I knew about this movie beforehand was that it's supposed to be a 'comedy,' and that Nicholas Cage eats a cockroach in it. So it was hard for me to understand why someone would be so passionate about what seemed like a goofy 80s comedy, but it turns out that this film is much more than that.
Nicholas Cage, back when he was young and adventurous and before he fully committed himself to his strict "Bad Movies Only" policy, plays a socially retarded man with serious issues toward woman and more than a little inadequacy as he slowly descends into utter insanity. Interestingly, the way he conceives of his problem is that really he is turning into a vampire.
The opening photography is wonderful, silhouetted spires and gothic details of Manhattan against a blood red sky, that seem to reveal the city as a place of dark supernatural horrors within the regular city we know, which was a great start.
I was surprised in reading the reviews on the IMDb that no one talks about the place that misogyny plays in Cage's dementia... he's lonely and isolated and sees women as objects, so as he goes insane he thinks he's a vampire, someone who picks up young women, rapes [bites] and kills them... and is cursed by this. In this movie, the main character HATES women, and a lot of the audience's discomfort comes from how horrible he is to them. I thought it was also ingenious how all the women; his therapist, the imaginary vampire woman, the woman he jilts near the beginning, and his secretary all look vaguely alike. The director could easily have thrown in a bit of psychoanalytic depth by having a photo of the character's mother looking similar as well.
There are things in this movie that are vaguely funny on their own, but in the context of the movie are not really funny at all. I mean yeah, people do goofy things as they are mentally breaking apart, but is that funny? All the actors do a great job, but I love the therapist, who seems so engaged and curious. I like how Cage's character assumes the movements of movie vampires, because in his lunacy movie vampires are probably exactly what he is imitating.
There are only two problems I think the film has. The film goes out of its way to show how Alva, the abused secretary, needs her job and is not supported by her family, but Cage's behavior is SO over the top that ANYONE would know that she has a lot of reason to go to the police. That she remains so passive is a little frustrating and unrealistic to the point where it detracts from the film.
The big problem, I think, is that ramping up so quickly to high insanity in the first hour, there's really nowhere for the film to go in it's last 45 minutes. The scenes of Cage humiliating his secretary become repetitive, as do other aspects, tarnishing what started out exceedingly well.
I was shocked to learn that this was the director's first full feature, as it is very assured and well-done. I would love to have a chat with the writer to know HOW this idea came to him and what he thought about it. It's too bad this movie didn't do better, but I expect it's because it is such a difficult concept to get across on a poster. Anyway, worth seeking out."