Saturday, June 2, 2012

SUMMER OF 87 #7 - I Was A Teenage Vampire

The cover of my VHS copy of I Was a Teenage Vampire
10am, Day 2:
I Was a Teenage Vampire
Director: Jimmy Huston
Starring: Robert Sean Leonard, Evan Mirand, LeeAnne Locken, Cheryl Pollak, Cecilia Peck
Format: VHS (Filmpac)

Plot: In Houston, teenager Jeremy Capello (Leonard) is a normal middle-class boy, who lives with his parents and has Ralph (Mirand) as his best friend. He has a crush on Darla Blake (Pollak), but he is shy and does not date her. He works making deliveries for a supermarket and is seduced by his sexy client Nora (Peck). While getting it on with her, Jeremy is transformed into a vampire. His friend Ralph is mistakenly chased by two weird vampire hunters, Prof Leopold McCarthy and his assistant Grimsdyke, who believe he is a creature of the night. Meanwhile, Jeremy learns how to use his new powers with the help of Modoc, and falls definitively in love for Darla.

- This movie is listed on IMDB as My Best Friend is a Vampire, which I think is the US title. Here in New Zealand, and in Australia, it got retitled as I Was a Teenage Vampire.
- Five seconds in and this is already funnier and more entertaining than Teen Wolf Too.
- Hey, it's a very young Robert Sean Leonard, who plays Dr James Wilson on the TV series House.
- Great soundtrack so far - Blondie and Pat Benatar. Nice!
- All the best 80s teen comedies are about the teen male protagonist wanting to get laid. Isn't that the biggest motivation for any teenaged guy?
- This was director Jimmy Huston's follow up to Final Exam, a derivative-but-interesting slasher I reviewed in June last year.
- Darla (Cheryl Pollak) has that Molly Ringwald "hot but geeky" look.
- A couple of familiar faces in key roles: David Warner (Sark/Master Control in TRON) as vampire hunter McCarthy, and Rene Auburjonois (Clayton Runnymede Endicott III on the TV series BENSON) as vampire Modoc.
- Wow, a young and slim Kathy Bates (MISERY) in a small part. I hardly recognised her.
- And the soundtrack keeps on rocking 80s style with the pre-requisite Oingo Boingo song. According to IMDB they had songs used on 20 movies in the 1980s (the most well known being the Weird Science theme song).
- Most of the vampire gags are pretty standard (no reflection in mirror, aversion to garlic, hunger for meat etc), but as teen rom-coms go this is fairly well written and quite fun.
- "The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades". Another great 80s song. I'm really digging this soundtrack.
- Two funny scenes: Misdirected mind powers in the punk club, and Jeremy's parents mistaking his vampirism for him being gay.

Overall thoughts: I enjoyed I Was A Teenage Vampire. It's a fun little 80s teenage comedy. Sure, it's not going to make it onto anyone's favourite movies list, but for this kind of movie it's entertaining enough. Not out-and-out hilarious, but a movie that'll make you laugh in places and put a smile on your face. It also has a kickass 80s soundtrack. Comparing it to Teen Wolf Too, a movie with similar subject matter that I watched yesterday, this movie is a million times better - the acting, the writing, the cinematography, everything.

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