October 7, 2013

Embrace of the Vampire (1995)



"An 18-year-old college freshman is seduced by a handsome vampire lover who introduces her to a dark world of carnal desires."

Since "Embrace of the Vampire" is just an excuse to see Alyssa Milano get her boobs out several times and laugh at Martin Kemp licking a door (the only thing more wooden than his performance), I'm not going to go into any depth about this awful movie. "Embrace of the Vampire" is little more than softcore porn with "Mills & Boon" dialogue, and everybody already knows that it stinks.

The only reason I've brought it up on my blog is because there's now a remake which I'll be reviewing later, and I needed to reaquaint myself with the story (such as it is) to be able to compare and contrast the two. I know some people erroneously think that I'm dead set against remakes, but in the case of "Embrace of the Vampire" anything would be an improvement. A ten-minute YouTube video of a toilet roll being unspooled by a puppy would be more horrific!

If you're not familiar with "Embrace of the Vampire, firstly, good on you for skipping it. Secondly, you'd be wise to keep things that way. There's hardly any story here apart from the blatant homages to "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992) and, in particular, the saucier bits. Bisexuality is the name of the game with lots of girl-on-girl, boy-on-girl/girl-on-boy, and even a bit of "The Rocky Horror Show" gender-impersonation action. At one point, there's a full blown orgy going on in a nightclub! So don't even try to argue that is supposed to be a horror movie!

Martin Kemp is terrible as a lonely vampire who needs his re-incarnated lost love to survive and is, quite frankly, embarrassing. He pops up occasionally with his shirt off, but mercifully, he has less than five minutes of screen time overall. Similarly, sexy Jennifer Tilly has a small role with some of the most cringeworthy lines she has ever been asked to deliver. I'm not going to say anything worse about Jennifer Tilly though, because she's still uber hot in spite of her character's not very well hidden identity.

The late Harold Pruett and Alyssa Milano.

As far as Alyssa Milano's performance goes, well, it's all about gazing into space, looking at the floor shyly, and not needing much prompting to get naked or succumb to any other character's sexual advances. Some of her scenes are admittedly erotic, but the pacing is all wrong for "Embrace of the Vampire" to be a truly erotic movie. There's no sexual tension, no chemistry, and the novelty factor of seeing Alyssa Milano topless gets boring pretty quickly unless you're a megafan of "Charmed".

Because this is a very '90s production, the late Harold Pruet plays Alyssa Milano's boyfriend, and there are small roles for Jordan Ladd and Rachel True who have both gone on to better things. None of them stand out in either a good or bad way, but it's mildly interesting to see such a gathering of "teen" stars in one place. The fact that none of them were actually teens at the time is just the way things are in the movies, and it's not worth making a fuss over.

I don't have anything good to say about "Embrace of the Vampire", and I've noted all the important bits, so now I can move on to the remake. Apparently, it's produced by the same people behind "I Spit on Your Grave" (2010), and there's supposed to be a more coherent story to go with all the boobs and blood. We shall see.

Don't you just hate it when they put the wrong names above the heads?

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