The Curator of Schlock #373 by Jeff Shuster

Vamp

Grace Jones plays a vampire stripper. If that doesn’t sell you, what will?

Back to the story of how Edwige, my kangaroo traveling companion, and I barely escaped with our lives from the small town of Mooseville up in Canada. After some little twerp announced our presence to the town, an angry mob surrounded our truck and started battering it with clubs. A brick struck the windshield, cracking it thoroughly. I thought we could wait it out, but Edwige had forgotten to lock her passenger side door. Before I knew it, they had dragged Edwige out of the vehicle. I knew it wouldn’t be long before they grabbed me.

To be continued.

This week’s Arrow Home Video release is 1986’s Vamp from director Richard Wenk. Back in the 1980s, you had a whole slew of teenage vampire flicks such as The Lost Boys and Fright Night. You got kind of a mixture of comedy with the frights and Vamp carries on with this tradition. And you’ve got an interesting cast of Brat Pack alumni in this movie. You don’t get James Spader or Molly Ringwald, but you get their co-stars.

For instance, Chris Makepeace and Robert Rusley play a couple of frat pledges named Keith and AJ. You may know Chris Makepeace from such movies as Meatballs and My Bodyguard. Robert Rusley played a bully in Weird Science right alongside Robert Downey Jr. We’ve got Gedde Watanabe from Sixteen Candles as Duncan, a rich nerd desperate for friends. Lastly, we’ve got Dedee Pfeiffer as Amaretto, a cocktail waitress at an exotic strip club. Who is Dedee Pfeiffer? She’s Michelle Pfeiffer’s younger sister. Need I say more?

So we’ve got a couple of pledges named Keith and AJ trying to get into a fraternity. AJ offers the fraternity anything they want if they’ll let them join. The fraternity wants a stripper for a party they’re having that weekend. The two of them go to see Duncan, a friendless nerd with a lot of money. He’s so rich that he has a team of students doing his homework for him in his swank apartment. Keith and AJ ask if they can borrow his Cadillac and he agrees as long as he takes him with them.

The trio ends up in a shady part of town where there’s this strip club that only opens up after dark. They stop for some coffee at a cafe staffed by a nervous man wearing a crucifix around his neck. A gang led by a creepy albino man enters the cafe after the sun goes down. Keith makes the googly eyes at one of the women in this gang and she smiles a set of sharp fangs at him. This should have been seen as a red flag, but instead of high tailing it out of town, the trio makes their way over to the strip club.

Inside the club, the young men are treated to a dance performance by Katrina (Grace Jones), the top act of the night which has to be seen to be believed. If a demented Ronald McDonald in a steel bikini is your thing, Katrina is for you. AJ is impressed and requests a meeting with Katrina to see if she’ll strip for the fraternity later that night. AJ gets more than he bargained for when Katrina puts the moves on him and takes off her clothes. He gets even more than he bargained for when she sinks her fangs into his neck.

Did I like the movie? Sure. Is it the best teen horror vampire comedy I’ve ever seen? No, but it’s good enough. You get a wonderful scene later on where Keith offers his neck to a now vampire AJ, thinking he can just take a little bit to get by. Keith replies, “What do you think I am, a mosquito?”


Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131episode 284episode 441episode 442episode 443, episode 444episode 450, episode 477, and episode 491) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.