Two students AJ (actor Robert Rustler) and Keith (actor Chris Makepiece) wanting to join a college fraternity house want to get around the initiation by getting a stripper for the evening party. They coerce oriental student Duncan (actor Gedde Watanabe) to loaning his car as a favour and for all of them to go and get one from the city. Waiting in a bar that is about to close, they meet a bunch of weird albino people, led by the aptly named Snow (actor Billy Drago) and get out of a skirmish before visiting a strip club. Mind you, if stripping is where you don’t see anything, then you know you can watch this film in front of your parents, well nearly, and wonder what these people are paying for. As host Vic (actor Sandy Baron) points out later, such places are a good place to obtain people who aren’t going to be missed. AJ goes off to hire Katrina (actress Grace Jones) and seduction gets the first bite.
One of the waitresses, Amaretto/Alison (actress Dedee Pfeiffer), knows Keith tells him to wait outside and they’ll see where AJ went while they go to her hotel for a change of clothes. Then she goes missing although they reunite in the street. Avoiding the albino gang, Keith gets trapped in the sewers and sees a lot of crazy things going on and a very dead AJ.
Back at the club, Keith calls the cops but a live AJ returns and after the law has gone discovers the whole club is inhabited by vampires. Full disclosure is plot spoiler but you might consider not visiting these kinds of places. From here, it’s full spoiler. I’m keeping ery straight-faced but there is a lot of comedy along the way.
Like a lot of ‘frat’ movies, there are a lot of predictable laughs and a lot of clichés on low budget before it gets reasonably serious and the characters are running and fighting for their lives. Bearing in mind the age of the film is 1986, don’t expect anything to be that frightening. It might well suit you for a group watch.
‘Vamp’ isn’t particularly bad for such a small budget and its certainly using Grace Jones as the crowd-puller, especially back then, and looking at the attention given to her in the end credits to keep her happy. Considering the lack of dialogue, it’s her presence that is needed. A few more polishes of the script and it could even have pulled the A market at the time. My second watch makes it even better as you can catch more of the subtleties. You clearly still wouldn’t want to visit any strip clubs after watching this.
In case you don’t recognise the name, the older actor Robert Rustler starred in season 2 of ‘Babylon 5’ a decade later as Starfury pilot Warren Keffer.
When it comes to the extras, there is a bunch of them. A 44 minute interview with the key cast members and director/writer Richard Wenk and cinematographer Eliott Davis about the ups and downs and laughs they had as they all mucked in together and enjoyed the production. For both Wenk and Davis, this was their breakout film that led to bigger expensive movies.
A rehearsals demonstrating that Grace Jones likes sucking blood from her director. ‘Dracula Bites The Big Apple’ (1979) is a 22 minute film comedy short musical also directed by Richard Wenk and written by Fred Olsen. Considering its age and even cheaper budget, it tends to work rather well.
A 6 minute blooper reel includes showing a male doing Grace Jones’s stage dance. There’s also an assortment of TV and film trailers and stills gallery.
I missed ‘Vamp’ on its original release but then there wasn’t even video tapes at the time. If my second viewing is anything to go by, it does get better with rewatching and after watching the extras, I was picking out a lot more. Have a bite.
(region 2 DVD: pub: Arrow Video 1 DVD 94 minute movie with extras. Price: £14.99 (UK). ASIN: B01IVUKRG2)
subtitles for the deaf.
cast: Chris Makepiece, Sandy Baron, Robert Rustler, Dedee Pfeiffer, Gedde Watanabe, Billy Drago and Grace Jones
check out website: www.arrowfilms.co.uk