Once Bitten (1985)
“Mark Kendall just found out that his one-night stand has been around for centuries.”
Director: Howard Storm
Cast: Lauren Hutton, Jim Carrey, Karen Kopins
Synopsis: A vampire Countess needs to drink the blood of a virgin in order to keep her eternal beauty. It seems that all is hopeless, until she bumps into Mark Kendall.
For someone who lived through them, it’s surprising how quickly — and badly — the Eighties have dated. In the Noughties the Eighties were considered ‘the decade that taste forgot’ — the same tag that was given to the Seventies back in the Nineties. Then the 70s underwent a revival and were considered hip again, which suggests the same thing might happen to the Eighties by the end of this decade. That thought is more frightening than the idea of ever having to watch this film again.
Jim Carrey plays a typical sex-starved 80s teen who’s girlfriend won’t put out, which makes him a prime target for umpty-seven-year-old vampiress Lauren Hutton, who needs to feed on the blood of a virgin three times to maintain her youthful appearance, while also turning her victim into one of the undead. Hutton looks nothing like a vampire — which is a good thing for her character, I suppose — but has a rather fetching way of biting the buttons from her victim’s shirts. No woman has ever bitten the buttons from my shirt, and I feel sort of cheated having watched this. Anyway, Hutton has a familiar in the form of Cleavon Little (the black guy from Blazing Saddles) and he’s probably the best thing about this insipid little film — which obviously isn’t saying much.
Carrey, looking so young here that his habitual face-pulling (which is already in evidence) has yet to leave its mark on his cheeks, is engaging enough but, on this evidence, could easily have sunk without trace like so many fellow stars of similar teen dross.
The funniest moment of the film comes near the end, when Carrey’s long-suffering girlfriend explains to Hutton that he doesn’t want her (Hutton) because she’s old and nasty, she wants her (gf) because she’s nice and sweet and innocent ‘so **** off!’ Eighty-eight minutes and thirty seconds is a long time to wait for one decent laugh, though.
(Reviewed 16th September 2010)