Vampire’s Kiss (1989)

“I’m a vampire! I’m a vampire! I’m a vampire!” Although I highly recommend this dark, dark comedy (a notorious box office flop), I realize that it may not be for all tastes. In fact, a couple of friends still haven’t forgiven me for once recommending this flick all these years later! An uptight, New York City yuppie literary agent named “Peter Loew” (Nicolas Cage), who is on the edge of a total mental breakdown, falls under the spell of the mysterious “Rachel” (Jennifer Beals) and starts believing he is a vampire. He even picks up a pair of cheap plastic fangs at a novelty store and starts wearing dark sunglasses 24/7. Maria Conchita Alonso portrays Loew’s terrorized secretary, “Alva Restrepo” (at one point he forces her to search the office futilely for a long-forgotten contract), while Elizabeth Ashley portrays Loew’s therapist, “Dr. Glaser.” Cage, who really chews the scenery in this one, actually took his method acting to the extreme by swallowing a live cockroach for the cause. “I don’t really see this movie as a vampire film, per se,” Cage once remarked. “I see it more as a black comedy about a man who is going out of his mind because of a lack of love—loneliness being the reason.” The film was directed by Robert Bierman. If you hate some of Cage’s more offbeat films like Valley Girl (1983) and Raising Arizona (1987), you should avoid this thing like the plague. Believe it or not, Judd Nelson was reportedly considered for the “Peter Loew” role.

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