Tales from the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood (1996)

Genres - Horror, Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Horror Comedy, Supernatural Horror, Sex Horror  |   Release Date - Aug 16, 1996 (USA)  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Brian J. Dillard

HBO's Tales From the Crypt often combined clever plotting and tongue-in-cheek dialogue with gruesome special effects and fun, pulpy performances. This feature-length spin-off, however, bypasses the quick-vignette style of the TV series in favor of a single story line that goes on for too long despite its abundant pleasures. Dennis Miller smirks his way through a wisecracking private-eye role that's perfectly suited to his satirical talents. As the curvaceous vampire queen Lilith, ex-model Angie Everhart finally finds a role that makes perfect use of her physical attributes and self-mocking humor. Corey Feldman has fun reliving his glory days on The Lost Boys, while the decent supporting cast provides a likable parade of loonies, tarts, and heavies. The problem, however, is that this supporting cast gets too much screen time as the script bolsters the central story with all sorts of unnecessary add-ons: gross-out humor (dig that necrophile undertaker), T&A tastelessness, and a too-obvious subplot involving a sleazy TV holy man. The screenplay, from director Gilbert Adler and co-producer A.L. Katz, is structurally sound, but the humor/horror cheekiness simply wears thin about halfway through, with only a memorable set piece involving holy water, a squirt gun, and a bevy of semi-nude vampire beauties to keep things interesting on the way to the expected shockeroo ending. Creepshow, George A. Romero's 1982 homage to the same creepy EC Comics that inspired Tales From the Crypt, used an anthology format to keep things punchy for more than two hours. Even with its obligatory Crypt Keeper bookends, the 87-minute Bordello of Blood seems as inflated as the many surgically enhanced breasts on display.