Vamp (1986)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Horror Comedy  |   Release Date - Jul 18, 1986 (USA)  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Donald Guarisco

The mid-'80s gave birth to a string of horror comedies, most of them junk, but this unique entry manages to rise above the pack in a number of ways. First off, Vamp boasts a tight script by director Richard Wenk that gets the blend of comedy and horror just right, allowing the two moods to switch off with each other in ways that cleverly toy with the audience's expectations. Wenk also directs the film with a sure hand, giving it a crisp, colorful look and working in some unusual set pieces between the expected horrific and comedic moments (like a fight scene set to the tune of "Volare"). Best of all, the film boasts a game cast that brings the story's many colorfully drawn characters to life. Chris Makepeace makes an engaging "unlikely hero" type, Gedde Watanabe provides some skillfully timed comic relief, and Billy Drago and Grace Jones invest some genuine menace into their villain characters. All in all, Vamp is the rare horror comedy that doesn't insult a horror fan's sensibilities, and is likely to interest those who don't normally go for anything horror-related.