Vampire’s Kiss / High Spirits (Blu-ray Review)
Rated: R/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1 (Share the same Disc)
Available from Scream Factory
Vampire’s Kiss (1988) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Robert Bierman
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Maria Conchita Alonso, Jennifer Beals
Teetering on the edge of sanity, volatile literary agent Peter Loew (Nicolas Cage) tries to find purpose in his life through a cutthroat work ethic and a hedonistic night life. But when an encounter with a mysterious beauty leaves Loew convinced that he is turning into a vampire, his behavior turns positively outrageous.
I’ve seen some strange cinema in my life. I mean, I would have said I had seen it all before seeing Vampire’s Kiss, but now I can say that with certainty. This film is full blown filmed insanity of the highest level and I mean that in a positive way. Cage (in what might be a top 3 role for him) plays a bit of an eccentric man, but one thing leads to another and when he is bitten by what he believes to be a vampire (played by Jennifer Beals of Flash Dance fame) things just go to a whole other level of crazy. We could go on and on and on about how this all is a metaphor for something deeper, because it clearly is. Maybe there is little clues to what is actually going on hidden in the film that most seem to miss because they can’t get passed seeing things like Cage legit eat a bug on screen? I don’t know what keeps some from enjoying this film, but I can say that it is one of the most hilarious movies I have ever seen in my life and that is before things go into that dark place in the final act. I mean this isn’t a traditional horror film by any means, but it gets dark. Does the dark ever come out of the comedic shadow of Cage? Probably not, but it clearly is there.
Look, I don’t want to over-hype things here. I know some were shocked when this title was announced for release from Scream Factory, but this is very much worth you seeing. Not only if you love horror comedies, but if you just love films darker than they seem with deeper meaning. Come for Nicolas Cage and all his unmatched comedic glory, but stay for the way things eventually go, because it is a curve ball in many ways how we get from point A to point B. People often shun what they don’t understand and I think that is why some are turned away by default on this movie. Still, watch this movie. Go out there and give this one a chance, even if you’ve seen it before and might not have liked it. Just make sure you look for something more this time around with Vampire’s Kiss. This movie is one of those messy paintings you see where it looks like the artist just tossed a bunch of crap on the canvas and signed their name on it. It might be a mess to some, but to others who “get it”, it might just be considered a masterpiece.
– Audio Commentary with Director Robert Bierman and Actor Nicolas Cage
– Theatrical Trailer
Quality of Transfer: 88%
High Spirits (1988) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Neil Jordan
Starring: Peter O’Toole, Daryl Hannah, Steve Guttenberg
When Peter Plunkett’s Irish castle turned hotel is about to be repossesed, he decides to spice up the attraction a bit for the ‘Yanks’ by having his staff pretend to haunt the castle. The trouble begins when a busload of American tourists arrive – along with some real ghosts. Among the tourists are married couple Jack and Sharon. Sharon’s father holds the mortgage on Castle Plunkett, so she’s hoping to debunk the ghosts. Jack, on the other hand, after meeting pretty ghost Mary, is very eager to believe. Can there be love between a human and ghost? Jack and Mary are going to try and find out.
Well, I guess I can NOW see why Scream Factory did mention that they were releasing some films that might seem a bit odd compared to what they usually release. There are ghosts here, but beyond that we basically have some form of weird sandwich that smashes together a love story between a living man and a ghost with layer of things you might usually find in horror. Do I really dig what we get in this movie? Not really, it just wasn’t my thing. I didn’t by any means hate it, but seeing a living man try to commit adultery with a ghost is just strange, even if his wife is a bit of bitch. I also usually like strange, but I supposed we can just call it a strange that isn’t my kind of strange. Maybe I can use that excuse for my apathy for this one without anyone wanting to throw hands with me over it. You’d probably win and the movie still wouldn’t be my flavor of Kool-Aid in the end, but anyway let us dig somewhat more into it.
You might be shocked at who all you see popping up in this one. Liam Neeson is here and he’s again trying to kill people, but it is actually his own wife he wants to kill. He plays our ghost who is stuck in a pattern of shanking (That means stabbing for you none O.G. out there) Daryl Hannah’s ghost before that wacky Steve Guttenberg gets in the way and kicks off our love store that is the core of the film. There is more comedy than love and way more of both than horror, but it is hard to do a none traditional ghost story unless you are the late and great Patrick Swayze. Come to think of it, we really needed him here instead of Steve Guttenberg. Putting it bluntly, it isn’t my type of film, but it is a harmless film. Thank God it comes with something like Vampire’s Kiss.
Quality of Transfer: 93%
*Picks not taken from HD transfer*