Vamp (1986)

vamp oster 1986 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting : 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Fun '80s horror comedy

Cheap looking, dated

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Vamp

Studio:  Balcor Film Investors

Genre(s):  Horror/Comedy

Release Date(s):  July 18, 1986

MPAA Rating:  R

vamp grace jones dance

Most college students want a high concept stripper for their party

College students Keith (Chris Makepeace) and AJ (Robert Rusler) want to get into a fraternity to get out of the dorms.  When they learn they need to get strippers for a party to be admitted, they “rent” Duncan (Gedde Watanabe) and his car to head out to find a stripper.  Unfortunately, the headliner at the After Dark bar AJ and Keith pick is named Katrina (Grace Jones) and the area is a secret enclave of vampires who are hungry…and Keith, AJ, and Duncan are the food!

Directed by Richard Wenk (who also co-wrote the script with Donald P. Borchers), Vamp is a horror comedy.  The movie was met with mixed reviews but gained a cult following over the years.

I never saw Vamp.  I remember the cover, but the movie never was high on my list.  Watching the film, I was kind of entertained.  It is stuck in the period in which it was made, but Vamp falls among the “modern” vampire films.

vamp 80s vampire

These vamps listen to hairbands…

If you watch Vamp, you see a lot of similarities to another horror vampire genre blending film From Dusk Till Dawn.  Both films have characters walking into vampire filled world without expecting it and that world just happens to be a strip club.  The tone and style are similar when it is boiled down and if you enjoy From Dusk Till Dawn, you probably will enjoy Vamp…but it also feels a lot lower budget.

The cast is very 1980s.  Grace Jones is a great “vampire” and her oddity combines with the one of the strangest stripper dances that even has the audience questioning what they saw.  Chris Makepeace and Robert Rusler are kind of generic leads, but I do like Michelle Pfeiffer’s sister Dedee Pfeiffer as the “is she a vampire?” waitress Amaretto.  The movie is filled with some fun character actors that all seem to revel in their ’80s glory.

vamp grace jones vampire dedee pfeiffer

Yummy in my tummy!

It is unfortunate however that Vamp looks rather cheap.  The movie comes off as a low-budget set film and it is a low budget set film.  Unlike something like From Dusk Till Dawn which had a great set-piece in its bar, Vamp looks like a TV episode of a sitcom.  The cheapness becomes stylized at a point when you enter the sewers and they are like a ficticious version of the sewers…the fantasy becomes a visual fantasy as well.

Vamp was a nice surprise.  It feels a lot like a classic ’80s film, but most of those classic ’80s films, I’ve seen so many times that they can be dull.  With Vamp (for me), it’s a new story and the nice comfort of an ’80s appeal.  If From Dusk Till Dawn hadn’t been made, I could easily have seen this movie remade in the 2000s with an edgier appeal, but I think Vamp stands on its own…check it out for a goofy vampire film.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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