Embrace of the Vampire
directed by Anne Goursaud
(New Line, 1994)

A fondness for vampires led me to this one, but it's easy to forget there are vampires in the film. There's no real horror in this story, set on an ivy-league college with oddly few students, and lead vampire Martin Kemp's occasional victims are never found or even missed. The story is fairly pointless, filled with plot "devices" making no sense (like, for instance, why the vampire will die if he doesn't seduce Alyssa Milano's character before she turns 18, or why he believes her to be the reincarnation of his centuries-lost love, played by Rebecca Ferratti).

OK, so there's little vampire action to be found. The romance is lacking; certainly Kemp's slobbery overtures aren't romantic, and Milano's college beau, played by Harrison Pruett, is an oaf. The other characters are flat and uninteresting, which might be why nobody misses them when they die.

So why is this movie even still on the shelves? The only reasons I can figure are Milano's surgically enhanced breasts, which appear prominently on screen often enough to qualify the film as soft-core porn. See if you can see any other reason for, among other scenes, her impromptu topless photo shoot for bisexual shutterbug Charlotte Lewis, or her dream-sequence menage-a-quatre with Kemp, Lewis and Pruett.

So, there you have it. If hours of watching the TV series Charmed have left you aching to see Milano nude, rush out and grab a copy today. If, on the other hand, you're seeking quality film-making or maybe a plot, this isn't the one for you.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 2 March 2002



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