Once Bitten
directed by Howard Storm
(MGM, 1985)

Some vampire movies are required viewing, and some are just a passable way to pass some time. Once Bitten falls among the latter.

Mark (Jim Carrey) and Robin (Karen Kopins) have been dating forever, but she is holding out on him and the pressure is driving him nuts. He decides if he has a one-night stand, he will be able to stay with Robin without pressuring her. So he goes to Hollywood, gets picked up by a beautiful older woman in a bar, spends the night with her, then tells her that he has a serious girlfriend. Thinking he has put the one-nighter behind him, Mark goes home to Robin.

He quickly learns that he has gotten more than he wanted. The countess (Lauren Hutton) refuses to accept his rejection. He has been acting weird and dressing weirder. By the time he realizes she is a vampire, he is one bite away from total transformation.

The young Carrey plays an "almost" normal role in this film. This was made before he became known for wackiness, and it is good to see that he can act in this manner.

All the parts are well-played, with Cleavon Little stealing the spotlight each time he appears as Sebastian. And who could ever find fault with Lauren Hutton in any performance? She is always a professional, no matter what role she plays.

The only problem I have is with the writing itself. The chase scene gets a bit tired. Half as much would have worked equally well. Otherwise, it is a standard, generic vampire story with a concretely predictable end. Still, it is a nice viewing experience to see Hutton playing a vampire vixen. Boy, she can pull off that role to the max!

Once Bitten does not break any new ground, but it is an enjoyable movie with a most pleasant soundtrack. The humor is funny without becoming corny or kooky. It is a positive addition to any horror collection.

review by
Alicia Karen Elkins

13 June 2009

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