Vampire in Brooklyn
USA 1995, Color, 100 min
Murphy, Michael Lucker, Chris Parker
Eddie Murphy, Mark Lipsky
J. Peter Robinson
Maximilian is a vampire, the last one of his kind. This is why he
got bored by his life on a deserted island in the Bermuda triangle
(!) and took off for New York. Here Rita, a half-vampire, who doesn't
yet have the slightest clue of this, lives and works as a police
detective. Sometimes though she has presentiments and visions and
is, as she tells her partner Justice at the very beginning of the
movie when he asked her why she never gets tired during night shifts
rather a night person. Hi hi, giggle, giggle - well.
Cop due is called to the docks, where an old ship with loads of
dead bodies on board has appeared. An eye witness claims that he
had seen a huge wolf on the ship (damn, why does this seem so familiar?)
that fled toward the city. Sure, we know it at once, it was Maximilian.
After his arrival in Brooklyn he first has some Italian food for
supper (after a fight with two Mafiosi) and then makes the little
thief Julius his ghoul servant. Now their task is to find Rita and
to seduce her, as Max can only make her a creature of the night
if she gives herself over to him voluntarily. Max, a man of style
and elegance doesn't have to wait a long time for his chance. He
plots a bad fight between Rita and her partner Justice, the man
she really loves and uses the lady's first weak moment to put his
fangs into her throat after a hot dance.
Rita realizes, what has happened to her, her colleague Justice is
already there to rescue her, accompanied by a vampire expert (some
kind of black Voodoo van Helsing). Max is impaled, Rita becomes
human again, the lovers can hold each other in their arms and the
sky is full of violins.
And the unnerved spectator thinks "why the hell is it this
guy who gets the lady and not the vampire?". The chemistry
between Angela Basset (those who have seen her as power woman in
"Strange Days" will surely wonder how she could be persuaded
to participate in this movie) and Allen Payne (who awkwardly staggers
through his scenes) doesn't work out at all, which is not at all
Angela's fault as the coacting with Eddie Murphy (who to our surprise
plays his role as evil dandy (well, he ain't really that evil) very
convincingly - works perfectly well.
there's some more problems with this movie. "Vampire in Brooklyn"
wants to be a horror comedy, and just like most other movies that
had this claim, it fails completely. This flick is neither horror
nor comedy. From a horror movie you demand atmosphere, the thrills
and chicken pocks. In "Vampire in Brooklyn" we hardly
find any of it (except of the admittedly great opening scene with
the arrival of the uncanny ship). And the two or three more or less
funny gags, (all of them going on the account of Kadeem Hardison
as ghoul regularly losing the one or other part of his body or of
John Witherspoon as his queer fish of an uncle) are not sufficient
to make it a comedy. Murphy himself doesn't make us laugh a single
time, and it was probably the first time in his moved career that
this has happened to him. It must bee some 20 years ago that he
made his last really good and really funny movie, but the presentation
of Maximilian the Vampire doesn't seem to have caused him many problems.
The scene where he takes possession of a priest and preaches some
"Evil is Good" sermon though is not quite funny.
Craven, another guy with an unsteady career (loads of ups and downs)
never really got the grasp of the screenplay, which should have
mainly been due to two fact: a) it is not very good and b) Eddy
Murphy who was also the coproducer often had the famous last word
to say on the set. Murphy may be a good actor, but he doesn't really
know how do make a good staging, especially when it comes to horror
this movie receives two bats from us anyway is mainly due to the
performance of Basset, Hardison and Witherspoon. Apart from this
Brooklyns Vampires are not really interesting, neither for vampire
nor for Murphy fans. If you haven't watched it yet, you haven't
really missed a lot.