I bet you never saw a movie featuring both vampires and the Italian mafia. Well, Innocent Blood is exactly that type of horror-comedy, proving that you can do everything if you put your mind to it. Directed by John Landis, it follows Marie, a sexy vampire who develops a taste for mobsters. Landis who some ten years earlier made highly influential An American Werewolf in London decided to try vampire movies for a change. We’re still waiting for his zombie movie. This is one of his best movies, featuring a very stylish depiction of snowy Pittsburgh that never looked better and excellent practical effects.
Granted, you will have to wait a bit for the story to develop, but trust me they’re there. And most importantly this is a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. That way it gets away with all the silly and yet highly entertaining stuff. Innocent Blood opens with full-frontal female nudity showing enchanting Anne Parillaud thinking about who should she eat next. This means there will be a lot of naked ladies we will be seeing here. Plus one Anthony LaPaglia’s butt. The two of them were great but Robert Loggia as Sallie the Shark was a fucking force of nature. He made this movie much more fun and entertaining.
I’m also sure you’ll recognize most of the supporting cast consisting of a lot of familiar faces. The story is not only creative but also unpredictable for the most part. You simply cannot tell where it’s going and when you add decent pacing to that you get a really engaging movie. Granted, the final third feels a bit drawn out and slower but only because the first two were so juicy.
After a while, you start to get picky with your food and watch your diet and so does Marie. The only difference is that Marie is a vampire. And just recently she developed a taste for Italian food which is bad news for the Macelli crime syndicate. This fits in perfectly with a recent string of mob hits, covering up the fact that these man are actually victims of a bloodthirsty vampiress. However, it would seem that Marie bit more than she could chew this time as things start to get increasingly complex. Soon, she finds herself trapped, afraid and hunted, something she didn’t expect in a thousand years. Literally, a thousand years.
As far as vampire effects are concerned they went with a more demonic and possessed look than your standard-issue vampire thing. Even the very word is not mentioned once here. Plus the rules are somewhat changed, but I will leave that for you to discover. As you might have guessed, the atmosphere in Innocent Blood is sexually charged and exciting. We’ve got shootouts, fights, chases, and a decent amount of gore. Not to mention some pretty effective and gruesome scenes of vampires burning up.
They reminded me of another great movie John Carpenter’s Vampires. On top of all this, there’s a lot of humor. Dark humor, to be more precise, my favorite kind of humor. The dialogue is witty and smart, drawing inspiration from both genres and blending them perfectly. Innocent Blood could have benefited from a shorter runtime which would help with the sluggish pacing towards the end. On the other hand, we probably then wouldn’t get that beautiful and sensual hotel scene. I also found the soundtrack a bit tiresome although I can see how it fits the narrative. Again, just a personal preference that’s easily forgotten in the light of bravery of such a project.
And finally, if you’re looking for similar movies I recommend you first take a look at The Hunger, a 1983 steamy horror thriller directed by Tony Scott. Next up we have a wide selection of Vampire Movies ready for your pleasure. And if you’re hungry for more of horror comedies check out Army of Darkness, Braindead, Re-Animator, and Society.
Director: John Landis
Writer: Michael Wolk
Cast: Anne Parillaud, Anthony LaPaglia, Robert Loggia, David Proval, Chazz Palminteri, Angela Bassett
Fun Facts: John Landis said preview audiences had trouble understanding Anne Parillaud’s heavy French accent but he refused to dub her.