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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Review: Nightlife (1989)

Title: Nightlife (TV 1989)

Ben Cross ... Vlad
Maryam d'Abo ... Angelique
Keith Szarabajka ... Dr. David Zuckerman
Camille Saviola ... Rosa Mercedes
Jesse Corti ... Jose

Summary: A museum in Mexico is digging up bodies to add mummies to their display when one of them turns out to be more alive than dead: she's a vampire. Angelique finds a champion in this new century in Dr David Zuckerman who is a blood specialist and wants to help cure her disease. The problem is, Vlad, the evil vampire boyfriend she buried herself to get away from is still on her trail.

(P.S. I have just read the summary on IMDB, and I don't know who wrote it, but it's totally wrong).

Now I know the summary sounds cheesy, but it's supposed to be, this is a comedy and I love it. The biggest problem is it's not available on DVD. I wish it were. I found my old VHS tape and converted it to avi so I could watch it again and the story is as great now as it was when VHS tapes were all the rage :).

This is a made for TV movie, so don't expect huge budgets, but do expect a great plot, some highly entertaining characters and a lot of laughs.

Maryam d'Arbo plays Angelique, a whimsical, mostly bemused with the new century, vampire. She fled to Mexico to get away from Vlad, the vampire who turned her and then, had herself buried alive to make sure he couldn't find her. Unfortunately, Vlad takes scary stalker type to a whole new level. Maryam is great, especially when she is over taken by her vampire instincts (check right).
Then we have Keith Szarabajka as David Zuckerman, Angelique's knight in shining armour, or rather, blue denim and a lab coat. Sorry about the quality of the picture, it was the only one I could find.

You might have seen Keith in The Equaliser or Angel. He was one of my fav actors of the 80s when I used to be very disappointed if he wasn't in this week's ep of The Equaliser.

He plays the man rooted in science and trying to figure out all this vampire stuff so well. Of course it all over takes him in the end, but what I love about this film is science still offers a half decent solution.

Vlad is played by Ben Cross,  a very distinguished British actor and he over does it beautifully. This is a comedy, so several of the characters are exaggerated and he plays Vlad so well. The look on his face when Angelique tries to explain they aren't some amazing supernatural creatures they are 'simply diseased' is magnificent.

This is a vampire following his lost love across the centuries done as creepy and psychotic and just about right. No pretending this is the perfect romance :).

However, my favourite character of all is Rosa, Angelique's new maid. She is kick ass and takes Angelique's unusual nature in her stride.

The way she deals with Vlad when he utters the immortal line: 'Let me in or I will rip out your throat and use your windpipe as a straw.' is pure genius.

You may have seen Camille Saviola as Kai Opaka in DS9, and a more different character you could not find :). She's magnificent.

The other side characters of Jose and Vlad's two very unlikely henchmen are also superb.

The plot is also well thought out and put together. It makes sense in a 'what if vampires were real' kind of way. I love the science and the mysticism. David can't explain everything, even though he tries, but he can explain some of what is going on. When he finally catches on to the fact Angelique thinks she's a vampire it's hilarious  as is the moment he sees her bed.

This movie is funny and entertaining and a great example of the comedy horror genre that was so well done in the late 80s and early 90s. I only wish it would come out in a decent format so I can watch it without it bouncing up and down every now and then (my tape is a bit knackered - it was an ex-rental when I acquired it).


  1. I'd forgotten about Rosa! I so want to see this movie again!

    1. Well give me something to put it on and you can borrow the avi :P

    2. You do only live 15 doors up the road, after all :P

  2. I hadn't heard of Rosa before, looks good.



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