Nightlife (1989)

 
Directed by: Daniel Taplitz

Written by: Daniel Taplitz & Anne Beatz

Starring:

Ben Cross .... Vlad
Maryam D'Abo .... Angelique
Keith Szarabajka .... Dr. David Zuckerman
Camille Saviola .... Rosa Mercedes
Jesse Corti .... Jose
Glenn Shadix
Oliver Clark .... Bill

Release Date: Made for Cable: August 23, 1989

Rating:

 

A vampiress Angelique (Maryam D'Abo) awakens from her coffin after being dug up from grave robbers after 100 years and finds herself in the modern day Mexico City.
She has a hard time adjusting at first but while adjusting to the new lifestyle in the city she falls in love with a doctor who helped her in the hospital after fainting David Zuckerman (Keith Szarabajka) as he finds her not all there after the stories she tells him.
She runs into another problem as her ex-lover vampire Vlad (Ben Cross) appears from the past and is convinced to have her for eternity as his bride even if it means destroying her new boyfriend and her maid that lives with her Rosa Mercedes (Camille Saviola) as he hires two mobster vampires to help him out.

 

We spot an interesting beginning with two grave robbers and with a corpse being revealed inside a coffin as this adds a nice horror touch along with a campy moment on Angelique appearing out of another coffin as if waking up from a long sleep which seemed to be a little corny to watch. How the scene was set in the graveyard looked mildly entertaining though.
It seems rather amusing though when Angelique is seeing the present day after her sleep from being in a life a century ago as well as her not used to what she sees dealing with technology and stuff like that which seemed to fit into a vampire tale.
Nice touch with two stocky mobster vampires about to cross the Mexican border as well as an officer asking them to open their trunk as it's impressive seeing the trunk full of dirt and then the vampire Vlad coming out of the dirt and grabbing the officers neck as well as revealing his fangs towards him offering another nice comedy-horror touch to this story.
We also see more corny moments though when Angelique goes to a blood bank asking for blood as this was supposed to make you laugh but I didn't find this to be the least bit funny at all or when she moves inot a new apartment and her maid Rosa Mercedes spots some blood bags in a refridgerator and gets suspicious or sees a coffin in her room which this looked a little lame to watch.
Yet there's a nicely drawn in moment when both Angelique and Dr. David Zuckerman are having a good discussion in a boat and trying to get into a romantic mode which was nicely concentrated as well as her freaking out over a cockroach and him falling into the water as this all looked fairly well done. Plus we have a moment when she confesses that she was asleep for 100 years and that she's a vampiress as this adds some corniness to the story once again.
There's another moment when both Angelique and David walk home after a night out and David cuts his finger as she sucks his finger which was supposed to draw you in on what is going to happen next but this looked a little lame to watch but they get into a nice romantic kiss which looked not too badly done.
We also see a confrontation with Vlad towards Angelique as well as his aggressions and physical anger towards her when he demands her to be his bride again which of course didn't shine off too well or intense as it was supposed to have been.
Another corny moment with Rose holding a crucifix with garlic wrapped around her cautioning herself with David when Angelique brings him to his apartment as this fails to receive a chuckle. However it's funny when he goes into her room with a door closed and hear his voice shocked about where they will be sleeping as this finally left me a good laughter.
With all of this I wondered when the actual horror comes into the story but it eventually does as we spot a nice creepy dark shot on David walking down a sidewalk in the mist as if someone is stalking him as well as good fast action moments on someone knocking him down as well as being pitted against Vlad with a nice shot on him standing great in a near dsitance as well as his threats which offered okay timing but not that we haven't seen something like this before.
We see a nice shot on Angelique when she exposes her fangs ready to attack Rosa. This was of course a dream sequence but it was effective regardless. However it didn't dig in at first that this was only a dream as it had to sink into your head later on that it was.
An energetic moment when David comes into the lab explaining to Bill about vampire blood that he has with a container as well as showing daylight on it exploding as this for sure was a nice surprising situation.

We spot a hallucination sequernce at a vampire type of bar when David asks for a light and drapes are pulled up revealing sunlight with people exploding as this offers nice comedic horror timing by all of this happening. However once again the story doesn't explain that this was a hallucination at first which seemed a bit confusing at first.
Nice moment when one of the vampire mobsters are pitted in a room with tanning lights around him finding no escape which weas planned by David and Bill which looked clever to watch in order to keep themselves safe from his grasp as well as a good moment with a janitor walking in and accidentally turning on another light shining on him with nice effects on him exploding which really looked intensely done.
Another nice action moment when Bill is pitted against another vampire mobster when he tells him his nasty and deadly plans for him as this offered nice comedic timing by what was said.
Decent timing when David tries to save the day with Angelique being hungry for blood and Vlad torturing her as well as having him pit David against her to see if she will attack him as there's decent intensity surrounding this.
Bottom line is that it was a hard film to decide if this was a plain comedy or a comedy-horror but comedy-horror suits it well enough with some of the dark performances. The story was quite slow and uninspiring which didn't do anything for me at all. Skip this and watch Innocent Blood instead.

The acting is very well performed but however Ben Cross (Vlad) seemed a little too over the top as the count in the flick. He doesn't seem convincing with his cold and violent attitude. At times he seems to know how to do the trick with his emotionless type of behavior with what he plans to do but that's about it. He basically only had the looks to portray this type of role.
Maryam D'Abo (Angelique) plays well as a vampiress trying to live in today's lifestyle. She has wit and can be very serious too. Plus reacts well to being terrified on stuff like being on the street against a car driving when it's a green light or her fear of cokcraoces as she brings this up to a total extreme with her attitude. Does well acting hungry for blood making this convincing with her vicious type of attitude as well as having a good thrustful behavior. She brings this all in terrifically.
Keith Szarabajka (Dr. David Zuckerman) has a nice playboy type appeal to him as the good looking and romantic doctor. Seemed convincing with his serious and mature type of behavior as well as doing good with his speaking. He for sure shows off a nice decent type of character. Also shows off a great versatality when acting hyped up after what had happened to him a night before going to the extreme. Also shows more great energy when having his vampire type of attitude and attacking. He was a true character actor.
Camille Saviola (Rosa Mercedes) is perfect with her comedic role as the maid bringing her character to life.
She added a ton of spunk and enthusiasm to her part and was a natural ham indeed. Acts convincing as a happy go lucky type too. She really knew her stuff here as well as showing a well alerted attitude as well. Plus does well in a scene when she screams in fear. Was believeably charming in other situations too.
Oliver Clark (Bill) had a real effective supporting role as someone whom comes across as a timid type at first but gets into the action nicely and really bringing his characteristics to a punch when the action and terrors start to occur. He was another natural ham in the flick in which he focused well into what he did here. Plus had the right nerdy type of scientific looks to him.

A vampire mobster explodes after a suntanning light is activated
Another vampires face is burned by a suntanning light
A stake is driven through Vlad's heart but it's really not bloody at all.

Dana Kaproff plays some nice sexy saxophone music in the film as well as some icy keyboard playing which gives the film a nice touch. We also hear some deep sounds too for the still situations of the vampires ready to attack someone or play games with them as this sounded impressive. We also hear some clear bass violin plucking sounds for many of the comedic scene's as although it sounds well played this has been hear way too many times in other comedy flicks.

A song that was overly played in the movie was the golden oldie "I Put a Spell on You"
as this was starting to drive me nuts. I mean enough is enough as it was constantly ringing through my head.

Vlad (After a stake is driven through his heart): Angelique.... You've broken my heart.