To Die For (1988)

Directed by: Deran Sarafian

Written by: Leslie King


Brendan Hughes .... Vlad Tepish
Sydney Walsh .... Kate Wooten
Amanda Wyss .... Cylia Kett
Scott Jacoby .... Martin Planting
Michah Grant .... Mike Dunn
Duane Jones .... Simon Little
Steve Bond .... Tom

Release Dates: Virginia Festival: October 28, 1988; Limited Theatrical: May, 1989



An eternal vampire named Vlad Tepish (Brendan Hughes) resides in a mansion down in Los Angeles, California and tries to get away from his enemy named Tom (Steve Bond) nor does he want to be disturbed.
However, he seems to become attached by his real estate agent Kate Wooten (Sydney Walsh) during a party there while many people around are being attacked by either him or Tom.
Kate's friend and roomate Cylia Kett (Amanda Wyss) invites him over to their place in which the next day she is not the same anymore and Vlad has an open house party at his mansion inviting the two of them and Cylia goes berserk. Later on she is sent to the hospital after her face is torn off.
Vlad plans to get what he wants with Kate but has two problems as Tom tracked him down and wants her as well along with her friends Martin Planting (Scott Jacoby) and Mike Dunn (Micah Grant) tries to rescue her from his evil grasp.


The opening starts off with the black screen and opening credits as I had a feeling that it was gonna be a cheesy b-film especially when it starts off hovering over a city in which leaves you an impression that it's a vampire hovering and looking for a prey in which how it was done wasn't gothic looking at all.
Next up a party is where we spot a character named Vlad is acting expressionless and focusing on someone in which alot of the surroundings seem fairly cheesy here too but it seems clever making this character very mysterious wondering if he's the vampire which keeps you watching this to find out more and more.
More cheesiness happens as a fellow is snorting cocaine in his vehicle parked near the party which seems to add the touch to the story but then we see a monstrous looking vampire attacking him in which the costume for this vampire looked totally phony as well that this was supposed to make you jump catching you by surprise but this fails big time. Still it's fun 80's horror cheese watching all of this.
It starts to look a bit more natural when two friends named Kate and Cylia have a happy discussion about what happened at the party which made this scene look very uplifting with some good input on the writing and everything.
Then a real cool moment with Kate in her room staring at a window while about to fall asleep and BANG! Something happens causing a window to crash with a dead animal being thrown in which looked perfect for a dark horror flick like this one as it keeps everything in great suspense and terror. But yet it doesn't make you jump like it was supposed to.
There's another cheesy moment with Vlad turning into a vampire attacking a bum on the street but yet there's good monstrous looks on this vampire with sharp teeth so not all the effects looked amateurish once you see up close to what is all happening here.
Cylia also invites Vlad in for a dinner date at her home in which this is definetely not a good idea to invite a vampire into your home as this looked impressive as well as him getting forceful towards her along moving towards her neck making you think that this is not gonna look too good.
We spot Cylia the next day walking along a seawall with her friend Kate but she seems a bit testy which worked well showing that she is not the same but yet you wonder how on earth can she stand the sunlight as vampire's sleep in the day and come out at night.
Next up a party hosted by Vlad occurs and it's at a castle in which this seemed cheesy to look at but yet fun and necessary since that's where any vampire resides and Leslie King definetely kept on the traidition for this sort of thing. Plus there's some female groupies acting flirtatious towards one of the main characters named Martin when he tries to find out some information on the party which adds more great touches to the story in which we need some sleazy types who seem too loose and untrustworthy to keep the entertainment rolling here.
The story really gets strong in which there's a huge argument with Vlad towards the character Tom in which this guy seems to taunt him along with showing his true vampiric features and getting aggressive as this looked very well done for anyone who enjoys those low budget vampire type horror flicks during this time period.
The story really becomes intense and one of the best moments here is when Cylia acts insane by screaming and acting paranoid as well as aggressive towards both Vlad and Kate while they try to calm her down which has a total horror feel to the story revealing that she will turn into a vampiress any time soon.
There is a scary scene I must admit when Cylia is attacked near a pay phone by a vampire in which there's good monstrous scene's involving this as well as seeing all of this really fast too.
I enjoyed a moment with Martin getting anxious and serious towards the head detective Simon Little explaining to him on a situation with Cylia and in the hospital and what she's going to be since this was quite an attention grabber and necessary for the horror story here.
There was a scene that made me cringe was when both characters Martin and Mike were trying to cut off the head of Cylia unconcious in a hospital bed and getting grossed out and too scared to do this which really gives you that disgusting feeling to this. There's also a good jumping moment when she rises up and grabs one of them and the other is pitted to put an end to her which isn't an easy decision but needs to think fast before his friend gets killed. This was done in a perfect fashion showing neat intensity and creepiness surrounding all of this.
Of course in this story there must be a lustful moment involving Vlad and Kate as well as him trying to protect her from the grasps of Tom making you wonder if he's really such a bad guy after all. There is a flying battling moment with Vlad and Tom and a killing moment which almost seems to pay a tribute to The Lost Boys.
But the best is yet to come in which both Martin and Mike try to fight against Vlad to cure Kate from being a vampiress as there's plenty of non action struggling here in which this is what makes a great 80's horror flick as well as the results when the sun is about to arise with some cheesy claymantion effects to when a vampire melts while the sunlight hits them.
Bottom line is that this seems to be in the same vein as those other vampire films during this time period as mentioned especially Fright Night when you see what is all happening here but yet in a more serious fashion but made on a bit of a smaller budget. Not too much though. The comedy elements used in this didn't get carried away being slapstick at all which was pretty impressive and clever too. For anyone who enjoys old school vampire horror will find this film entertaining even if there were some leaky holes in the story.

The acting was very well performed in which lead actor Brendan Hughes (Vlad Tepish) seemed a bit cheesy at first as a vampire when he tried to act mysterious and stand offish in which this needed a bit of improvement but later on he really gets into what he does with his aggressions as well as his tempting type of attitude too that came off quite nicely whenever he did this in the film. He does a decent energetic job by being forceful towards one of his victims by grabbing her head and getting demanding with her as well as a nice shot on him moving towards her neck. Plus there's a good moment with him looking up and his fangs are exposed. There's a good moment with him walking towards someone while he shows an evil charm towards him along with a good shot on his head then turning to reveal his fangs and speaking viciously towards this person as he really got into this big time which was overly impressive.
Sydney Walsh (Kate Wooten) seemed to really show some interesting characteristics by having a moody type of behavior as well as getting blunt towards others in which she seemed to know her craft as to someone who can be self centered. She had the right looks too as one of those innocent types to be tempted by a vampire which was another good point to her role. In a part of a scene seemed a bit natural while she was talking to herself while driving in her vehicle in which she tries to focus as much as she can. She does well by lying in bed sleepily staring at a window as well as a good jumping moment on her when it smashes in which she shows some decent energy. She reacts very well during a moment when she is in a lustful mood and getting bitten on the neck acting believeably aroused.
Amanda Wyss (Cylia Kett) stole the show with her effective supporting role as someone who seems like an outgoing type showing that she has full of life and really being believeable by this and once she turns into a vampiress certainly shows off a perfect viciousness to her role. Showing a good sharp attitude as well in a part of the story. She even does a terrific job screaming and crying outrageously and acting crazy. Does well walking past the main characters in their home while walking up some stairs with a good camera shot looking up on her slowly turning and having a cold stare at them speaking coldly as well as this looked well done. There's other areas in the story where she screams hysterically as this was impressive. Does well lying in a hospital bed acting weakly talking and rising up a bit in which she really got into this mode quite well. During a sacrifice ceremony she shows off a great energetic job springing up and attacking in which she shows alot of good charisma while doing this. She was hyped with energy and seemed to study her role inside out. Definetely proves to be a worthy character horror actress ever since her role in A Nightmare On Elm Street.
Scott Jacoby (Martin Planting) really showed a ton of spunk into his role by expressing his anxious behavior in everything that he did making his role seem truly adventureous and getting the feel of the suspense that he performed into what he did. He shows off nice energy and also shows a good humoress side to his character as well. Plus he does well with his grossed out attitude and acting uncomfortable while doing activities for a sacrifice especially with his facial expressions.
Micah Grant (Mike Dunn) also was quite a ham in his performance as well as knowing on how to play a bit of an idiot in his role along with showing good anxiety too in whatever he did. He came across nicely like the rest of the cast listed here. He does well in a scene while anxiously trying to talk to someone and shows good energy while doing so.
Duane Jones (Simon Little) shows off a nice seriousness into his role as a head detective and was good with his speaking too. He made his part incredibly believeable within his performance especially while trying to act calm in an intense situation. Also does a good job with grossed out and facial expressions doing a sacrifice too. A shame he only had a dozen other project since his hey day in Night of the Living Dead before his death since he deserved to get more work.
Steve Bond (Tom) had the best male supporting role in the flick as the head vampire in which he showed a perfect temptation and evil charm to his role plus came across as quite intimidating whenever he acted violent and obnoxious. For example there's a situation when he's storming towards two people with his evil vampire expressions which looked highly energised as well as him grabbing one by the neck which looked fairly good and in a nice forceful fashion. He lived to play a vampire without a doubt. Two thumbs up.

Brendan Hughes exposes his butt while fornicating with the character performed by Sydney Walsh in which her breasts were nearly revealed as well.

A face is torn with a missing eyeball
The head vampire has his chest stabbed through a sharp object on a bed
Another vampire's face metls away when the sun rises

Cliff Eidelman was very rough and cheesy with his synthesizer type composing for the film as he has an out of tuned type of waltzy music for the opening credit as if he was borrowing heavily from Richard Band's style of music having the high pitched sounds which sounded way off. He tries to make the suspense for some scenes sound intense with other high pitched noises for when the terror happens but even that dragged alot. Yet there's some good music too in which there's the odd chantings as well as good piano playing for some of the lustful sequences used here which works very well.

The film had a cheesy 80's soundtrack to it but the real attention grabber was the song for the closing credits titled "For You I'd Die" performed by Alexa Anastasia had some wailing femlae vocals which sounded almost powerful but yet she seemed to almost strain when she sang the ending song yet there's some good tinkling keyboard music as well as the odd nice guitar licks too.