Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Vampire in Brooklyn

A Vampire in Brooklyn
Eddie Murphy has a very checkered past when it comes to his films. Well it turns out that at some point he got word to Wes Craven that he wanted to do a horror flick. Not much later we were given A Vampire in Brooklyn. Not a terrible film or at least not nearly as bad as I was expecting.

The film revolves around two people destined to come together. On the one side there’s Eddie Murphy as Maximillian. He’s a lonely vampire looking for a mate (in this version vampires don’t turn people as such, unless they make you a ghoul, they’re more like a breed). He only knows of one person who has vampire bloods in her, though she’s not a bloodsucker herself. Based on the title it’s a safe bet that you know where said half vamp is. Yup, Brooklyn. Apparently he also only has so long to find her and turn her (she has to give herself completely to him) before his time on this poor rock is over. So, in other words, Vampire in Brooklyn is yet another re-envisioning of the classic Nosferatu story.

Only much less attractive

Before I continue on to the other storyline the movie follows I need to take a second to explain to you a phrase I coined because it describes this movie. The term is what I call an “Urban Renewal”. A remake of a film remade with an all black cast. A prime example is the recent “Death at a funeral” remake. As much as I hate remakes I hate Urban Renewals even more, not as a notion of race. I couldn’t care less if it were an all black, all Hispanic, all Eskimo or all used mop cast. If the original was good, leave it alone. If you’re a filmmaker and you liked the original, make homage to it. But before I get too into this rant (which I WILL further expand upon at a later date) I just wanted to state that a Vampire in Brooklyn is essentially an Urban renewal Dracula minus any erotic connotations.

OK maybe just a little bit

The other side of the proverbial coin is Angela Basset who plays Rita. She’s a cop who seems to have issues sleeping. Probably all that vamp in her blood. She’s having all these crazy vivid dreams that she paints when she wakes up. It’s the classic good vamp bad vamp routine only the good vamp doesn’t realize it yet.

There are moments when Eddie does TRY to be frightening, but it's about as effective as a dog with no teeth

A vampire in Brooklyn actually manages to pull off some fun moments while still managing to be an utterly shite flick. I said it was better than I thought, but I did NOT say it was good. Eddie Murphy plays multiple characters (as usual) except this time one of those extra characters is funny. The vamp can apparently take the shape of a recent victim and in an attempt to woo Rita to his side he takes the form of a preacher. The preacher is the funniest part of the film. He convinces the entire congregation to chant and sing “evil is good”.


However, at the end of the day A Vampire in Brooklyn is a sorry excuse for a film and Eddie Murphy should have known better. I hope if he ever decides to work with Wes Craven again he let’s Wes write the material. On a technical level the flick is pretty good and I found myself admiring the cinematography more than the film itself. The writing though is half-baked and not much fun and scenes that are supposed to be funny (aside from the preacher scene) fall flat. It’s basically not good horror and not good comedy.

Skip this one

4 out of 10

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