'Vamp (Special Edition)' [Blu-ray]
(Grace Jones, Chris Makepeace, Robert Rusler, Gedde Watanabe, Dedee Pfeiffer, et al / Blu ray / R / (1986) 2016 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: Two fraternity pledges head to a seedy part of town to find some entertainment for their college friends but are faced with bloodthirsty vampires!
Blu-ray Verdict: Mild-mannered college student Keith (affable Chris Makepeace), his more brash smooth-talking best buddy A.J. (the equally engaging Robert Rusler) and hopelessly geeky wannabe hip nerd Duncan (a hilariously dweeby Gedde Watanabe) venture into a dark, remote and dangerous Los Angeles neighborhood in search of a stripper for an upcoming fraternity party. The trio discover the seedy and sinister nocturnal establishment the After Dark Club. There our protagonists find out much, to their dismay, that the diabolically enticing and exotic main attraction Katrina (a mute, but stunningly effective and alluring portrayal of pure animalistic evil and raw sensuality by Grace Jones) and the rest of the club's staff are all vampires who are eager to take a lethal bite out of the boys.
Writer/director Richard Wenk offers a winningly quirky and clever blend of offbeat black humor and straightforward gruesome horror, ably creating and sustaining a properly seamy and spooky oddball night time atmosphere. Keeping the pace snappy and steady throughout, and staging the shock scenes with a considerable amount of grisly aplomb (the moment where Katrina calmly tears a bumbling minion's heart out and her fatal seduction of A.J. are especially startling sequences), 'Vamp' is still as great to watch today as it was back in 1986.
Popping up in nifty supporting parts are Dedee Pfeiffer as an endearingly ditsy waitress, Sandy Baron as the sleazy club emcee, the ever-reptilian Billy Drago as a creepy albino street gang leader, and Hy Pyke (the unforgettably nutzoid bus driver in 'Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural') as a vampire hotel clerk. Elliot Davis' stylishly garish cinematography, Jonathan Elias' funky score, and Greg Cannom's excellent make-up F/X further enhance the deliciously macabre merriment of this extremely cool and enjoyable fright flick.
FYI: The closing credits contain the disclaimer "Any similarities to persons living, dead, or undead is purely coincidental!!" Don't you just love 80's humor!! This is a new High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
High Definition Digital Transfer
Original Mono Audio
Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
One of those Nights: The Making of Vamp - a brand new documentary featuring interviews with director Richard Wenk, stars Robert Rusler, Dedee Pfeiffer, Gedde Watanabe
Dracula Bites the Big Apple (1979) - Richard Wenk s celebrated short film
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil
First pressing only: Booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Cullen Gallagher