Impulse Buy Theater - Embrace of the Vampire
So now, we must complete the trilogy…but a warning dear reader, by this point in the evening I was likely several sheets beyond the standard three.
I’m curious as to what it is about being a child star that results in…well…this. Actually, the reasons are seemingly obvious. Child stars typically find themselves on relatively squeaky-clean sit-coms or Disney Channel fare and once they break free, they usually take the time-honored adolescent tradition of rebellion and just crank that dial well past 10…into the range of 15. My first encounter with the type of rebellion we’re going to see on display here was with Dana Plato, of Diff’rent Strokes fame. Now, I’m of the age that I vaguely remember the show…but that’s about it. I mean, yeah, I know the catchphrase ‘What chu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?’…but that’s really about it. So, when you’re in your teens watching a movie on Skin-emax at 1 AM and you find out that the breasts you’re ogling belong to someone you last saw on TV when you were too young to have such thoughts…well, maybe that’s a unique rite of passage that started with my generation…maybe not.
But by the time Embrace of the Vampire hit Skin-emax (or maybe it was Showtime?), I was becoming coherent enough to remember things. [So, what you’re saying is that we’re on the regression side of things now? – Ed.] I remember watching ‘Who’s the Boss?’ and remember Alyssa Milano as Sam, Tony Danza’s character’s tom-boy daughter. The event, however, that put of the post-it note of ‘watch this space’ in my mind was learning that she was the model that Disney animators used to base Ariel from The Little Mermaid on. Now, before you judge, I had a little sister…and you know how that goes, you get subjected to way too much girly stuff in the name of sibling equity. And, with the shell bikini top going on there, I’m pretty sure it’s the first Disney film to feature cleavage. I might be wrong there. Where was I going with this? [Just what I was wondering. – Ed.] Right, Alyssa Milano. Well, upon hearing she’d gone topless in this film, well, college-aged me was just the right audience to go “Oh really? Well…that might be worth checking out.” Of course, it was also the age where I finally had a computer and the internet…so, image searches commenced, I got an eyeful, saw that it was good, said that it was good and it was good.
Yet there are stray thoughts…and when stray thoughts arise, so often do impulses. So when this movie came to mind a couple of weeks ago, it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen it…just the pictures. And with that…here we are. Well, is it worth watching aside from the main attraction(s)?
Meh. If you’re looking for story, what we get here is well…standard classic vampire. Our main bloodsucker has three days of his unnaturally long life left to him. Why? For…reasons…I guess? Hell, didn’t even make sense to me and I was drunk…so go figure. Anyway, so he’s got 3 days to get a girl he believes to be the reincarnation of his long lost love to ditch her dude-brah boyfriend and succumb to his temptations so that he can survive. Said reincarnated beauty is of course our Ms. Milano…who is a college student that was apparently raised by nuns…literally…much to the frustration of aforementioned dude-brah.
I guess that’s one thing I have to laud the movie for…it has the same objective as I do as a viewer…getting Alyssa out of those clothes. Seriously, it’s a plot point damn near everyone in the movie shares; our bloodsucking nemesis, the dude-brah boyfriend, and even her roommates/friends and frenemies (I’ve just noticed how my word processor just recognized that as an actual word). In this quest, we as viewers are treated to the clichéd “turn around, I’m changing” scene, a lesbian photographer (who even in my drunken stupor recognized as the hot chick from Eddie Murphy’s 80s film ‘The Golden Child’…and that being the case, she’s a bit old for college!), a threesome that becomes a foursome dream sequence and the final “I’ve succumbed to temptation but will be saved at the last minute by my true love”...and I might be missing one or two. The point of that is, we see Ms. Milano’s mellonos quite a bit…and that was the whole point, right? Returning to our so-called plot, I think…maybe…the vampire is responsible for these temptations…at least two or three of ‘em…as his whole plan is to introduce “Doubt” into her relationship with her boyfriend. Which he’s successful…turning dude-brah into almost a damn stalker. Scratch that. More like hovering, overbearing and accusatory. And not only does the story prove him right…but for all this, he gets the girl in the end. So, remember guys, if you want to get the girl, force yourself into her life and make damn sure she checks in with you about EVERYTHING.
You know what boggles my mind about that theme? Of the three writers…two of them were women! The director…a woman! I mean, really? Damn, the next time the Feminist Reprogramming Commando Death Squad raids the Nuking The Cat offices [Seemingly a weekly occurrence anymore. – Ed.], we finally know where to direct them! They’ve got traitors to deal with!
Look, seeing Alyssa Milano nekkid is great…and seeing it multiple times is equally great…but ultimately, this is very much your standard Skin-emax flick. If you’re not heavily inebriated, you may find a fair amount of this groan-worthy. And if you are indeed sober, the fast-forward and rewind buttons are likely to be your new best friends. With Lifeforce, we had come for the boobs, stay for the story and the B-movie goodness. With Black Scorpion, we had come for the main character’s awesome costume and boobs, stay for the nostalgia of how Hollywood used to perceive comic books. With Embrace of the Vampire…well…all I can offer is the boobs. They’re a great pair, and even the movie seems to recognize that the only way to hold the viewer’s attention is to show ‘em off frequently. And given the stage of her life she was in, rebelling hard against a sit-com childhood, Ms. Milano is more than happy to oblige. But to recommend? Honestly, I’d just hunt down videos of the good scenes off the internet. I’m sure someone has posted or torrented all that you’d want to see. That way, your eyes still get to receive the joy while your liver will thank you for being spared!