This is a delightfully funny vampire movie, starring the extraordinary Grace Jones, one of the icons of 80s cinema. Released in 1986, it was written and directed by Richard Wenk, whose surname is one vowel away from being very funny indeed and has a cast of unknowns, all of whom put in great performances perfectly pitched for the material. Two friends, Keith and AJ are trying to get into one of the better fraternities and to do so, they need to find a stripper to make an appearance at a party. To help them, they turn to the nerdy Duncan who has a car and all three head off for the seedy end of town where they find the After Dark club. All of which is fine until they realise that the club is ruin by and for vampires, led by the gaudy and strange Katrina (Grace Jones herself) who agrees to perform for them.
The movie at the outset seems like nothing more than a typical teen comedy but very quickly metamorphoses into a striking and imaginative Vampire movie with a healthy dose of imagination and some very visual scenes. The plot becomes more and more twisted as the story unfolds with a lot of different sub plots being blended effortlessly into a whole that makes sense of all the strangeness that the teens find themselves engulfed by. In fact the script is very cleverly written and features some great and memorable dialogue. The direction serves it well with Wenk going overboard on gaudy lighting and striking visuals giving the whole thing a strange nocturnal atmospheric feel that is unlike any other movie. The visual effects and special make up is extremely well done and the cast are all really putting in the effort, though, despite the fact she is given very little to say, Grace Jones steals the film with her sultry and exotic Katrina.
It also has many scenes that seem to have inspired “From Dusk Till Dawn” which can’t be a bad homage. An overlooked little gem of a movie that will keep the viewer entertained throughout.
Director: Richard Wenk
Writers: Donald P. Borchers (story), Richard Wenk (story)
Stars: Chris Makepeace, Sandy Baron and Robert Rusler
Release Date: 18 July 1986 (USA)