***½/**** Image B Sound B Extras A
starring Nicolas Cage, Maria Conchita Alonso, Jennifer Beals, Elizabeth Ashley
screenplay by Joseph Minion
directed by Robert Bierman
**/**** Image B Sound B+
starring Daryl Hannah, Peter O'Toole, Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D'Angelo
written and directed by Neil Jordan
by Walter Chaw Delightfully, extravagantly bizarre, Robert Bierman's Vampire's Kiss houses arguably Nicolas Cage's most peculiar performance in the service of a piece the contemporary in every way of Oliver Stone's Wall Street and the precursor, in every way, to Mary Harron's American Psycho. It excoriates the boy's club of the executive boardroom, treats sexual harassment and assault like real things with real consequences, and has something to say on the subjects of race and the economic caste. It's a canny satire of the vampire genre even as it's an honourable addition to it, exploring those metaphorical elements that transformed vampirism in the '80s into the equivalent of being the "cool kid" (The Lost Boys), the rock star (The Hunger), and the eternally demon lover (Fright Night). Working from a script by Joseph Minion, who not only wrote Martin Scorsese's brilliant (and in some ways similar) After Hours but also the Scorsese-helmed episode of "Amazing Stories" called "Mirror, Mirror" (itself an antecedent to David Robert Mitchell's It Follows), Bierman proves himself an able navigator of Minion's liminal cartography. Vampire's Kiss is about the spaces between and the things that fall in there.