Lady J reviews ONCE BITTEN

Once Bitten94 min., 1985
Directed by Howard Storm
My rating: ★★★★
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But you didn’t have time to enjoy it… or did you?

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Synopsis:

A teenaged boy unschooled in the “ways of the world” is lured into trouble by a seductive vampiress wants more from him than his witty conversation.

Review:

It seems like only last month that I was regaling you with tales of a movie and how much it did or didn’t suck… Wait. That was last month… right. Well then let’s get on with it shall we?

Once Bitten is one of those movies that has to have made it into cult classic status by now. It contains all the ingredients for a movie so terrible it’s wonderful. B List and virtual unknown actors, over the top bad acting, and I must have chuckled and snerked* all the way through this film just from the sheer hilarity of the whole thing. I had completely forgotten that a very young and then unknown Jim Carrey was developing his acting chops in this movie. That fact alone should tell you that you are in for quite the comedic treat.

The story is pretty simple. A 400+ year old vampiress named Countess needs the infusion of blood 3 times from 3 different virgins once a year to keep her youthful good looks. The problem is that in olden times virginity was a valuable treasure and she had her pick of the litter. In a far more progressive 1985 Los Angeles though, finding 3 virgin guys that are of consenting age is like finding a titanium needle in a stack of regular stack of steel needles. You’re asking a lot, especially when you have 3 of the most dimwitted and antiquated thinking (and looking) minions and a very gay butler to help you look.

Enter Jim Carey’s character Mark, who is in an ice cream truck of all things, at the drive in theatre trying to convince his girlfriend Robin to “do it” with him. She just can’t seem to get into the mood and when he gets out to walk off his frustrations, he wades into sea of bouncing cars complete with legs hanging out the window to remind him of what he isn’t getting.

After discussing his failures with his two buddies (also lacking in the nookie department,) Mark decides to go out to a singles club with the guys and perhaps find a chick to practice with so he feels less pressure with Robin. Several beers later, Mark decides it’s time to go home when a mysterious woman calls him over for a little flirting. When a husband of a frequenter to the club shows up and flies into a rage, Mark and the Countess have to make a run for it before the police arrive and Sebastian (the butler) scoots them into a waiting limo. Back at her place, she makes her move on Mark, gets her first infusion of blood, and we find him the next morning pants around his ankles curled in the fetal position feeling like a “ juice box.”

Mark immediately starts acting strange after meeting Countess. He starts eating raw hamburger, squinting at bright light, looking pale, and sleeping in a footlocker…? Yup, he did that. Meanwhile, the Countess is getting tired of waiting for Mark to come back to her so she seeks him out. She finds him at the clothing store where Robin works and makes her presence known to him all while not being seen by anyone else. The Countess leaves after getting her second infusion from him and the stakes have just been raised since she is determined to get the third before it’s too late.

The thing that is most amazing about this movie is that it written to be funny. From the goofy behavior of a young Jim Carey to the exacting over the top flamboyantness of Sebastian the butler who keeps having to come “out of the closet,” there is everything to love about this movie. I don’t think my descriptions of the events in this movie justify just how funny everything is. From the cheesy romantic dream sequences Mark had to the absolutely ridiculous final chase scene where the Countess is trying her damndest to get her fangs on Mark, I could go on and on about the hijinx all throughout the film. What I love most about this film is that it doesn’t try to be something it isn’t. From the very beginning it is clear that this movie is making fun of vampires and the teen angst that we all suffered through at some point. Sure the music is dated, but that doesn’t stop the dance off between the Countess and Robin from being any less awesome. I can’t recommend this movie any more highly for someone looking for a great laugh and it for that very reason I gave it 4 solid stars. Here’s hoping you all laugh as hard as I did. Until next time, kiddies.

*snerk- a cross between a snort and giggle. (My word… no you can’t haz.)

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