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Once Bitten (1985)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Horror | 15 November 1985 (USA)
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A vampire Countess needs to drink the blood of a virgin in order to keep her eternal beauty. It seems that all is hopeless, until she bumps into Mark Kendall.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Thomas Ballatore ...
Skip Lackey ...
...
World War I Ace Vampire (as Jeb Adams)
...
Stuart Charno ...
Robin Klein ...
Glen Mauro ...
Twin Vampire #1
Gary Mauro ...
Twin Vampire #2
Carey More ...
Moll Flanders Vampire
Peter Elbling ...
Richard Schaal ...
Mr. Kendall
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Storyline

The Countess has a problem. She is a 400 year old vampire who will cease to look young unless she is able to feed on a virgin three times before the upcoming Halloween, a week away. She sends Sebastian, her servant and all of her lesser vampires out to find one. Finding a virgin is difficult in 1980s Los Angeles. Mark has a problem. He wants to 'do it' with Robin in the worst way, but she wants to wait. Jamie and Russ, Mark's goofy friends convince him to go to a Hollywood pick up spot where Mark meets the Countess, on the prowl. Robin's not going to understand this. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A tasty comedy. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Primeira Dentada  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,212,601 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael J. Fox was the original choice for the role of Mark Kendall. See more »

Goofs

In the costume party/dance scene, when Robin and Countess are having a dance fight over Mark, the camera is zooming in on the dance, to the very left of the screen you can see the lens hood of a second camera zooming in. See more »

Quotes

Mark Kendall: What was that scene in the shower all about?
Russ: That's the thanks I get for trying to help out a friend?
Mark Kendall: Oh you're a big help, thanks a lot. Did it ever occur to you guys that maybe you could've asked me?
Jamie: Oh my God!
Russ: She told us to look!
Jamie: I knew it! I knew it, we enjoyed it!
Russ: Would you shut up? Just shut up!
Jamie: No that's it! We're homos! We're rump-rangers!
See more »

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

HANDS OFF
Performed by Maria Vidal
Written by Tommy Dunbar and Michael Boyd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Decent if you're in the mood for a light comedy
7 February 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Lauren Hutton is a vampire simply named "The Countess" who must bite a virgin three times per year (ending on Halloween) in order to retain her youth and beauty. However, living in California in the mid-1980s, it's becoming impossible to find a virgin.

This is a horror comedy that's not exactly atmospheric, thrilling or suspenseful (it's also completely free of gore), and not exactly hilarious. Rather, it's just a very lighthearted, mostly enjoyable film that happens to be about vampires, although it's primarily interesting for a one of the earliest, pre-fame appearances of Jim Carrey, and for nostalgia, as Once Bitten is firmly mired in mid-1980s pop culture.

The biggest flaw is that the mythology behind the film is not very well explained or followed. The Countess finds Mark Kendall (Carrey) fairly easily, but we're not shown her and her clan looking very hard until just before Halloween--they had all year. We're never told if the clan has to follow the same rules. It doesn't seem so in the end, but why not? It's never very clear why The Countess can't just go after, say, an eleven year old. When things are getting down to the wire near the climax of the film, there are other virgins around, but The Countess just ignores them as potential drinking fountains of youth. It seems like maybe she has to bite the same person, rather than three potentially different people, three times, but that's never directly stated. How long does it have to be between bites? Why couldn't she just bite the one person twice, then bite someone else three times within a few hours?

Although I don't usually like to try to apply real world logic to films, in this case, I couldn't help it. Once Bitten isn't meant solely as a comedy, and there is a long sequence during the climax that should be as suspenseful as it is humorous. But the suspense was gone, because all I could think of where the questions above instead. To make it worse, the timeline of the film gets a bit muddled, and we lose any sense of when Halloween night is actually occurring. At one point, during a Halloween dance, that seems like that should be Halloween night, but then it seems like Halloween should be over already at a later point. At that later point, it seems like the dance must have been on a different, earlier day. That this crucial fact for suspense in the film isn't clear is a problem. Once Bitten suffers from sloppy scriptwriting and sloppy direction from Howard Storm, whose resume shows that he's much more comfortable with half-hour television sitcoms.

But if one can overlook some of those flaws, Once Bitten is worth at least one viewing. Carrey's performance is good. He easily shows why he became a star in later films. His transformation over the course of the film is great, and a scene with Carrey in full vampire make-up and clothing makes one long to see a serious vampire film with him as a star. I also liked the ice cream truck and took it as a nod to Phantasm (1979). There are enough comic moments that most viewers will at least be occasionally smiling, if not laughing out loud. A scene where Mark's friends are trying to check him for evidence of vampirism is a standout, as is much of the material where Mark and his friends interact. Carrey's scenes with his parents are even better, but there are too few of them. Both Hutton and Karen Kopins (as Mark's girlfriend, Robin) are sensuous. The Countess' vampire clan is severely underused, but they are okay when they do appear. And even the obligatory mid-80s music video/dance scene is mostly tolerable.

I also enjoyed the subtext that sex is a means of protection from evil, rather than something dangerous to be avoided. Robin's attitude about Mark's relationships was also a nice change of pace.

This is definitely a film that needs to be approached with lowered expectations, but in the right mood, you just might enjoy it.


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Please!, has anyone got Once Bitten's main song? MartellBrazoban
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