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Once Bitten
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Once Bitten More at IMDbPro »

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20 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Decent if you're in the mood for a light comedy

Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City
7 February 2005

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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22 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

One of Jim's Originals

Author: iwatcheverything from Texas, USA
18 December 2003

Jim Carrey is hilarious and this is just the beginning of the stars career. It's plot is nothing special and the acting is alright but Jim makes this movie. You will need to see this movie if you are a fan of Jim's. This is a great film and definitely classic for 80's film. Check this film out soon. It is a winner.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

great comedy/horror

Author: BCT6662002
18 April 2002

starring: Lauren Hutton, Jim Carrey, Karen Kopins, Thomas Ballatore, and Skip Lackey.

plot: The sexy vampire, Countess (Lauren Hutton) needs to drink the blood of a virgin three times before Halloween. Mark (Jim Carrey) is bored in his relationship with his girlfriend Robin (Karen Kopins) because she doesn't want to have sex. So Mark takes his two buddies Jamie (Thomas Ballatore) and Russ (Skip Lackey) to Hollywood to find some chicks to have a one night stand with. Mark meets Countess and she gets him drunk, he thinks he's having a one night stand but she drinks his blood once. When Mark, Jamie, and Russ go back to town Countess follows them. She finds Mark and drinks his blood a second time, then she starts following him to get a third. Soon, Robin, Jamie, and Russ find out that he is slowly turning into a vampire. Then, Mark is captured on the night before Halloween. Will Robin, Jamie, and Russ save Mark in time?

This comedy/horror about a sexy vampire searching for a virgin is fun to watch! This movie is hilarious and well written, and has lots of fun cheesy 80's music.

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21 out of 33 people found the following review useful:


Author: Michael DeZubiria ( from Luoyang, China
12 November 2004

Strangely enough, I read a review of one IMDb user who asserted that Once Bitten is one of Jim Carrey's best performances since going mainstream. I'm curious as to what this user means by that statement, because Once Bitten was YEARS before Carrey went mainstream. Is this person saying that Carrey's performance here is better than his performances years later, when he did, in fact, get into mainstream films?

If so, I beg to differ. And if not, I still beg to differ.

The first thing that struck me about Once Bitten is that it is a teen sex comedy, which is not something that I ever associated with Jim Carrey (not the least reason for which is because most of his better know movies are not only above such childish comedy but were made long after his teenage years were over). Even in Once Bitten he was about 23 years old, but the movie focuses on his inability to communicate very effectively with women, much less pull off any successful sexual encounters. Enter a vampire, surprisingly sexy for her 400 years, who must feed on three virgins or cease to exist. All desperate high school guy in the 80s should have been so lucky.

The premise is ridiculous, comparable to those bad movies that feature things like strippers that turn into aliens, or other monsters that feed on humans by taking on the form of sexy naked women in order to seduce men. Where the movie goes right is in the two main characters, Lauren Hutton as the vampiress trying to feed on Mark Kendall, to whom Jim Carrey brings a surprisingly effective level of insecurity and awkward appeal. Carrey obviously remembers similar developmental difficulties in his own youth.

Mark's two friends, the obligatory sex-starved geeks who bounce crude humor off of each other, are negligible, put into the movie for no other reason than for some vampire snacks and to have someone for Mark to complain to about his nervousness about sex, while they confidently give him all kinds of advice, momentarily forgetting that they share in at least his same level of cluelessness on the subject.

While earlier, and dumber, sex comedies like Porky's made no attempt to be more than they are, dumb sex comedies, Once Bitten successfully tries to present a sort of lesson about the dangers of promiscuity, while at the same time failing ultimately because it tries to be too much than its material allows. Rather than seeking the old jugular, this vampiress prefers to drink from a more southerly location, providing a pretty ham-handed allegory of sexually transmitted diseases. Carrey has been prowling dingy bars in search of an easy first time (in response to his lack of success with an un-promiscuous girlfriend), and ends up placing in grave danger the very parts that he is trying to get some much needed attention.

There is a sad story behind the writing of the screenplay. David Hines, a college student desperately avoiding real life, took endless art classes to postpone graduation, and ultimately dropped out when it seemed that his screenplay for Once Bitten, at the time titled Nightlife, seemed to be taking off. The movie was put into production, produced, released, and then six months later sat on the shelves at Sam Goody, where Hines worked as a lowly entry level employee, constantly teased by his coworkers over the spectacular failure of his movie. I really can't say that I found it to be THAT bad, but again, this could be just because I'm a huge fan of Jim Carrey. Maybe the movie was just overshadowed by Fright Night (also not great but better than Once Bitten), released the same year, and The Lost Boys (vastly superior to both), released two years later. Either way, Once Bitten is hardly an underrated gem.

The film itself is pretty dismal, but it remains interesting even if for no other reason than because you can so clearly see the budding elements of what would later become Jim Carrey trademarks. Not just his over-the-top comedy performances, but also even slight hints at his more dramatic roles, like when he goes to the Halloween party and is exasperated that he keeps having to explain that he's not dressed as a vampire, he's not even wearing a costume. It's a cheesy teen sex comedy, but Carrey makes it interesting, at least some parts. It's just too bad that he had to develop more of a career before people cared.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

One of My Favorite Movies

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
21 June 2015

In Los Angeles, the virgin college student Mark Kendall (Jim Carrey) is unsuccessfully trying to get into his girlfriend Robin Pierce (Karen Kopins) paints. He decides to go to a bar in Hollywood with his also virgin friends Russ (Skip Lackey) and Jamie (Thomas Ballatore) to flirt and score. Meanwhile, the 400 year-old vampire Countess (Lauren Hutton) and her driver and butler Sebastian (Cleavon Little) are seeking out a virgin lad to keep her beauty and youth appearance. The Countess needs to feed three times on a virgin before the Halloween that is close otherwise she will look older. When the Countess stumbles with Mark in the bar, she brings Mark home and seduces him. Mark changes his behavior and soon he realizes that he is turning into a vampire. Is there any chance to save Mark?

"Once Bitten" is one of my favorite movies ever and I do not know how many times I have watched it. The plot is very funny and Lauren Hutton is impressively beautiful and sexy. This movie for me is another gem from the 80's, maybe one of the best decades of the American Cinema history. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Procura-se Rapaz Virgem" ("Seeking a Virgin Lad")

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Not that great, but not a total disaster.

Author: Undead_Master
4 August 2003

This is a pretty bad 80's teen sex comedy with a vampire slant. It ‘s main attraction is an early appearance by Jim Carrey before he became a big star. Unfortunately the filmmakers seem unwilling to take advantage of his comic talents, forcing him to play it straight most of the time… What makes this even worse are the rich opportunities for him to exploit his particular brand of silliness in a movie with this premise… I mean, Jim Carrey turning into a vampire… that has potential., but for the most part, that potential is untapped.

However there are a few places where Carrey is allowed to showcase his comic abilities, and his talent is apparent… Particularly in a VERY ridiculous dance scene that has to rank right up there as one of the silliest (or stupidest) dance scenes I have ever encountered. This sequence is so crazy that I would almost recommend the movie based purely on the dance scene.

The rest of the movie is mostly bland and not so enjoyable… Lauren Hutton is a looker, but her part is pretty weak here. Carrey's two nerdy friends are supposed to provide most of the comic relief, but they aren't very funny. The story moves along very predictably and there is little or no urgency. It's not the kind of movie that makes you want to turn off the TV, but it's pretty forgettable.

Still…. It does have the dance scene, and there is a certain 80's nostalgia factor. It's worth watching if you catch it on TV and you have some time to kill.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A very funny movie!

Author: kbouck from Phx, AZ
27 October 1999

This is one of Jim Carrey's first films and definitely his first starring role. This movie was super underrated as I found it VERY funny! Especially his 2 friends in the movie, what nerds! The plot is simple-Lauren Hutton plays a youthful beautiful vampire who will turn in into a haggard old lady if she doesnt get the blood of a virgin 3 times before Halloween. And of course guess who the virgin is?? Mark Kendall( Jim Carrey). The part in the shower where they yell "Fags in the Shower" was hilarious. I laughed so hard I cried. Definitely a very good movie for people who like comedy.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

The Best Of The Jim Carrey Vehicles....

Author: Alexandra Slate ( from Virginia, U.S.
2 November 2002

A Hilarious 80's teen sex comedy!

Jim Carrey hasn't been as funny in a film since. He manages to get plenty of laughs with his performance without going over the top the way he tends to do today. My favorite part is where Robin and the Countess have a dance-off over Mark at the Halloween dance to the very appropriate and silly song "Hands Off, He belongs to me"! And though slightly homophobic by today's standards were the comments by Carrey's sidekicks, "We're Rump Rangers", and the "Fags in the Shower" exclamations however, it all seemed in good fun.

Karen Kopins was really good as Mark's long-suffering girlfriend and held her own well against Carrey. She should've had a better career. I really miss the 80's teen movie genre, and the lighthearted take these films had on a generation.

A must see on Halloween if you're looking to lighten the load from the usual slasher films that always get shown.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One of the most entertaining movies I've ever seen.

Author: Joel ( from Flower Mound, Texas
18 March 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As far as this movie goes, sure it may be a little stupid... but it's pretty funny!

As it turns out, I never knew until now that Jim Carey was in this one.

For those of you not familiar with this movie, let me give you a rundown.

Mark Kendall (Mr. Carrey) is pretty much all in all good, but at Mark's age, you would assume that he must've done it by now... wrong!

As it turns out, as much as he and his girlfriend, Robin (Karen Kopins) want to do it, they just figure it'd be good to wait when the right time comes.

Unfortunately, Mark also has a couple of idiot friends, Russ and Jamie, who take him to a bar near Hollywood, and it just so happens that a 4,000 year old vampire countess who needs male virgin blood before October 31st 3 times to live. This movie in my opinion is one of the most entertaining mostly because of the 3 way dance scene between Mark, Robin and the countess... it's pretty much a classic scene in my mind.

For all of you that haven't seen this, I advise you to dash out there and get it now!

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Mild interlude of virgins and vampires. (spoilers)

Author: Pepper Anne from Orlando, Florida
24 October 2005

Exploiting the typical male teen's desperate attempt to lose his virginity, 'Once Bitten' is a light comedy from the teen horror comedy catalog of the 1980s, though not as funny as say, 'My Best Friend is a Vampire,' nor as satirical as 'My Boyfriend's Back' (a 90s comedy). In part, the comedy is never too adventurous with comedic quips, and instead, carries with it for some parts in the movie, a rather unnecessarily serious mood.

Lauren Hutton plays the sleek, voluptuous Countess, a vampire desperate for virgin blood in order to sustain her youth. Lucky for her, she is conveniently on the prowl at a Hollywood night club the same time that high school teen Mark Kendall (Jim Carrey) and his two buddies arrive for a guys night out. Mark might think he's about to lose his virginity, but instead, finds himself in a whole lot of trouble once he falls into the seductive clutches of the Countess. He displays all the symptoms of a vampire: irritability, pale complexion, a sudden lust for rare meat, and a newfound love for all-black attire. But, his "first time" with the Countess will by no means his last as she follows him around town and haunts his dreams (I guess, they're really light male teen eroticism) as she intends to complete whatever vampire ritual will sustain her youth permanently.

It's a nice comedy, worth of a lazy noon viewing, and particularly for fans of the cult horror comedy. But, as far as vampires and desperate teen virgins go, I would highly recommend 'My Best Friend is a Vampire.'

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