A publishing executive is visited and bitten by a woman and starts exhibiting erratic behavior. He pushes his secretary to extremes as he tries to come to terms with his delusions. The woman continues to visit and as his madness deepens, it begins to look as if some of the events he's experiencing may be hallucinations. Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Peter's strange accent is supposed to be a fake accent used by the character because he thinks he sounds more "elegant" and "smarter" (hence the literary agent job). The accent comes and goes throughout the movie and is more prominent when trying to impress people, and less in scenes with people like the psychiatrist. See more »
Getting partially dressed and leaving the apartment, after the first bat, he neglects to put on his socks. When they exit the building, he is clearly wearing two socks. Later in the office, he is again shown sans socks. See more »
This was one of the first 5 DVDs a friend of mine bought, and so I was curious about his choice. It turns out that the things he chooses may not be perfect, but are invariably very interesting, as it turned out with this one. The only thing I knew about this movie beforehand was that it's supposed to be a 'comedy,' and that Nicholas Cage eats a cockroach in it. So it was hard for me to understand why someone would be so passionate about what seemed like a goofy 80s comedy, but it turns out that this film is much more than that.
The opening photography is wonderful, silhouetted spires and Gothic details of Manhattan, that seem to reveal the city as a place of dark supernatural horrors within the regular city we know, which was a great start.
You're read in other reviews that this is a film about a man going crazy, and that his insanity takes of the form of believing that he's a vampire. What I haven't heard anyone talk about is the place that his misogyny plays in that he's lonely and isolated and sees women as objects, so as he goes insane he thinks he's a vampire, someone who picks up young women, rapes and kills them and is cursed by this. In this movie, Nic cage HATES women, and a lot of discomfort comes from how horrible he is to them. I thought it was also ingenious how his therapist, the imaginary vampire woman, the woman he jilts near the beginning, and his secretary all look vaguely alike. The director could easily have thrown in a bit of psychoanalytic depth by having a photo of the character's mother looking similar as well.
There are things in this movie that are vaguely funny on their own, but in the context of the movie it's not really funny at all. I mean yeah, people do goofy things as they are mentally breaking apart, but is that funny? All the actors do a great job, but I love the therapist, who seems so engaged and curious. I like how Cage's character assumes the movements of movie vampires, because in his lunacy that is probably what he is imitating.
There are only two problems I think the film has. The film goes out of its way to show how Alva, the abused secretary, needs her job and is not supported by her family, but Cage's behavior is SO over the top ANYONE would know that she has a lot of reason to go to the police. That she remains so passive is a little frustrating and unrealistic to the point where it detracts from the film.
The big problem, I think, is that ramping up so quickly to high insanity in the first hour, there's really nowhere for the film to go in it's last 45 minutes. The scenes of cage humiliating his secretary become repetitive, as do other aspects but overall definitely worth watching.
I was shocked to learn that this was the director's first full feature, as it is very assured and well-done. I would love to have a chat with the writer to know HOW this idea came to him and what he thought about it. That's it.
--- Check out my website devoted to bad and cheesy movies at: www.cinemademerde.com
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