A ship docks in Brooklyn with all its crew dead, but someone gets off and the killing continues on land. A Caribbean vampire is searching for a specific woman, half-human half-vampire. Rita is the detective investigating the many killings.
Maximillian is the only survivor from a race of vampires on a Caribbean Island, and, as a vampire, he must find a mate to keep the line from ending. He knows that a child had been born to a woman who had a vampire father, and he searches for her in Brooklyn. Rita's mother, who has died in an asylum, was that woman and Rita has nightmares that she does not understand. Not knowing that she is part-vampire, Max woos her and attempts to bring her to her bloodsucking destiny. Even though Rita has strange dreams and actions, Justice, her partner, has feelings for her and does not want her involved with this stranger Max. But it is Rita who must decide her destiny.Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
In the scene where Rita is running across the street outside her apartment after realizing she is a vampire, there is a Subway entrance visible. On the sign it says the A, E and F trains stop there although no station name is visible. However the E train stopped running into Brooklyn in 1976 and service ended at the World Trade center in lower Manhattan. See more »
In the 1980s, Eddie Murphy single-handedly recreated the Black Action hero, replacing the old murderous superstud of the 1970s with black characters who depended on their quick wits more than their big guns. That formula was quickly run dry, however, both by Murphy himself and the imitators he inspired.
So, Eddie intelligently decided that he needed to recreate a forgotten genre of comedy, one which Peter Sellars had mastered in the 60s, and which only Murphy could do today: he would make movies in which he played multiple characters. The Genesis began with "Coming to America", in which Murphy played not only the lead role, but also all the inhabitants of a Harlem barbershop. The sequences were short, but Murphy was building the road to becoming the most brilliant character actor of our day. Soon followed the "Nutty Professor" movies, "Bowfinger", and his animated TV series, "The PJ's." In all these Murphy played a multiplicity of roles, and played them all brilliantly (the Academy's disdain for streetwise comedies, and--well, lets just say it--their dismissal of black performers not playing slaves or pimps, are the only explanations possible for Murphy not owning an Oscar or two by now).
With these projects, Eddie was not only playing different characters, but also honing a new Eddie Murphy genre: raunchy, but intelligent; gross, but heartfelt; hilariously over the top in the particulars of plot, but firmly rooted in emotional reality. He has created or has been involved with, some of the arguably best comedies of the 1990's and onward--and has been responsible for inarguably the best comic performances of the era.
So, in this era, Eddie decided to push the envelope by mixing the new Eddie Genre with the Horror films he loved as a kid. The result, "A Vampire in Brooklyn", is unsettling to some because the lines between Eddie's wildly improvisational Black (or African American, if you insist) character comedy to straight vampire horror movie are so starkly drawn. There are very few instances where the comedy and horror overlap. This, I feel, is the brilliance of the film. There are no horror moments broken by a punchline or bad joke, and there are no comedy moments punctuated by some kind of sick horror gag (that has been done to death since John Landis' "American Werewolf in London". Now its being beated to death by "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"). The funny parts are funny and the scary parts are truly scary.
And Murphy also gets to shine in multiple well-defined character parts as well, as the shape-shifting African Vampire assumes the physical identity of several of his victims.
"Vampire" failed at the box office not because it was a bad film--its definitely is not. But because it was too unusual a film for the limited abilities of the studio's marketing department to sell. Those going expecting to see a comedy were disappointed it contained so much pure horror, and those going to see it based on the publicity that painted it as a horror film were dissapointed it contained so much hilarious Murphy style comedy.
It dies because of false expectations. Eddie's other films contained quick changes in tone as well--the shifts between bathroom comedy and pathos in the Nutty Professor films is no less abrupt than those between horror and comedy in "Vampire".
It's just that the choice of horror as the second element mixed with the comedy is a more daring and unusual one.
Years from now, "A Vampire in Brooklyn" will be viewed as one of the highpoints of the second phase of the Eddie Murphy Genre.
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