Vampire in London is searching for the ideal woman to redeem him.
Steven is multi-talented, handsome, and a expert seducer of women. He craves intimacy with women, literally cannot live without it, and is in search of the perfect woman. All of his relationships, however, end tragically. Eventually, he meets Anne, a strong woman who is different, better than the others. However, soon it becomes clear that this is a relationship that only one of them will survive. The title refers to a quote from Francis Bacon, who wrote about crocodiles, who shed tears when they devour their prey.
In London, Steven Grlscz helps the suicidal Maria Vaughan in the subway and seduces her. After a period living with Maria, Steven kills her in his apartment drinking her blood and dumps her body in the sea. Steven becomes a suspect for the Londoner police and is chased by Inspector Healey. Meanwhile Steven meets the structure engineer Anne Labels and she falls in love with him. However, she discovers a dark secret about her lover that needs to survive.
- "Neuropsychologists say that 'we don't have one brain. We have
three--one that is human, built over another that is mammalian, built over
yet another that's reptilian. So, when a psychiatrist asks you to lie down
on the couch, you're being asked to lie down with a horse and with a
crocodile.'" [Steven Grlscz]
A wrecked car is suspended in the treetops, the driver a young woman. Investigators notice that there is no blood, but they make nothing of it. Nor do they notice her fiancé, Steven Grlscz [Jude Law], among the bystanders. Later that day, Steven writes one word in his diary: despair. While waiting for the Tube, Steven saves Maria Vaughan from jumping in front of the train. He gives her his card, she calls him, and they begin a love affair. When Steven is assured that Maria has feelings for him, he takes her to his bed, drinks her blood, and then drives to the coast where he disposes of her body in the sea. This time the word entered in his diary is: disappointment. Steven Grlscz is a vampire, but far from typical. He can go out in the sunlight, eat regular food, does not sleep in a coffin, and has no fangs. Yet he needs to drink blood once a month or he will die. His favorite target is young women with whom he first develops a relationship.
While touring a museum or industrial plant of some sort, Steven sketches asthmatic Anne Levels [Elina Löwensohn]. When they meet later in a cappucino shoppe, she asks to see the drawings. They exchange names and make a date for Wednesday night. When Anne breaks the date in order to work on some waterproof concrete (she's a structural engineer), Steven brings her Chinese takeout. So begins the carefully choreographed relationship between vampire and new prey.
However, Stephen is worried when he overhears a news broadcast about the body of Maria Vaughan being found in a fishing net. He immediately telephones the police, probably because he knows that the trail will eventually lead to him. Inspector Healey [Timothy Spall] and Sgt Roche [Jack Davenport] come to question him. Steven makes up a story about not seeing Maria after they had an argument over her wanting to marry him and him not wanting to continue the relationship with her. Steven becomes their prime suspect, and Inspector Healey begins to tail him. One evening, after Steven sees Anne off on the train, Healey is attacked by a gang of hoods who beat him and steal the crucifix he wears around his neck. Steven intervenes and saves Healey. So begins the carefully choreographed relationship between vampire and detective.
Meanwhile, things with Anne are going nicely. In his diary, Steven describes her as confident, independent, witty, and full of strange little stories and sayings. Steven keeps notes on all his intendeds, because the goal is to woo their trust and love. Anne visits him where he works as a medical researcher investigating crystals from human kidneys and bladders. Steven contends that extreme emotional states can cause the body to form crystals, and he shows her a number of them which he names "rage, resentment, spite, malice, and bad temper." When Steven and Anne are attacked by the gang of hoods from the Tube, Steven saves Anne in an amazing show of superstrength and speed, apparently some of the vampiric qualities that he *does* possess.
Anne is falling in love, but Healey and Roche are still suspicious of Steven. They question people along the route that Steven might have taken to the seashore and find a toll collector who may remember him. Steven is brought in for a line-up, but the toll collector fingers someone else. Steven and Healey strike up a friendship in which they confide personal things with each other. Steven retrieves the crucifix from Healey's attacker and returns it to Healey. When Healey learns that Steven actually saved Maria from committing suicide, he begins to doubt that Steven has it in him to be a killer.
One night, Anne is in a bad mood and snaps at Steven. She immediately apologizes, but Steven leaves in a huff and hides out, refusing to return Anne's phone calls. After Anne has to perform a tracheostomy on an injured man, she admits to herself that she misses Steven and calls him. Steven has been drawing pictures of her and admits that he misses her, too. They plan to meet at his apartment, the first time that Anne has been invited there.
Steven knows that he is dying and that he needs blood. His body is breaking down, he bleeds and doesn't heal, and he has to wear an alarm to remind him to breathe while he's sleeping. It's time to feed on Anne but, when he tries, he can't bring himself to kill her. Instead, he explains to her that he is a vampire who feeds on the emotions in blood. Like kidney stones, he says, emotions are "things" carried in the blood. Some emotions, e.g., resentment, malice, despair, and disappointment, only serve to make him sick. He prefers to feed on love. He thinks that perfect love might cure him if he ever finds it. Could Anne be this perfect love? Anne isn't buying it. To show his love for her, Steven lets her go. He even hands her a knife and informs her that, with one cut, he will bleed to death in 20 minutes.
Anne puts down the knife and, rather than run, she stays with him, tending him as he grows weaker and weaker, bathing his eyes when he goes temporarily blind, waking him when he forgets to breathe, offering to go to the chemist when they run out of elastoplasts (bandaids). Steven is even more convinced of Anne's love for him and, as his end approaches, he knows what he must do. While Anne is at the chemist, he prepares for his dinner. When Anne realizes what he is doing, she runs to the roof, intending to kill herself rather than let him kill her. As she rescinds her love for him ("I know you for what you are...I don't love you!") and Steven replies, "It may not be in your heart, but it's still in your blood," a big tear runs down his cheek.
Anne jumps, but Steven catches her hand just in time. She removes a large stickpin from her hair and plunges it through Steven's hand. Still, he succeeds in pulling her back to the roof, whether to save her life or his dinner is up to you to decide. As Steven lay dying, he muses. "When I was a boy," he says, "I fell out of a tree but I managed just to grab a branch. I hung there for a long time, terrified, the silence and the pain in my arms and the blood pounding in my ears. And then I fell. I don't remember what happened when I hit the ground. All I can remember now is the agony of holding on and the wonderful feeling of letting go." With that, Steven lets go of life, and Anne walks home in tears. [Original Synopsis by bj_kuehl.]