Innocent Blood (1992)
Directed By: John Landis
Starring: Anne Parallaud, Anthony LaPaglia, Robert Loggia, Chazz Palminteri, Rocco Sisto, Don Rickles,
Subgenre: Vampires, Horror-Comedy
Synopsis: Marie is a vampire with a conscious; she only kills criminals to feed her bloodlust. She also makes sure to finish off what she started, ensuring no new bloodsuckers are born. She bites off more than she can chew when she targets Mob boss Salvatore “The Shark” Macelli and fails to kill him, creating a new vampire with no morals and a desire to create a new Mafia powered by Vampires.
Thoughts: While John Landis has given us some epic comedies such as Animal House and The Blues Brothers, he also made quite the mark on the horror genre with An American Werewolf in London, often considered one of the best Werewolf movies ever. More than ten years after Werewolf, he returned to the horror genre with Innocent Blood.
Innocent Blood has Landis’s fingerprints all over it. It is suitably gory, yet humorous at the same time, but I think Landis pushed some of the comedy a little too far this time. The addition of the stereotypical Italian Mobsters was too over the top most of the time. I thought Loggia did an excellent job as The Shark, but the supporting cast was pretty cookie cutter. I also wasn’t too fond of LaPaglia as the undercover cop and love interest to Marie. His performance just seemed canned.
Now, Anne Parallaud, who played Marie the vampire, was incredible. She is a film veteran, but probably unfamiliar to most of us here in the States. The majority of her filmography is French. Not only did I think her acting was well suited for the role, but she was beautiful. She is easily one of the most attractive vampires ever to grace the screen (which may be something I need to research…).
The story is simple, yet well crafted. Landis does a great job of integrating the romance angle as well, by playing on Marie’s need for sex as much as her need to feed. I appreciate Landis behind the camera as well, he lets the scene unfold and his style isn’t very intrusive. It works for him.
I think Innocent Blood is pretty underrated, probably because it skirts that area between horror and comedy without going for the full blown comic affect. If you haven’t seen this, give it a spin, it’s worth your time.