The Jim Carrey Vampire Hidden Gem Is A Cult Classic, Stream Right Now

By Brian Myers | Updated

jim carrey once bitten 1

Rarely has an actor had as many lives as Jim Carrey. From his earliest TV moments on the hit sketch comedy show In Living Color and his goofy, physical comedic performances in films like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask, some of Carrey’s roles took a more serious turn as his method acting shined through in Man on the Moon. But before he was either a physical comedy legend or a master of character creation, Carrey starred in one of the funniest horror comedies of all time, the 1985 film Once Bitten.

Jim Carrey In Once Bitten

Once Bitten was the perfect comedy for teenagers of the era. The film centers around a 400-year-old vampire’s search for human blood so that she can keep her immortality.

But the Countess (Lauren Hutton) cannot drink from just any source to maintain eternal life; to live forever, she must drink from a male virgin three times before Halloween each year.

Finding New Vampires

In Once Bitten, complicating this necessary feeding ritual is that the Countess is finding male virgins really hard to come by in the time of fast living in Los Angeles.

But that’s where high school student Mark Kendall (Jim Carrey) comes into play. Feeling like he’s doomed to be a virgin forever (his girlfriend isn’t ready yet), he and some friends slip into a singles bar to try their luck.

Turning Into The Undead

Once Bitten

Luck seemed to be on Mark’s side. He’s spotted by the Countess, who lures him back to her estate and is able to successfully drink blood from his thigh after he passes out.

With one drink out of the way, the Countess is feeling like she’s approaching safe Once Bitten territory. But as Mark begins to develop symptoms of vampirism, his astute girlfriend begins to put two and two together and embarks on a quest to save him, even if it means giving something up.

Jim Carrey Is Great

Once Bitten

Once Bitten is full of predictability, but that doesn’t take away from its fun. Carrey is performing comically in a way that his post-In Living Color fans have never seen, relying on his acting ability rather than his patented physical approach.

His scenes with veteran actress Hutton are intentionally awkward and make every moment with the two together on screen laughable in the best ways.

Add in Cleavon Little (Blazing Saddles) for additional comedic one-liners and you’ve got the perfect cast set up for a horror comedy.

Solid If Underwhelming Cast

Once Bitten

Once Bitten gets high marks for Carrey, Hutton, and Little, each of whom use their comedic skills to elevate beyond the film’s tired tropes and predictability.

The remaining cast of co-stars is fairly bland and could have been filled by any number of bit part players from the era.

However, you get to see a young Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) in one of her first film roles.

Streaming Once Bitten

Once Bitten


Those wanting a good laugh and a great look at Jim Carrey before he was famous, Once Bitten should be on a short list of films to view. The film sucks almost all of the horror out of a vampire picture and injects it with some base humor that almost always hits the mark, resulting in a 2.5/5.0-star effort.

You can now stream Once Bitten for free with Pluto, Tubi, and Roku, or rent it with AppleTV and Prime.