Freaky 1980s Horror Comedy Is The Craziest Vampire Movie Of All Time, Stream Immediately

By Robert Scucci | Published

vampire's kiss

Nicolas Cage has famously described his over-the-top acting style as “Nouveau Shamanic,” and he takes great pride in letting go of his inhibitions for the sake of fully exploring his characters. The process, which was inspired by pre-Christian tribal shamans, involves falling into a trance-like state without restraint in order to deliver an animated and memorable performance. If you want to see a perfect example of exactly what we’re talking about, then you need to stop what you’re doing right now and watch Vampire’s Kiss.

Nicolas Cage Being Pure Nicolas Cage

vampire's kiss

To put it simply, there isn’t a Nicolas Cage movie out there that’s as creatively chaotic as Vampire’s Kiss. Through his unhinged portrayal of a lonely literary agent gone mad, we bear witness to an early iteration of Cage doing what he does best: going completely manic while the cameras are rolling. But it’s hard to blame the Leaving Las Vegas actor for committing to the bit because his willingness to act so deranged has gained quite a bit of attention in recent years for being so absolutely bonkers.

The Start Of Vampire’s Kiss

vampire's kiss

Vampire’s Kiss centers on Nicolas Cage’s Peter Loew, an unthinkably annoying and self-centered yuppie working as a literary agent. We learn through conversations with his therapist, Dr. Glaser (Elizabeth Ashley), that Peter doesn’t have a strong grip on reality. It becomes clear that Peter lives in a fantasy world due to his inability to form any meaningful relationships, both professionally and personally.

By day, Peter torments his subordinate, Alva Restrepo (Maria Conchita Alonso) for no apparent reason. Peter spends his time in the office badgering Alva, stressing how important it is for her to find a missing contract for one of the firm’s clients. By night, Peter is visited by a vampire named Rachel (Jennifer Beals), who bites him on the neck during a one-night stand. No matter what time of day it is in Vampire’s Kiss, Peter talks with a pretentious accent of unknown origin to make himself sound superior to his colleagues.

Peter’s Behavior Gets Worse

As Vampire’s Kiss progresses into its second and third acts, Peter’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, as he’s 100 percent convinced that he’s transforming into a vampire. As he slowly but surely descends into madness, he pounces on desks, barges into the ladies’ room on multiple occasions, wildly flails his arms while screaming the alphabet, and runs through the streets shouting that he’s a vampire. At one point, Nicolas Cage even eats a live cockroach for dramatic effect.

Cage Enjoyed Bigger Hits

vampire's kiss

Upon its theatrical release, Vampire’s Kiss was a commercial flop that saw a box office return of $725,131 against its budget of $2 million. Nicolas Cage, who didn’t have the star-power that he has today, was criticized for being self-indulgent and outrageous, and we can’t really fault critics for making this assessment. Despite the film’s middle-of-the-road 65 percent critical score on Rotten Tomatoes, Vampire’s Kiss has since developed a cult following and became the source of countless internet memes.

A Cousin To American Psycho

The best way to describe Vampire’s Kiss is as a more unhinged but less violent version of American Psycho. Both films occupy increasingly surreal territory as they progress, and somehow manage to subvert every expectation while shoving us into a world where it’s not quite clear what our protagonists are experiencing in real life versus what’s taking place inside their own warped minds. To watch a young Nicolas Cage fully explore the concept of Nouveau Shamanic acting, all you have to do is fire up Tubi or Amazon Prime Video and watch the legendary film yourself.