Vampire Jaws

Prepare yourself for some 90s hairstyles. We’re in romance novel cover territory now and if you’re a beautiful man your hair is long and flowing.

Interview with a Vampire is sort of a singularity of talent. Antonio Banderas? Tom Cruise? Brad Pitt? Kirsten Dunst? You might think I forgot to list Christian Slater but no, that was intentional.

Though it’s weird at the order they present it, they go Stephen Rea THEN Antonio Banderas? I’m confused about that because Antonio Banderas is a much bigger name in my household. The only thing I know Stephen Rea from is this trailer.

Might as well break it down. Tom Cruise is a champ. The next two movies after this one were Mission: Impossible and Jerry MacGuire, so we, as a nation, were in the middle of the First Cruise-aissance. Since time has proven that Tom Cruise is an immortal Scientologist superhuman, who better, in retrospect, to play the Howard Roark of Anne Rice? That’s an Ayn Rand reference. Because I apparently can’t go a day without referring to The Fountainhead.

I’m oddly less certain about Brad Pitt. He’s made movies I love, certainly. After this movie he went on to do Legends of the Fall and Se7en, which were both excellent. I’ve just never been able to lock on to him like I have, say, Keanu Reeves. Perhaps he arrived too late or maybe he was just never in that many movies I loved loved. Though, he was in that Tony Scott masterpiece Spy Games, which is kind of a retelling of the Odyssey in a lot of ways, so I obviously love that. Pitt plays Louie, the perpetually angsty vampire who angsts through the centuries and who everyone loves for some reason.

Kirsten Dunst is an actress I like but hasn’t really done a lot of things I liked. She did this movie. She was in Bring it On, right? She was in two or three Spider-Man movies. But as a rule I don’t like Spider-Man movies. Look, I wanted to like Spider-Man movies, but Spider-Man movies didn’t like me first. She plays Claudia, the child-like empress (vampire I mean).

The premise of the movie is the titular interview with Louie by Christian Slater. I read the book at some point, because I was so curious about the vampires, and all I remember about his character is his purple eyes.

Interview is a very influential movie. I suspect we can trace the ancestry of movies like 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight, Underworld, and tv shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, back to this movie. I think this was the foolish occultist who opened the door to the Vampire Universe and now we can’t close it. If vampire fiction were martial arts, Interview is the movie that brought Mixed-Martial-Arts to the mainstream.

I don’t remember anything really happening in this movie, which is to not say that it’s not good. I really enjoy this movie. It’s kind of a hard thing to compare, it’s kind of like Highlander with less fighting. And less Queen. Replace all the fighting with hetero & homo & angst-o erotic stuff.

It’s only like two decades after it came out that I realize that I’m really on Lestat’s side. He’s Tom Cruise and he’s sort of the villain of the movie, but really, he’s like the only guy who seems to be able to deal with immortality. I mean, at least he seems to be having a good time. That seems to be a big problem in the entire series (I’ve read three or four of the books), which is people just can’t handle all the boredom.

I mean it isn’t a problem now, with the internet, but before internet and television, all you have to do is kill people.

Check out Suetonius’s Life of Twelve Casears. It goes in depth about how before there was internet porn, how people had to make their own.

The best part of the movie is when Louie and Claudia meet Armand, played by the incredible Antonio Banderas. I read one book just to try and figure out where he came from: he was made into a vampire by a Roman vampire named Marius. That’s about it. Armand and his band of super creeps, are a real problem. It’s basically all hissing and:

Louie ends up killing a bunch of them after Armand rescues Louie because Louie is… hot? I can’t really tell.

It’s worth revisiting the movie if only for how influential it is, and it’s actually a good movie. It’s definitely like the Jaws of vampire movies.


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