Vampire in Brooklyn

Year: 1995
Director: Wes Craven
Producer: Eddie Murphy
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Angela Bassett
In what must be the most unusual pairing of talent in Hollywood (Wes Craven directs a horror comedy starring Eddie Murphy), it had all the elements of a disaster - corny digs at horror and vampirism clichés with too much Eddie Murphy (plenty of opportunity for his motor mouthed shtick).

Surprisingly, and pleasantly, it works almost perfectly. It definitely isn't a comedy - more a horror comedy in the American Werewolf vein. Murphy is a count from a Carribean vampire colony whose search for the half-caste vampire who can bring his kind back to supremacy has led him to modern day New York. The woman in question is cop struggling with too many demons of faith (Bassett) and barely acknowledged love for her partner. A battle of seduction to join him ensues, with as many comic and horror turns as you could wish for without going too far in either direction.

The Murphy brand of comedy is plentiful (in his increasingly decomposed ghoul assistant, the boss of the waterfront and his assurance that 'evil is good' posing as the reverend), but never seems out of place, and in the end it's a movie that's taken itself seriously, while never looking like it would (probably the reason for its box office failure). Bassett's expression of her conundrum is a little wooden at times, but there is a strong black (African American) influence in the script that gives it a new edge as a horror movie.

In what seems like Murphy's first attempt to reinvent himself when the Axel Foley mould that carried his entire early career had worn off, he's as suave and menacing as he's ever been.

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