Sunday, November 7, 2021

#2,658. Once Bitten (1985)


Once Bitten is so damn goofy, but at the same time it’s also kind of endearing. 

Nine years before he rose to superstardom in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Dumb & Dumber, Jim Carrey played Mark Kendall, a sexually frustrated high schooler whose pretty but chaste girlfriend Robin (Karen Kopins) refuses to put out. One night, his two pals Jamie (Thomas Ballatore) and Russ (Skip Lackey) convince Mark to try his luck at a singles bar, where he’s picked up by a gorgeous blonde known only as “The Countess” (Lauren Hutton). 

What Mark doesn’t know is that The Countess is a 400-year-old vampire who, according to tradition, must drink the blood of a virgin three separate times before All Hallow’s Eve. And unfortunately for him, Mark is the guy she’s chosen to be her next Halloween snack! 

The comedy in Once Bitten is often sophomoric (think a mediocre TV sitcom), though I did laugh out loud at the locker room shower scene, where Jamie and Russ try to “examine” Mark for a possible bite on his inner thigh. In addition, Carrey shows flashes of his future brilliance (especially late in the movie, when he begins to “change”), and Hutton makes for a very sexy vampire. In fact, the scenes featuring Hutton and her effeminate servant Sebastain (played by the always great Cleavon Little) are my favorite in the film, and the energy dips noticeably whenever The Countess isn’t on-screen. 

As vampire comedies go, I still prefer Love at First Bite to Once Bitten, but this 1985 offering isn’t without its charms.
Rating: 6 out of 10

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