Shout Factory has been blessing us with horror treasures galore over the past couple of years but now that they are digging even deeper into the horror genre, they are really finding some gems. And it is especially rewarding for us genre fans when they pair up these cult classics into their double feature Blu-rays. Out now is Love at First Bite/Once Bitten.
Love at First Bite stars George Hamilton as Count Dracula. After being forced to move out of his castle in Transylvania, Dracula moves to New York in search of a new bride. With the assistance of Renfield (Arte Johnson), Dracula stumbles through everyday New York situations while pursuing the lovely Cindy Soundheim (Susan Saint James). But when Cindy’s boyfriend Dr. Jeff Rosenberg (Richard Benjamin) figures out that Dracula is actually a vampire, he tries to persuade his police lieutenant friend to help him stop the legendary bloodsucker before he steals Cindy forever.
Love at First Bite is pure 70s/80s comedy goodness. Hamilton is just great in the lead role and hams up his Dracula with style and verve. And his supporting cast are all top notch including 70s staple Richard Benjamin, Dick Shawn, Arte Johnson and even Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford, The Jeffersons! The pace of the movie and the humor may seem slightly dated to those watching for the first time but for fans of comedy from the time period and for fans of horror, this is a real gem.
Once Bitten stars Jim Carrey in one of his first big screen roles as Mark Kendall, a guy in a tough relationship with a woman who wants to ‘wait’ for their first time. Lauren Hutton plays Countess, a 400 year old vampire who must find a virgin three times before the upcoming Halloween if she is to maintain her young appearance. When Mark’s friends convince him to go out to a Hollywood pick up spot for his first time, he falls under the spell of Countess who may be the first and last woman he’s ever with.
Once Bitten is a great horror comedy that still holds up well thanks mostly to Carrey’s undeniable charm and talent. In watching Carrey in the role of Mark, you can really see that he was headed for much bigger things, there really was no one like him at the time. The chemistry between Carrey and Hutton is excellent and the overall pace and humor of the film still holds true over the years. I almost wish Carrey would return to a character like this instead of doing another Dumb and Dumber movie.
Overall, this is another stellar double feature well worth seeking out.
--- LOVE AT FIRST BITE ---
--- ONCE BITTEN ---
96 / 94 min
ASPECT RATIO ?
96 min 94 min