The Film:
Innocent Blood (1992)

The Principals: Anne
Parillaud,
Anthony LaPaglia, Robert Loggia, Don Rickles, Chazz
Palminteri, Luis Guzman, Tony Sirico, Kim Coates, Angela Bassett.

The Premise: 

A
Pittsburgh cop, Joe Gennaro (LaPaglia), who is deep undercover in the
mafia organization of Sal “The Shark” Macelli (Loggia) runs afoul of a
local female vampire (Anne Parillaud), Marie, who just so happens to
have a taste for Italian.  After she snacks on Sal without
finishing him off before he turns, Macelli revives and starts running
amok.  At first disoriented by what’s happened to him, Macelli
eventually revels in his newfound power, including turning his fellow
mobsters into real
made men.  Joe and Marie must then team up to stop Macelli and
his band of mob vampires.  Joe isn’t sure he can trust Marie,
but he damn sure knows he’s attracted to her.





Is It Good: 

It’s
a wonderfully understated vampire comedy and the last John Landis
project I remember enjoying.  It has a great deadpan
atmosphere to almost anything going on onscreen.  And if
memory serves, the word “vampire” isn’t mentioned once in the entire
movie.  Anne Parillaud who, hands down, has the prettiest
smile I’ve ever seen in film, is affecting as Marie, a vampire who is
admittedly, “fucked up about men.”  Anthony LaPaglia is fine
as essentially the straight man of the picture and Robert Loggia really
gets to ham it up like few times before or since.  It’s also
got people whose work I like, including Luis Guzman, Chazz Palmitieri,
Kim Coates, and of course, Mr. Warmth himself.  It’s also
notable for a pre-What’s Love Got To Do With It Angela Bassett in a small role.

Is It Worth A Look:  Absolutely. 
How
many other vampire flicks do you know of that take place in
Pittsburgh of all places?  Plus it’s got just the right mix of
the aforementioned deadpan humor and gore.  The effects work –
mostly the vampire eyes – is quite good and is,
for the most part, completely practical.  Also there’s a pretty good CGI scene (when CGI hadn’t been around that long) where Macelli walks away from a gas tank explosion to inform Joe and Marie that the only thing they killed was his suit.  Other notable scenes
include Don Rickles turning into charcoal when doused by sunlight in a
hospital, Joe and Marie taking on a room full of vampires in a strip
club, Macelli waking up in the morgue, disoriented, and some eye-glinting vampire sex. 





I remember when this
film came out I was working at a movie theatre and had heard
essentially nothing about it.  It came out of nowhere and was
an unexpected delight.  If you’re thinking of checking out the latest Twilight flick, check this out instead.  You’ll be much happier.

Random Anecdotes: 

Look close for a number of cameos, including Linnea Quigley as a nurse, Sam Raimi as the Roma Meats Man, Dario Argento as a paramedic, and of course, Frank Oz as a bewildered medical examiner.


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