Once Bitten

Synopsis: A one-night stand with eternal complications!

Comedy superstar Jim Carrey plays a hot-blooded teen who becomes the reluctant donor to a sultry-and extremely thirsty-nocturnal nymph (Lauren Hutton) in this “funny…sexy” (Boxoffice) send-up of the horror genre!

Mark (Carrey) has just one thing on his mind: going all the way. But while his girlfriend keeps telling him he has to wait, he meets a beautiful vampire countess (Hutton) who’s ready for action! Mark’s just happy to get past second base…but after a one-night stand with the sexy seductress, Mark starts behaving more than a little batty and realizes he must find a way to break his lover’s fiendish spell…or be prepared to work the graveyard shift forever!

I was in the mood for some vampire comedies. It had been months since the thought crossed my mind, but circumstances derailed me from my plan of sinking my teeth into the following double bill. Well, postponement was probably a good thing: both films were of sub-par quality and had nary a memorable moment that I’d like to revisit someday. Even if my expectations were low, I was disappointed.

…but here goes anyway:

Once Bitten 5.5

First off, I started with this Jim Carrey vehicle. Since the first ‘Ace Ventura’ movie, I’ve been an ardent supporter of the actor. Sure, he’s made some terrible films (Batman Forever, Ace Ventura 2, and Dumb and Dumber come to mind), but he’s also made terrific ones (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Man in the Moon, The Mask, The Truman Show, …etc). I think he’s very talented but that he’s frequently written off unreasonably.

Of course, with films like this one, one can see why.

I believe that it might be his first starring role in a feature-length film – so we can easily shrug it off as a misplaced attempt at boosting his career; I mean who would refuse their first starring role, irrespective of the quality of the film?

Sadly, there’s not much for him to work with. You can see his acting chops blossoming but, with such poor direction and a lame script, there’s not a whole lot he could have done to improve the end result. Add to it all a horrible production and set design, and you have a film that hurts on all too many levels to be ignored.

So this film ended up being a crappy ‘80s teen sex comedy with little sex, little comedy and little fun. It’s just a bad attempt at making a “popcorn movie” and it’s a lacklustre attempt at that – I’ve seen films with less budget do more with what little they had.

But there is a pretty good dance number at one point. It’s imperfect, due to the choreography, camerawork and direction, but it still displayed the talent of the performers – which includes, surprisingly enough, Jim Carrey (but, then, he is a physical comedian!). I was pretty sure that his partner, Karen Kopins, had a dancing background (she certainly isn’t much of an actress!), but I haven’t found anything to this effect. Still, I was impressed with their moves and I would have been interested in seeing them work with people who could actually make them look good.

Sadly, these filmmakers couldn’t even have made professionals look good – let alone these new recruits. And it’s hardly surprising that, with the exception of one writer, this was pretty much their only feature film: ‘Once Bitten’ bites.

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