Scene: "Am I getting through to you! Alva!"
Specs: Widescreen letterbox enhanced for 16:9 TVs, Dolby
Digital Sound, English, French, Spanish Language Subtitles
Nicolas Cage who stars in Vampire's Kiss looks a
little like today's action star Nicolas Cage, but don't
be fooled. They are not the same man. The Cage in Vampire's
Kiss lacks any common sense. He grabs hold of a completely
insane character choice and wrestles this one-of-a-kind
film to the mat with the abandon of a true artist. Today's
Nick Cage does safe movie star vehicles for the Michael
Bays and the Simon Wests and if we're lucky, he might do
one for a John Woo now and again.
DVD release may portend a return of that Nick Cage we're
hoping for when we get sucked into another summer suck-fest,
and I say this while sheepishly admitting a certain affinity
for the not-so-much-good-as-kinda-watchable Gone In 60
Seconds remake. On the commentary track, Cage seems
to be in awe of his own performance. Not in a "Damn I'm
good" kind of way, but in an "I sure was young and crazy"
kind of way.
Kiss tells the story of Peter Lowe (Cage) and his strange
transformation after taking a beautiful girl (Jennifer Beals)
with a biting fetish home from a club. Not only does Cage
act up a cyclone, but he catches Maria Conchita Alonso in
the updraft as Peter's tortured assistant Alva. To call
this picture a black comedy would be like calling Bob Hope
middle-aged. It lunges for your throat and keeps you laughing
even after it has broken the skin and gone back in for seconds.
plays his part broadly, but with such conviction that he
never becomes a cartoon, just an expressionistic idea of
the walking dead. To go back to this picture reminds us
(hopefully along with Cage) that the great performances
ask the actors to drop their cool and become foolish. Brando
died in the tomato patch with an orange in his mouth, Orson
Welles raged around the room like a giant baby, and from
those possibly embarrassing moments come two of the greatest
characters of cinematic history, Vito Corleone and Charles
Foster Kane. To bring Peter Lowe to life, Cage ate a live
the sheer gall of Cage's performance inspires his older
self to take those same chances, to possibly look like a
fool in the pursuit of serious work. For those of you who
are not Nicolas Cage, this picture is a must-see on the
merits of being one of the bleakest, and the same time funniest,
films I have ever seen, thanks in no small part to the performance
that should have won Cage his little gold man.