“Being a vampire in the 20th century is a nightmare.”
You have seen Jim Carrey play a Pet Detective, the God of Mischief, an alien, comic book villain, one of the dumbest people on earth, and even a Grinch who stole Christmas. Did you know before all of that he played a teenage virgin on the verge of becoming a vampire?
Back in 1985 Carrey starred in a movie titled Once Bitten. A movie about Mark Kendall (Carrey) just looking to lose that virginity card since everyone around him except for him and his two best friends. HIs girlfriend isn’t ready so in desperation he heads to Hollywood to have a quick fling. While out on the town he runs into sexpot beauty Lauren Hutton as The Countess. She also is in desperation and on the prowl because she is a 400 year old vampire who has only three days to drink the blood of a virgin and Mark is her only hope.
I remember watching this movie when I was younger and always had a smile on my face watching Jim Carrey act like Jim Carrey. Also the vampire element was funny too. This was also around the time the other monster movies were out that had a cheesy 80’s spin to it. Some that comes to mind are My Mom’s a Werewolf, Ghost Dad, Teen Witch etc. Of course I had to have it in my collection forever. Now comes the time for me to sit down and revisit one of Jim Carrey’s first movies on screen.
Okay….So….This is one of those times where I had to take a moment and think, “What in the hell was I thinking?” It’s funny watching movies as a teen or young adult vs. watching it as a grown person. There were so many things I noticed this go around that were just too easy to notice and so hard to look at. For instance, let’s take in the fact that Carrey and most of the cast are supposed to be in high school. I don’t think there was one actor in this entire movie that was a teenager in real life at the time. Everyone looked like they were in their late 20’s early 30’s. This also might be one of Jim Carrey’s serious roles. He wasn’t even that funny in it. Most of the time he played a brooding and depressed man who kept moping around through the film. The comic relief came from his two best friends Jamie and Russ (Thomas Ballatore and Skip Lackey respectively) Some of Carrey’s physical comedy skills did pop up once or twice in the movie but when he did it, it felt out of character for him to be doing them in the first place.
There were a lot of plot holes of course in regards to the rules of the vampire. How was the Countess able to get to the mall in act 2 of the movie? Why didn’t she just get the blood from Jamie or Russ since they were more horny and clueless than Mark was. Plus they didn’t have a girlfriend holding them back. For the conflict of the movie it made sense of course but these are facts you just can’t ignore. Nothing really said anything about The Countess being a vampire. She wore black all the time and reference her life 400 years ago and slept in a coffin in one scene. The movie was made just under 3.3 million so you can imagine how the effects looked when it came to moments the vampire servants would bust through walls and floors during the chase scene in the final act. Don’t get me started on the dream sequences in the movie where he slowly learned he was changing in places he didn’t understand. Just pay attention what they used as a flying vampire bat in the movie. I want to say they knew what they were doing and mocking the cheesy tone of the movie but I think they were being serious the whole time.
“I can’t believe you are willing to throw away our relationship for a chauffeur, a butler, and a slut who eats buttons.”
Let’s take a break from the negative for a second and talk about the positive. Lauren Hutton was a gorgeous vampire. If I were straight I would definitely be victim to her bite. She played a great seductress with a fun and child like edge. With the materials given to her, she played her part right. I also want to point out that her faithful and loyal butler, chauffeur, second in command Sebastian, played by Cleavon Little, is just everything you can ask for in a Diva and comic relief. Before Meshach Taylor’s character Hollywood Montrose from Mannequin, there was Sebastian. Sebastian was that gay man who was out and proud and rocked that flamboyance with pride and very good at it. He is honestly the best part of the movie. I mean the opening of the movie when they always ran the entire credit sequence in a movie before the movie actually started was just him tidying up the home before waking up The Countess. He owned that role.
So overall, the movie was still good to watch but not as good as I remembered as a child watching it. I love movies involving any kind of monster but even this one had its faults and they were hard to forgive. Once Bitten will always have a place in my heart but this would be a hard sell to audiences today or even to my friends so if you missed that 80’s train growing up with this and other movies alike, it may be too late for you. However, if you want to see a young Jim Carrey who looked a little bit like how Grant Gustin looks like now check it out. I know there are plenty of people who have never heard of this movie but definitely knows Jim Carrey, you can check out the movie that might not be on Carrey’s regrettable career move. If you look closely you can spot Megan Mullally in a short role. I didn’t spot her in the movie, I just noticed she was in it from the credits. Let’s see if you can spot her.
If you happened to have seen the movie, did you like it or hate it? Comment and let me know. Even better, if you happen to watch it for the first time or again after so long, come back and tell me did you agree or disagree with my thoughts.