Starring: Eddie Murphy, Angela Bassett, Allen Payne and Kadeem Hardison
Rated: R Comedy/Fantasy/Horror
Vampire in Brooklyn opens with a mysterious ship crashing into a dockyard in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The inspector, Silas Green (John Witherspoon), heads aboard, only to discover it is full of mutilated bodies and is almost attacked by a wolf.
His shady and weak nephew, Julius Jones (Kadeem Hardison), arrives afterward to find his frightened uncle and members of the NYPD on the docks. Julius is also shaken because a vampire, Maximillian (Eddie Murphy), just slaughtered local Italian thugs who were threatening Julius. Being famished, he bites Julius, turning him into a ghoul who is to serve Maximillian.
Called “Max” for short, he is on a mission to locate and build a relationship with the Dhampir daughter of a vampire from his home back in the Caribbean. He can’t search for her during the day and needs Julius’ aid to connect with her before the daylight of the next full moon. They soon discover that this daughter is Rita Veder (Angela Bassett). She is a city detective whose mother, a paranormal researcher, recently passed away in an asylum. She is unaware of her vampiric heritage.
As Max lays on the charm to get close to Rita, obstacles occur. These include the suspicions of her partner Detective Justice (Allen Payne) about Max’s true intent as well as visions that prompt Rita to think she is having a mental breakdown.
Viewers of this comedic horror film need to grab some popcorn and pop to see how it turns out for Max and Rita!
Initially panned by critics at the time of its 1995 release in theatres, Vampire in Brooklyn was loved by moviegoers at the time and has since become a cult classic. Qualities that renders it a favorite range from the chemistry between Murphy and Bassett to the film’s content being centered on a Black vampire.
This contemporary urban horror film was directed by Wes Craven. In the last film Murphy was contracted for under Paramount Pictures, he wanted to do one that was not a comedy. While he wanted this final motion picture to be fun, he also wanted it to be taken more seriously. An aspect of his intent was the development of a plot centered in Black culture, ranging from its African and Caribbean influences to the hip urbanity of Brooklyn. This intent of Murphy was a point of difference between the legendary director of horror films, who felt Murphy should have included more comedic spots. Although he would hilariously cameo in two roles, “Guido” an Italian gangster, and “Preacher Pauly”, a corrupt pastor, Murphy remained true to his vision.
Because Eddie Murphy and his two brothers, Charlie Murphy and Vernon Lynch, wrote the script of Vampire in Brooklyn, they could greater ensure Murphy’s vision was realized!