Bordello of Blood
is the second film based on Tales from the Crypt
, following Demon Knight
. Starring Dennis Miller
, Angie Everhart, Erika Eleniak, Chris Sarandon
and Corey Feldman
, the movie tells the story of Rafe Guttman (Miller), a very snarky
private eye who's called in by Catherine Verdoux (Eleniak) to find her rebellious brother Caleb (Feldman), who went missing after storming out of their house following an argument.
Rafe's investigation leads him to a whorehouse-slash-mortuary run by McCutcheon (Aubrey Morris). Further investigation leads our wisecracking hero to discover that the brothel/mortuary is inhabited by vampires led by Lilith
(Everhart). Turns out Lilith was resurrected by Catherine's boss, televangelist Reverend Jimmy 'J.C.' Current (Sarandon), so he could rid the world of sin
, but Lilith's got her own agenda...and has turned Caleb into one of her own
. Now it falls to Rafe and Catherine to save the world before Lilith and her sexy vamps overrun it.
This film contains the following tropes:
- Ambiguously Jewish: Rafe is seen wearing a Star of David pendant (which a vampire, Tammy, mistakes for a crucifix) and wears a yarmulke at another point in the movie.
- And Show It to You: One of Lilith's favorite ways to kill her male victims, by ripping out their hearts (or at one point in the beginning of the movie, by shoving her tongue down someone's throat and pushing it out from their body—yes, she's that strong) before eating them.
- Back from the Dead: Lilith, at the start of the movie.
- Badass Preacher: Reverend Current near the end.
- Bi the Way: Strangest example ever—Catherine's bite marks from Lilith are on the inside of her thigh.
- Bound and Gagged: Catherine, after she's captured by Lilith.
- Brick Joke: Sunblock.
- Buxom Is Better / I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Subverted with Lilith.
I'm not going to tell you those aren't the Breasts of the Century, but I'm just not digging the owner
, so why don't you put those away; you're just not my type.
- Continuity Cameo: In the scene where Rafe, after being trapped in a hospital, manages to kill the vampire Tammy disguised as a nurse thanks to exposing her to sunlight, his female roommate wakes up and tells him to keep it down as she's trying to sleep. That roommate is played by Whoopi Goldberg, who appeared in both the wraparound and main segment of one of the TV show's episodes.
- Car Fu: How Rafe gets into the mortuary in the final act and takes down McCutcheon.
- Cassandra Truth: Rafe manages to find proof that Lilith is evil, but the pictures he takes show nothing since vampires can't be photographed. Doesn't help that an idiot of a police captain has bad blood with him.
- Though it becomes somewhat of a Someday This Will Come in Handy as when Catherine and her cameraman look over the tapes of an interview she had with Lilith, Lilith isn't seen on tape being interviewed, making her and the cameraman realize Rafe wasn't lying.
- Casting Gag: William Sadler (Brayker from Demon Knight) has a cameo as a mummy in the Framing Device.
- Chekhov's Gun: Reverend Current's "Laserlight o' the Lord."
- Cramming the Coffin: How the vampires dispose of the bodies of their victims.
- Damsel in Distress: Catherine, though she does manage to kill Lilith at the end.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: What McCutcheon suggests to Rafe, who is trying to get into the whorehouse while it's closed.
- Deadpan Snarker: Rafe, full stop. Dennis Miller snarks like no other.
- Downer Ending: Catherine is revealed to have been bitten and turned into a vampire. Though she doesn't reveal this fact till Lilith is destroyed and she and Rafe are alone before snacking on him. Still, the moment comes off as more comedic than depressing. 'Side, it's Tales from the Crypt; what do ya expect?
- It's definitely not a Downer Ending if you're Catherine, of course!
- The Dragon: Vincent is this to Lilith.
- Evil Redhead: Lilith has long red hair.
- Failed a Spot Check: Caleb and his friend at the start when the hookers they're given have very visible bite marks on their necks, indicating they're making out with walking corpses. Caleb does start to notice with the girl he's with, but Lilith comes along and distracts and quickly turns him before he can question it further.
- Flipping the Bird: Lilith does this to Rafe, complete with a "Fuck you!", after he cuts her with an ax.
- Gaslighting: Gets lampshaded by Rafe in one scene where he brings Catherine and the police captain to the mortuary to prove his claims about the whorehouse/mortuary.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: One of Lilith's minions is hit with holy water in the torso. Both parts survive for a bit (the legs can be seen stumbling off while the upper body of the woman manages to drag herself to Reverend Current before dying).
- Lilith also gets this via an ax, but Rafe doesn't cut deep enough and she simply attaches the cut part back to her body like putty.
- Head-Tiltingly Kinky: McCutcheon is one weird motherfucker. He even plays with the nipples of fat female corpses.
- Heel-Face Turn: Reverend Current had Lilith resurrected so he could have her cleanse the world of sin, but when she turns on him, he realizes how badly he screwed up and resolves to help Rafe put an end to Lilith.
- Sacrificial Lion: Poor Reverend Current.
- The Schlub Pub Seduction Deduction: Interesting subversion as the schlub is the protagonist, Rafe. Even more of a subversion, Rafe rejects the attempt.
Lilith: (as a cheerleader) Two, four, six, eight, you can watch me masturbate!
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Lilith, until she's freed at the start of the movie.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: "Ballroom Blitz" plays during the Storming the Castle sequence.
- Storming the Castle: Rafe and Current going to town on the female vampires of the bordello near the end.
- Thematic Series: Along with Demon Knight, making up the Tales from the Crypt film series which aren't connected in a narrative fashion.
- Transhuman Treachery: Pretty much all the turned victims.
- Tammy, a (supposed) hooker looking for work, has the unfortunate luck of being referred to Lilith. After a interview, Lilith "hires" her (i.e., becomes a meal for Lilith. Rafe, while investigating the house and not moments before passed the room where she was speaking to Lilith, hears Tammy scream and her body hitting the floor. Lilith is seen later picking her fangs from the feeding and calling for McCutcheon to come move and prep Tammy's body before she resurrects) and Tammy is next seen much more lustful then her friendly self seen during her interview, completely subservient to Lilith (she seems genuinely afraid when she has to explain herself when Rafe escapes her).
- Caleb, who is seen again late in the film, is spared from being outright killed as his buddy was and is turned into a vampire, happily helping Lilith and her henchmen kidnap his sister, but then again, he was shown at the beginning to be an asshole. Even telling Catherine he wasn't keen at first on becoming an undead (probably referring to when he was still human before Lilith and the girl who picked him showcased their fangs) but now finds it "pretty damn cool."
- And of course, Catherine herself at the end of the movie, though a clue to the audience is when she seems much more receptive to Rafe's advances.
- Triple Nipple: "I always wanted a girl with a little extra."
- Twist Ending: It turns out that the religious, celibate and heterosexual Catherine was actually seduced and turned into one of the promiscuous, bisexual vampire prostitutes before she was ever "rescued," but played along so that Rafe would wipe out her competition and she could start a whole new evil vampire sex cult beginning with him.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Subverted; it's just a cover for Lilith's operations.
- Vampire Monarch: Lilith, obviously.
- Vampires Are Sex Gods: It's a literal example of the trope. Lilith is the original vampire, and she was an ancient goddess of blood and sex, making her turned victims actual demi-gods of sex and blood.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Reverend Current had Lilith brought back so he could use her to rid the world of sin.
- Wham Line:
Rafe: What is that perfume you're wearing?
Catherine: It's not perfume. It's sunblock.