Film: Vampire's Kiss

Vampire's Kiss is a 1989 film starring Nicolas Cage in what could quite possibly be his craziest performance in a career full of crazy performances.

Peter Loew is a yuppie literary agent who goes insane. He plays as a businessman by day, and hops clubs picking up women by night. In the opening, Peter sees his therapist, Dr. Glaser, whom he visits frequently, about his sexual conquests. One night, he takes a woman home with him, and a bat gets into his apartment. The experience leaves him feeling sexually excited, something he reports to Dr. Glaser.

Soon after, he meets up with a woman named Rachel in a night club and takes her to his apartment to have sex. However, unknown to Peter, Rachel is a vampire, and she bites Peter on his neck while they are having sex. After that, he believes that he is turning into a vampire, and consequentially, he develops a sensitivity to sunlight and can no longer see his reflection. However, although Peter believes his reflection is gone, it's visible to the audience, and although he thinks he'll burn in the sun, it has no effect on him.

It's one of THOSE movies.

Not to be confused with the SNES game known in Europe as Castlevania: Vampire's Kiss. For that, see Castlevania: Dracula X.

This film provides examples of:

  • Actually Not a Vampire: You don't say?
  • All Just a Dream: Rachel, as a vampire, is really a figment of Peter's insane mind. It does appear that there's a real woman named Rachel, although it's ambiguous as to whether or not she knows him as anything other than a one-night stand.
  • Ax-Crazy: Peter. Possibly also Nicolas Cage.
  • Bad Boss: Peter obviously. See Below.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Alva. Peter is absolutely horrible to her even before he rapes her.
  • Butt Monkey: Alva.
  • Chewingthe Scenery
  • Cut Himself Shaving: Peter really does cut himself shaving, but starts to think of the cut as his vampire bite. Him employing this trope when Dr. Glaser asks about the bandage on his neck is a sort of unwitting truth.
  • Cute Little Fangs: When the fangs that Peter expects to appear fail to do so, he buys a pair of cheap plastic costume fangs from a novelty shop and runs around flashing them.
  • The Dog Bites Back:After Peter rapes Alva, she tells her brother, who kills Peter.
  • Epiphany Therapy: Dr. Glaser, Peter's psychiatrist.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Alva's position at the office progressively becomes the job of acting as Peter's personal chew toy throughout the movie. He flat-out threatens to fire her if she refuses or fails to find a twenty-five-year-old contract, despite her dedication and dependability.
  • Girly Run: Seen as Peter runs down the street, screaming, "I'M A VAMPIAH! I'M A VAMPIAH! I'M A VAMPIAH!"
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: There is a close-up of Peter eating a cockroach. To make matters more disturbing, Nicolas Cage actually ate a real cockroach. It took three takes before the scene was finished.
    • Apparently, that part wasn't actually scripted, and the roach's owner got very angry at Cage for eating it, considering the time and money it took to train.
  • Holy Burns Evil: To the point where sunlight or anything cross-shaped causes Peter to scream in pain. Since it's all in his head and he can't die, this goes on for awhile.
  • Likes Older Women: Late in the movie, Peter calls Dr. Glaser at night. She is wearing an alluring night gown, with a shirtless young man in his 20s.
  • Looks Like Orlok: Nicolas Cage does a rather impressive physical impression of Count Orlok in one of the later scenes in the movie, before assaulting a young woman at a nightclub.
  • Madness Mantra: Check the page quote.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: This is sort of an overall theme with this movie, since it's never explicitly stated whether or not Peter is really a vampire (although there are several clues that he probably isn't).
    • A bit more ambiguously whether or not Rachel is a vampire. That she is, but Peter is merely a Vampire Vannabe, is a possible interpretation.
  • Mind Rape: When Rachel bit Peter, it apparently drove him insane. Or not. He showed signs of descending into psychosis even before he was bitten.
  • Posters Always Lie: Despite what the various posters might indicate, this is NOT a romantic comedy, but a somewhat disturbing psychological thriller in the vein of American Psycho.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: It is apparent, as the movie progresses, that vampires are not real in the world of the movie. Peter, however, seems to fully believe in the most common vampire tropes.
    • Well, not exactly. While Peter very obviously isn't one, the existence of vampires as a whole is left ambiguous. Rachel could either be a real vampire or simply a delusional fantasy. She even has a conspiratorial smirk when Peter is thrown out of a club.
  • The Power of Love: By the end of the movie, Peter believes that true love is the only thing that can cure his psychosis. He tells this to a statue in downtown New York City, although he thinks he's talking to his therapist.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: As Peter's mental state gets worse, you're shown his hallucinations.
  • Rape Discretion Shot: When Peter rapes Alva, all we are shown is him pinning her to the ground and tearing her blouse a little.
  • The Renfield: Peter to Rachel. He even eats a cockroach.
  • Sanity Slippage: Peter.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Invoked and later subverted with Peter's imaginary girlfriend Sharon. At first, he imagines her to be his perfect match, but by the time he gets back to his apartment, he's screaming at her for asking about his vampire-phase before telling her to leave.
  • Vampire Vannabe: Peter to the point where he wants someone to stake him.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Rachel is apparently quite voracious in bed. Even a bat seems to arouse Peter.
  • Villain Protagonist
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Peter's weird high-class accent seems to soften depending on who he's talking to. The best comparison is that it sounds like a mix of Ted Theodore Logan and Patrick Bateman. One review even described it as a "from-nowhere accent".
  • Weakened by the Light: Not so much weakened as pushed into the final stages of delusion.
  • Wondrous Ladies Room: At one point, Peter chases Alva into the women's restroom, revealing a very posh environment for nature's business.