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Film / Innocent Blood

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"I was sad, I was starved. It was time to treat myself, and I thought: What about... Italian?"

A 1992 Black Comedy horror film from director John Landis in which, essentially, Vampires meet The Mafia.

In Pittsburgh, Friendly Neighborhood Vampire Marie (Anne Parillaud) lives from one night to the next, feeding on the city's criminal element. When a Mob War breaks out involving the crime family of Sal "The Shark" Macelli (Robert Loggia), Marie takes advantage of the violence to mask her own feeding, draining Sal's goons and then using a Sawed-Off Shotgun to ensure that they won't rise from the dead. One night, however, she makes the mistake of preying on Sal himself, and is forced to flee the scene before she can ensure that he stays dead.

Now empowered with the might of The Undead, Sal begins to assemble an army of vampires with which to take total control of the Mob. To survive and take the bloodsucking made men down, Marie must turn to Joe Gennaro (Anthony LaPaglia), a Cowboy Cop whose undercover infiltration of the Macelli family has threatened to destroy it. But can Marie and Joe stop Sal and his men before it's too late?

Provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All Men Are Perverts: This is Marie's operating principle. It seems to serve her in good stead, although she recognizes on sight that Joe isn't one. (The next man she sees, however...)
  • Amoral Attorney: Played by Don Rickles, no less.
  • Arch-Enemy: Maria has Sal the Shark, a Mafia don she accidentally turned into a vampire.
  • Artistic License Physics: The baseball bat shattering after being used on a vampire? It would have to be swung with sufficient force, rather than just hitting a sufficiently hard object.
  • Bad Boss: Oddly, Sal becomes less of one after becoming a vampire.
  • Batter Up!: One of the least effective weapons against vampires, as Joe finds out, breaking the bat on one.
  • Berserk Button: Marie invokes this by touching almost getting hit by Tony's car.
  • Big Bad: Sal "the Shark" Marcelli, The Mafia boss Marie accidentally vamped.
  • The Cameo: Frank Oz doing his usual Landis cameo, this time as a pathologist who is very much surprised by Sal the Shark coming back to life.
    Security Guard: (witnessing Sal running out of the room) Well, stop him!
    Pathologist: (very much surprised/horrified) You stop him!
  • Casual Kink: Marie letting herself get cuffed.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: A centuries old vampiress vs. Italian (vampire) mob.
  • Cowboy Cop: Any resemblance between Joe's methods and actual police procedure are purely coincidental.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Most movies portray a vampire being destroyed by sunlight as a quick, flashy incineration. This one, not so much.
  • Cue the Sun: Sal drives into the Fort Pitt Tunnels in the dark, and the sun pops up just as he exits the tunnel.
  • Digging to China: As they descend through the basement of a restaurant, they pass through a Chinese kitchen.
    "We've come down so far, we're in China."
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: A dead man wakes up in the morgue and runs out past a crowd of reporters. A man spontaneously combusts in his hospital bed in front of a team of doctors and nurses. A man survives being slammed into head first by a bus, then hijacks it by jumping through the windshield. And multiple vampires walk around flashing fangs and Kaleidoscope Eyes at random people. The muggles take precisely zero notice of any of this.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Marie insists on only feeding on people she thinks deserve it.
  • Feral Vampires: Even the "good" vampire Marie feeds in a frenzy. Newer vampires like Sal have trouble hiding their glowing eyes, and animalistic hunger.
  • Game Face: Marie has a scary one, but so do all the other vampires.
  • A God Am I: Sal has one of these...while ablaze from head to foot.
    Sal: You think you can kill me? All you've killed here is my suit!
  • Hello, Attorney!: Angela Bassett as U.S. Attorney Sinclair.
  • Horror Comedy: Oh yes. While it lines more into the side of comedy, the film still keep various horror bits.
  • Kaleidoscope Eyes: Vampires' eyes glow in a variety of colors, including green, yellow, white, blue, and red. They really had a problem keeping those contact lenses lined up too...
  • Kinky Cuffs: When Marie decides to have sex with Joe Gennaro, she allows him to cuff her hands behind her back so she can't harm him. During sex she vamps out and breaks the cuffs, but just continues having sex without killing him.
  • The Mafia: Yup, right down to all possible stereotypes involving the Italian mob.
  • Magic Pants: When Marie changes into mist, her clothes change with her.
  • Mob War: Sal is in one, and Marie uses it to cover her tracks.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Sal is quick to realise how much utility he could get out of turning his made men into more vampires, especially since he's in a middle of a Mob War.
    • When Joe and Marie face a locked doors to a night club they need to get into, she simply rips the door out, breaking the lock in the process.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Seriously, doesn't matter if you're a vampire: don't mess with a guy named "Sal the Shark."
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: There are vampire movies that characters in-universe watch - but the word "vampire" is not uttered once.
  • Only One Name: Marie. We never learn anything more about her, despite she clearly must be using at least an alias in a modern world.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The vampires' powers seem to be fairly standard. They operate at night, they drink blood with fangs, they're repelled by garlic, they sizzle like cakes on the griddle in sunlight, they're super fast and super strong, they can turn into mist, and they have a Healing Factor. Crosses don't seem to faze them (Marie goes into a church), and their visage is reflected in mirrors (Marie breaking the rearview mirror after her first kill). On the other hand, what can kill them seems to get somewhat...fungible as the movie goes on. At first, it's just headshots and sunlight. By the last ten minutes or so, neck snaps are doing the trick.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When vampires feed, their eyes glow red.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Despite being a vampire story, this seems to be the most reliable and consistent way of disposing them. Neck snaps included.
  • Rule #1: Marie's rules of feeding. Rule Number One is "don't play with the food." Rule Number Two is "always finish the food." The whole plot revolves around the fact she was unable to apply Rule Number Two and had to flee the scene.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: How Marie likes to "finish the food."
  • Suicide by Sunlight: Marie, at the end of the movie, attempts this. In the movie's set of rules for how vampires operate, it's a fairly painful way to go. Joe convinces her not to go through with it.
  • Super-Senses: "I can hear an angel fart."
  • Super Smoke: Vampires can turn into mist.
  • Television Geography: The Fort Pitt Tunnels, which Sal drives out of when he sees the rising sun, face northeast so there's no way he could have seen the rising sun head-on from there. Justified by the Rule of Cool, though.
    • There's a car chase that drives along the same stretch of the Parkway four times.
  • Toilet Humour:
    Coroner: Some nights there's so much farting and belching in here, it's like being in a ballpark.
  • The Unreveal: Anything about Marie prior to the first scene.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: And they're awful messy, too.
  • Vampires Are Rich: Marie would have to be, given that she has no apparent source of income, yet lives comfortably.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Marie, sure. Sal? Not so much. So it may have more to do with Everyone Looks Sexier if French posing as this.
  • Vampires Own Nightclubs: Sal owned a nightclub before he was a vampire, since he's a Mafia don as well.
  • The Virus: Anyone bitten by a vampire will become a vampire, unless their central nervous system is destroyed (for example, with a headshot) before they wake up again.
  • Waif-Fu: Don't mess with Marie, as her stature means absolutely squat. She's tossing people around as if nothing, Punch Catching and so on.
  • Waking Up at the Morgue: For Sal. This causes an understandable degree of consternation, both for him and the guy who was about to autopsy him.
  • Wall Crawl: Another vampiric power.

Alternative Title(s): A French Vampire In America