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Film / Vampire in Brooklyn

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"Interesting. I've been stabbed, and I've been hanged, and I've been burned. Even broken on the rack once, but I've never been shot before. Kind of itches a little!"

Vampire in Brooklyn is a 1995 horror/comedy film directed by Wes Craven.

Eddie Murphy (who also co-wrote the film) stars as Maximillian, a vampire from Jamaica who is the Last of His Kind. He has come to Brooklyn to seek out Rita Veder (Angela Bassett), the only known Half Vampire in America, and teach her who she is. She just happens to be a police detective. Maximillian also has problems with the courting concept. Killing her annoying roommate Nikki (Simbi Khali) is not the way to impress a girl.

This film provides examples of:

  • And Show It to You: After Max rips out the heart of one of the Italian gangsters threatening Julius early in the film.
  • Alliterative Name: Julius Jones, Preacher Pauley.
  • Asshole Victim: The gangsters Max killed, and the rich, Spoiled Brat white lady he tries to convince Rita to feed off of later in the film. After complaining about "the help" to her boyfriend before saying goodnight, she then speaks very condescendingly to Max, who she thinks just wants to mug her. She goes on about how she understands "the negro" and how they've been oppressed by the white man. She goes into Too Dumb to Live territory because speaking condescendingly to an attacker is not a smart thing to do.
  • Bad Boss: Maximillian is awful to Julius. Granted, Julius is an idiot and causes a lot of his own problems, but Maximillian has no qualms about throwing Julius around. He even pulls out his tongue in one scene and threatens to hang him with it after he screws up Max's attempt to seduce Rita in Zeko's nightclub.
  • Baddie Flattery / Combat Compliment after getting shot, falling over, and then getting back up as if nothing happened, Maximilian compliments Tony's shooting, telling him he has quite good aim; before ripping out his heart.
  • Bitch Slap: When Rita and Justice arrest Guido, they briefly argue until she slaps him in front of everyone in the police office.
  • Body Horror: This is what happens to Julius after Maximillian turns him into his Ghoul slave. Mostly it's done for laughs as it exaggerates Julius' role as a Butt-Monkey, but it's still creepy and disgusting because Julius becomes a walking corpse. In fact, he is a zombie, even though he still retains his intelligence, but as his uncle would say, "Thank God for small favors," because he was an idiot to begin with. At first, Julius loses the pigmentation in his skin, an ear, a hand; his hair falls out and his skin is mottled; and towards the end, one of his eyes falls out and gets squished. He eventually becomes a Karma Houdini because he finds and puts on Maximillian's ring, which fully regenerates him and turns him into a very sexy vampire.
  • Bond One-Liner: "Put a little heart into it" (while showing a dying man his own heart).
  • Bullying a Dragon / Mugging the Monster: Guido, a low-life Italian gangster, tries to mug Max and Julius. Max promptly kills Guido and assumes his form and identity.
    Julius: (watching Guido die) Dumbass.
  • Butt-Monkey: Julius up until the end of the movie.
  • The Casanova: Maximillian is quite literally a handsome devil. While he is trying to court Rita, he seduces and ultimately kills her roommate Nikki. He is quite literally a ladykiller and does all that to make Rita hate her partner Justice, whom he makes her believe slept with Nikki.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Julius thinks he's God's gift to women when in fact he's not. His girlfriend kicks him out for falling asleep while having sex with her.
  • Chewing the Scenery: When Max kills and impersonates Rita's pastor to get close to her, and suddenly has to put on a sermon. Hilarity Ensues when he can't deal with all the crosses for obvious reasons, and holds the whole thing outside and improvises a speech about Necessarily Evil and two-dollar hookers.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Maximillian has a lot of trouble going through his ordeal.
    Julius Jones: Hey, man, my pops always said the quickest way to a woman's heart - the church.
    Maximillian: It's actually through the ribcage, but that's a bit messy.
  • Dhampyr: Rita is the offspring of a human woman and a vampire.
  • Dingy Trainside Apartment: Rita and Nikki shared an apartment right near the elevated subway tracks. But neither of them is bothered by it because it's Brooklyn and the city never sleeps.
  • Double Entendre: When Rita and Justice are questioning some mobsters about the deaths of two of their own, and whether or not they think Julius had anything to do with it, specifically asking if Julius ICED them? One of the mobsters laughs and says, "That putz couldn't ice tea!"
  • Dragon Ascendant: Julius becomes a vampire at the end of the movie and his uncle Silas becomes his servant.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Rita's dreams about things that will happen in the future.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: A police dog and a mobster's pet cat both react with angry growling when Max is around. He kills them both to avoid being outed as a vampire.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Vampire in Brooklyn, hello?
  • Failed a Spot Check: After Rita walks away in disgust from Nikki's bedroom door (thinking Justice had come back to the apartment to screw Nikki), a few seconds later Nikki starts screaming, in a clearly non-sexual way, Somehow Rita couldn't hear her roommate getting murdered by Max from a few rooms away.
  • Game Face: When Max acts really vampiric, he grows an X-shaped ridge on his face and his nose grows huge and beastly.
  • Genre Blind: Coupled with a Negated Moment of Awesome. A surprising moment occurred with Dr. Zeko, he manages to stake Maximillian, but gets him in the stomach instead of the heart. After experiencing a moment of shock and pain, Maximillian berates Dr. Zeko by comparing his stomach to his heart and telling him he should know the rules by now.
    "The heart, Zeko, you have to stake me in the heart! This is my heart, and this is my stomach, heart, stomach, heart, stomach, you should know the rules by now Zeko!
  • He Went That Way: After pretending to be a low-life gangster who got arrested robbing a restaurant that happened to be a mob front, Maximillian creates a distraction that gives him time to return to his normal form. The cops look around for the gangster and Max sends them on a wild goose chase.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Max uses a version of this towards the end of the movie. Different from usual in that Rita has already killed him...but he honestly seems pleased that she's at least proved her predator nature.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Notable because Max apparently doesn't just drink blood. When Julius offers to get him some food, he spits a massive gobbet of flesh out of his teeth and announces with a smirk, "I already had Italian."
  • Insistent Terminology: After being chased down by Mafia loan sharks because of an unpaid debt, Julius calls one of them, a handsome pretty boy in a suit, "Tony." The man gets upset and says "What are you, mental? How many times I gotta tell ya? I'm Anthony! He's Tony." And a fat, middle-aged bald mobster exits the car.
  • Karma Houdini: After helping Maximillian in his evil schemes, Julius gets to take his place at the end of the movie.
  • Kiss Diss: Rita's roommate, Nikki, tries to kiss Justice, but Justice dissed her as he has developed feelings for Rita.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Maximillian is as evil as they come, but he genuinely does love Rita. He doesn't even get mad when she betrays him and stakes him in the heart; in fact, he's pleased she's a killer.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: When Rita stakes Maximillian through the heart after he dies his lair collapses and the illusion that he's living in a palace completely gives way to reveal that the place is a total slum.
  • Made from Real Girl Scouts: See above.
  • Made of Iron: Max, as stated in the page quote above.
  • The Mafia: Two mafia loan sharks appear early on to harass Julius over his debts to them, only to find themselves getting preyed upon by Max. Other mobsters are later seen hanging out at an Italian restaurant, where Max disguises himself as one of their disgraced former associates (whom he also killed) as part of another plan to get Rita's attention.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: After he rips out a mobster's heart, the guy just gasps and says "Ouch" before keeling over.
  • Magic Pants: Not only do Max's clothes survive all shape-shifts, but he can also change them into a different outfit and, in the end, when Julius becomes a vampire after putting on Max's ring, he gets a whole new outfit complete with sunglasses and jewelry!
  • Meaningful Name: Rita's partner on the police force is named "Justice." Julius' uncle Silas Greene is a little harder to catch on to, but it is a reference to his character's defining trait (greed).
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Julius is an idiot as both a numbers runner for The Mob and as Maximillian's undead slave. He nearly ruins Max's seduction and courtship of Rita on numerous occasions.
  • Mr. Exposition: Dr. Zeko and Maximillian, who narrates the opening scene. Justice qualifies when he tells Rita that Nikki was murdered and she was killed exactly the way Rita painted it earlier.
  • Mood Whiplash: The film tends to be awkward when it comes to transitioning from a vampire film and a Black Comedy.
  • No-Sell: When Maximillian gets shot, he falls back into a fog bank...only to soon rise up like he was resting against a length of wood straightening him out.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Rita and Justice seem to be the dynamic duo as detectives. But they seem to be more than just friends as Rita is later seen jealous of Justice by accusing him of having screwed her roommate Nikki and how Justice gladly responds when Rita kisses him later.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: They're created by being fed vampire blood and act as servants, though they suffer physical decay over time. But they can become vampires themselves if they last long enough.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: They have most of the traditional traits, like shapeshifting, vulnerability to sunlight, sleeping in coffins, and only capable of dying if stabbed in the heart. Additionally, however, they're specifically stated to be a species, and while they can reproduce with humans, normal victims can't become vampires themselves though ghouls can.
  • Pet the Dog: Maximillian compliments Julius when he notices Julius used a mannequin's hand to replace his own after it falls off.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Julius is a numbers runner for the mob, then he becomes Maximillian's undead slave. In both, he is a lazy loser more interested in goofing off than doing his job.
  • Pungeon Master: Maximillian, who has a very wicked sense of humor; most of his puns are death-related.
  • Ring of Power: When Julius puts on Maximillian's ring, it instantly transforms him from a rotting Ghoul to a Vampire.
  • Second-Hand Storytelling: The movie's resident supernatural expert and one-time vampire hunter Dr. Zeko tells Rita and Justice about how he got into a fight with a vampire while trying to protect a woman. He said he lost the fight but he was somehow able to walk away from the altercation with nothing but a very large scar on one side of his face. The woman was Rita's mother, and thus it's implied he killed Rita's father, who was a vampire. Rita, and especially Justice, think Zeko is a fraud and that he's lying to make a name for himself.
  • Sequel Hook: Julius turned into a vampire and replaced Max at the end of the movie; obviously, this was setting us up for a sequel that was never done.
  • Shapeshifting: Max
  • Shout-Out: During the opening Narration, Maximilian indirectly references Dracula when he talks about how The Nosferatu were originally from Egypt but were expelled thousands of years ago. Many of the vampires relocated to the Carpathian Mountains in eastern Europe. It doubles as somewhat of a Take That! when he smugly mentions that "others of better taste—including myself—settled in a part of the Caribbean known as The Bermuda Triangle."
    • The scene of a ship crashing into port (because a vampire had killed the crew) also occurs in Dracula.
    • When Julius's arm falls off, his uncle tells him "Now you're The Fugitive!"
  • Tempting Fate: After Maximilian interrupts the mobsters' murder of Julius, he gets shot and falls over as if he is dead. The pretty boy Anthony laughs and says "He's no fun; he just fell over." A few seconds later, Maximilian gets back up and reminisces about how he has been stabbed, hung, burned, and broken on the rack, but up until then never shot. He even comments about how it itches a little bit. He then rips out Tony's heart and rips Anthony apart.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Lampshaded furiously at the end when Julius is stunned by how much bigger his dick has become after becoming a vampire.
  • Verbal Backspace: When Max takes over for Preacher Pauley, he suddenly gets dragged inside the church and starts to ignite from all the crosses:
    Maximillian: GOD-DAMN!
    (congregation looks at him aghast)
    Maximillian: Uh...God...damns...anyone who doesn't glorify in his work! It's a hell of a night outside! Come on, let's go do the sermon on the lawn!
  • What Is Evil?: Having taken over for Preacher Pauley, Max explains carefully that without evil to contrast with it, there can be no good; therefore, evil is ultimately good as it causes good to exist. Followed by leading the congregation in the impromptu gospel song "Evil Is Good"
  • Will They or Won't They?: Rita and Justice have this dynamic at the beginning. They obviously care for each other, but they are too afraid to admit it. Not to mention, they've ever kissed in the middle and at the end of the film.