If you've been waiting since 1981 for Landis to reprise the clever blend of horror and humour of An American Werewolf in London, this black-comic vampire movie will answer some of your prayers. Parillaud plays Maria, a modern-day vampire with glinting eyes and selective eating habits: she only feeds on bad guys, which puts ambitious Mafia boss Sal Macelli (Loggia) on the menu. Also staking out Macelli is undercover cop Joe Gennaro (LaPaglia) who, despite discovering Maria's secret, teams up with her to prevent Sal turning Pittsburgh into an open-air restaurant for Mafia blood brothers. Going easy on the tomato sauce and fx trimmings, Landis and Parillaud instead emphasise the loneliness of Maria's nocturnal existence. Drawing a parallel with Gennaro's undercover isolation and hinting at a cautious affinity in a bravura sex scene, Landis brilliantly captures a carnal craving laced with blood lust and dangerous eroticism; but, regrettably, all too often the tone lurches from stylish suspense to smart-ass in-jokiness and silly slapstick.
Cast and crew