An 18-year-old college freshman is seduced by a handsome vampire lover who introduces her to a dark world of carnal desires.
Like a 90’s Lifetime movie with Alyssa Milano and softcore RELEASED IN 1995 and directed by Anne Goursaud, "Embrace of the Vampire” is an erotic drama/romance about a college freshman (Alyssa Milano) who is haunted and seduced by a vampire (Martin Kemp), which transforms her from virginal to darkly sultry. I thought this was going to be a 90’s version of “Twilight” (2008), but the production quality is of the Lifetime movie level with an emphasis on erotica (softcore). Alyssa obviously wanted to shed her chaste kid-star image from Who’s the Boss and she does so as she’s shown top nude and almost naked on several occasions (I should specify that no one’s genitals are ever shown). Some dreamlike sequences are awkwardly hedonistic and mere excuses for erotic semi-nudity. The film starts weak with an inferior rip-off of the Dracula’s three brides’ seduction of Jonathan Harker in “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992). As far as the story goes, I like the coming-of-age at college element with Harold Pruett playing the likable beau and Jordan Ladd the prissy biyatch. Charlotte Lewis is on hand as a photographer who’s interested in something more than merely photographing Milano’s character. Meanwhile Jennifer Tilly has a small role as an oversexed pub patron. So there’s some good in this movie that makes it worthwhile but, for me, the good is canceled out by the semi-porn elements. THE MOVIE RUNS 1 hour, 32 minutes and was shot at Shattuck-St. Mary's School (a college-prep boarding school) in Faribault, Minnesota. GRADE: C-
Embrace of the Vampire is a teenage wet dream come true for anyone who first felt their loins stirring while watching Who's the Boss. The two stars of this “erotic horror story” (All Movie) are arguably Alyssa Milano's breasts which, like a pair of Norma Desmonds, were ready for their close-up. If the plot, such as it is, of this movie seems awfully familiar, then let's just say that director Anne Goursaud is mostly known for her work editing Francis Ford Coppola films, including Bram Stoker's Dracula (hintity hint hint). The nameless villain (a vampire played by Spandau Ballet’s bassist Martin Kemp... so, Kempire?), who apparently lives in the clock tower of an equally nameless university campus, has a small window to seduce Charlotte (Milano): "In three days I will fall into an eternal sleep." Why three days? This is the number of days until Charlotte's eighteenth birthday, but a cause-and-effect relationship is never established between one event and the other. The eternal sleep thing isn't explained either, but clearly Kempire doesn't want Charlotte as much as he needs her to "survive" — which is not a bad thing per se, but then why does the movie invoke the Reincarnation Romance? Anyway, as well as having to remain "pure", Charlotte "must desire [Kempire] before he empt[ies] her life down [his] throat." One possible reason for Kempire's urgency is Chris (Harold Pruett), Charlotte's horny boyfriend, but a bigger threat is Sarah (Charlotte Lewis), "the campus nympho." According to All Movie, "To weaken Charlotte's resolve, the vampire plans to introduce the lovely Sarah to the pleasures of lesbianism." That’s dumb even for this movie’s standards. Regardless of whether or not Charlotte would remain pure, I thought the idea was for her to leave Chris for Kempire, not for some random bisexual photographer. Then again, the character of Sarah exists solely to provide some of what Eric Bischoff used to call Hot Lesbian Action. Interestingly, Kempire is not averse, in order to lure him away from Charlotte, to seduce Chris himself — albeit in the tantalizing shape of Jennifer Tilly. Now, if only Kempire had approached Chris man-to-man, so to speak, that might have offset the gratuitous sapphism. With all this is going on, Charlotte's grades suffer — for example, she gets a "D" in her "film noir" midterm (I like to think one of the questions was 'what is the Maltese Falcon made of?') —, which could just as easily be due to Kempire's distracting influence as to the fact that, up to this point, we haven't seen Charlotte (or, for that matter, any other character), attend any classes at all. An argument in favor of the distraction theory is that Charlotte at some point wears a necklace with an ankh pendant Kempire gave her, an object which, apart from glowing in the dark, supposedly alters the behavior of the person who wears it — which, in Charlotte's case, means different hair, makeup, wearing revealing clothes (though this, ironically, means she’s actually overdressed in these scenes), and flirting with random guys. All of this raises one question: If Kempire needs Charlotte to not only remain pure, but also give herself to him of her own free will, for what possible reason would he give her a behavior-altering artifact that makes her act like a slut? All things considered, there’s no horror here, nor is there much of a story, but at last they got the erotic part right.