My Best Friend Is a Vampire
|My Best Friend Is a Vampire|
|Directed by||Jimmy Huston|
|Produced by||Dennis Murphy
|Written by||Tab Murphy|
|Starring||Robert Sean Leonard
|Music by||Steve Dorff|
|Edited by||Janice Hampton
|Distributed by||Kings Road Entertainment|
|Release dates||October 1, 1987
May 6, 1988 (United States)
|Running time||89 minutes|
My Best Friend Is a Vampire (also known as I Was a Teenage Vampire) is a 1987 American horror-comedy film directed by Jimmy Huston. The story revolves around a newly made vampire who is trying to live as a "good" vampire and not feed on humans. Jeremy is played by Robert Sean Leonard and Rene Auberjonois also stars as Jeremy's vampire guidance counsel. The film's themes include prejudice, identity, gender roles, and adolescence.
Jeremy Capello (Robert Sean Leonard), is a typical American teenager fighting with the usual problem of getting himself a girlfriend. Although he has caught the eye of the head cheerleader Candy (LeeAnne Locken), he has his eyes on his classmate and band geek Darla Blake (Cheryl Pollak), but she in turn is unnerved by his constant staring at her.
Recently, Jeremy has been having some weird nightmares about a strange woman trying to seduce him, and later he actually encounters that woman named Nora (Cecilia Peck), who makes an obvious invitation to him, while delivering groceries. His skirt-chasing friend Ralph (Evan Mirand) convinces him to take up the opportunity for a first erotic experience. But the encounter goes badly: first the woman bites him in the neck, then two strangers burst into the house, forcing Jeremy to run for his life.
Next morning, Jeremy looks pale and does not feel well, and he sees in his father's newspaper that the house of Nora's has mysteriously burned down. Also, throughout the day he notices a strange man observing him. This man pops into his bedroom the very next night, introduces himself as Modoc (Rene Auberjonois) and carefully attempts to relate to Jeremy that he is now a vampire (albeit a living one, not an undead). Jeremy of course is at first skeptical, to say the least, but a sudden aversion to garlic, an increasing sensitivity to sunlight and a craving for blood slowly convince him otherwise. His new vampire "life-style" hampers his attempts to start a relationship with Darla, who has finally become interested in him; otherwise Jeremy begins to adapt to the minor impacts the change has brought to his life. Modoc even gives him a guide book and explains to him that vampires are just like any other "minority group" that has been persecuted over the centuries.
Slowly, Jeremy's parents (Kenneth Kimmins and Fannie Flagg) notice that their son is behaving "most peculiarly" and begin to suspect that he may be a homosexual and that he is getting himself into trouble. To add to the ensuing confusion, the two men who had burst in on Jeremy's adventure are actually vampire hunters: the zealous professor Leopold McCarthy (David Warner) is determined to stop the "vampire armageddon" before it can start, with the help of his feeble assistant Grimsdyke (Paul Willson). They are in the process of tracking their newest victim, but due to a mix-up they believe that Ralph is the vampire.
One night, when Jeremy finally begins to exploit his new capabilities and wins back Darla's trust, McCarthy and Grimstyke kidnap Ralph and intend to "free his soul" in a small chapel. Jeremy and Darla just arrive in time to save him, but then Jeremy is recognized as a vampire, and only his new-found power of hypnotism and the timely arrival of Modoc and Nora, who has come back from the dead ("Of course. I'm a vampire."), manage to save the day. Since McCarthy is unrelenting, however, Modoc's female consorts turn McCarthy into a vampire, making a friend out of an enemy.
The movie ends with Capellos assuring Jeremy that they love him and want to help him deal with his "problem". Jeremy then introduces Darla to his delightfully surprised parents, while Ralph just shakes his head at the whole hubbub.
This movie was released under the title I Was a Teenage Vampire in Australia.