Once Bitten (1985 film)
|Directed by||Howard Storm|
|Produced by||Frank Hildebrand
|Written by||Jonathan Roberts
|Music by||John Du Prez|
|Distributed by||The Samuel Goldwyn Company|
|Running time||94 minutes|
|Budget||$3.2 million (estimated)|
|Box office||$10,000,000 (domestic)|
Once Bitten is a 1985 American horror comedy film starring Lauren Hutton, Jim Carrey and Karen Kopins. Carrey stars as Mark Kendall, an innocent and naive high school student who is seduced in a Hollywood, California nightclub by a sultry blonde countess (Hutton) who, unknown to him, is really a centuries old vampire. The film was Carrey's seventh film and his first main role.
At 400 years old, the Countess has collected a stable of young men and women who accompany her on her centuries-old journey through eternal night-and youth. While she is immortal, she is required to drink the blood of a young male virgin three times by Halloween each year in order to keep her immortality and youthful appearance - a task she finds increasingly and extremely hard, since attractive young male virgins are almost impossible to find in the 1980s, particularly in hedonistic cities, ex. in this case, Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, high school student Mark Kendall wants to have sex, but is being put off by his girlfriend Robin Pierce. One night, Mark and his best friends Jamie and Russ go into a singles bar in Hollywood. Mark meets the Countess and he goes back to her mansion, and after she seduces him, he passes out when she bites his thigh. When he wakes up, she pretends they have had sex and tells him that he is now hers. Mark doesn't know what she means by that, and over the next few days he begins showing strange behavior; having strange dreams, avoiding direct sunlight and even drinking blood (from raw meat). After the Countess gets a second bite, Robin notices Mark's odd behavior and confronts the Countess during a dance-off at the high school's Halloween dance. While it appears that Robin has won back Mark, this is only temporary. The Countess kidnaps Robin in order to lure Mark to her mansion for a final bite before her deadline expires, and it is up to Robin, Jamie and Russ to stop her. Eventually, in order to save Mark from the Countess's clutches, he and Robin have sex in a coffin while being chased by the Countess's minions, thereby taking Mark's virginity, bringing him back to normal. This renders him useless to the Countess as she has to drink virgin blood. Defeated, the Countess then begins to grow old and decrepit before their eyes. The Countess' assistant, Sebastian, tells her not to worry as there are other virgins in the world despite the fact that the Countess doubts she will find another virgin. The movie ends with Mark and Robin continuing to have sex in the coffin.
- Lauren Hutton as The Countess
- Jim Carrey as Mark Kendall
- Karen Kopins as Robin Pierce
- Cleavon Little as Sebastian, the Countess's assistant
- Thomas Ballatore as Jamie
- Skip Lackey as Russ
- Richard Schaal as Mr. Kendall, Mark's father
- Peggy Pope as Mrs. Kendall, Mark's mother
- Megan Mullally as Suzette
The Countess's Vampires
- Jeb Stuart Adams as World War I Ace Vampire
- Joseph Brutsman as Confederate Vampire
- Stuart Charno as Cabin Boy Vampire
- Robin Klein as 1960s Flower Child Vampire
- Carey More as Moll Flanders Vampire
- Glen Mauro as Twin Vampire #1
- Gary Mauro as Twin Vampire #2
The film received negative reviews from critics with a "rotten" score of 18% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 11 reviews. However, it seems to have gained somewhat of a cult following since Jim Carrey rose to stardom in the mid-1990s.
The film was released on VHS in 1986 by Vestron Video, by Video Treasures, in 1996 by Hallmark Home Entertainment, and in 1999 by MGM Home Entertainment. It was released on DVD on August 26, 2003 by MGM Home Entertainment. It was re-released on DVD on July 17, 2007 in a Totally Awesome 80s Double Feature Pack by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment along with Vampires Kiss. All of these releases were Home Media Successes.
In its opening weekend, the film earned $4,025,657 and went on to earn around $10 million domestically (from a production budget of $3.2 million). The film was a straight-to-video title in many countries.