Monday, October 16, 2017

The Horror Of...Halloween Night, Desire, The Vampire (1982), In Short

I always enjoy a new discovery in the world of horror films. And among 70's and 80's TV movies one can find a number of small scale and interesting stories. We've already taken a look at a favorite of mine, The Midnight Hour. Now let's look at one I missed back in 1982

Desire, The Vampire.

Yes, actually, it is also called I, Desire. But that name is dreadful. If you see that you think romance and scandal, not vampires and death.

The film was put on Monday, November 15th. So, again, two weeks after Halloween. Gah, these TV executives! But it is a Monday night movie so...

Oh, I do love these old TV movies.

The film takes place in Los Angeles in the modern day, or 1982. It opens one night on Hollywood Boulevard which has been famous for a number of things over the years, including being a place to find sex workers.

And the movie takes us into the setting. And, man, all these guys are gruff and grumpy for people about to have sex.

One man drives through the area, eyeing the women. He finally stops and has one get into his car. They then head to a motel.

Inside a room, they both slip into some things a little mor comfortable. He, into his underpants. Her, into her "Why Yes I Am A Vampire" flowing evening wear.

"...Manimal, is that you?"

A continuing effect throughout the whole film is the choice to add certain animals over our vampire. Primarily they use a panther roar. The result, for me, is that I keep thinking of the 80's TV series Manimal. (But that is my weird defect.)

We then move to the city's coroners office. There David is working as an assistant corner, while working on his law degree. He's played by David Naughton, who had starred the prior year in An American Werewolf in London.

He isn't thrilled with his job, but he just wants to get through each night. His coworkers bring in a new body, and are eager to talk with him about it.

A man who went to a motel with a sex worker. And then he was found dead, drained of blood. And add to that a pair of puncture marks, it's hard not to see a pattern. But vampires don't exist.

A little later a priest arrives. He' played by Brad Dourif (The Child's Play movies, Dune, Star Trek: Voyager, The Lord of the Rings movies, The X-Files, etc). So he's got to be evil right? I mean, he has to be, right?

He has come to see the body and give some rites. So David leaves him with the body.

Then a rabbi arrives, who is there to see the body. When David checks, the priest has vanished.

Later David meets his girlfriend Cheryl (Marilyn Jones) at her work in a nearby hospital. They are just moving in together.

The next day, Marilyn goes to work as a nurse and learns of a theft the night before. The blood bank was robbed of several pints of blood. It's all a mystery how it happen.

David gets a visit at the coroner's office. Detective Van Ness (Dorian Harewood) comes to get him to come to the police station. The police need David to go through some pictures of people that might be the alleged priest.

He can't see anyone that matches the priest.

Then after he is dropped off, he sees the priest again, slipping into the hospital. And a chase in on.

Drawn into the mystery, David becomes obsessed, and lets it start to affect his life.

Who is the priest? Is he the vampire? No. We know it's a woman, come on! But who is the vampire (Barbara Stock), and who is it's next meal?

Only one way to find out.

For 70's and 80's TV movie, this is fine. It wasn't an epic miniseries with a budget, but they brought together some decent actors, to play out a simple modern day vampire tale. 

It is worthwhile to add to any diverse Halloween marathon.

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