Horror
Innocent Blood
.
Dir: John Landis
Star: Anne Parillaud, Anthony LaPaglia, Robert Loggia
Cert / Year: 15/ 1992
Format: VIDEO
'

Pittsburgh, USA and the city is in the middle of a crime war headed by Salvatore "The Shark" Macelli (Robert Loggia) the head of a local Mafia family. The current gang war is the perfect cover for sexy little French vampire Marie (Anne Parillaud) , who as well as liking "Italian food" enjoys sex and travelling. (sorry, couldn't resist) Marie is not like your usual stereotypical vampire, because she only likes to dine on criminals and gangsters and after drinking the blood from her victims shoots them in the head with a shotgun, so as to remove any trace of how the died and to separate their head from their spine, just to make sure that they donít turn into vampires. (canít be too careful you know)

Anyway the Pittsburgh police have been after Macelli and his organisation for years and managed to infiltrate the gang with an undercover cop called Joe Gennaro (Anthony LaPaglia) who has amassed enough evidence against Macelli and his family that the police are all set to arrest him. Unfortunately before the police can act, Marie meets Macelli and with him being a "bad guy", take an instant dislike to him and drinks his blood, but before she can finish the job, and cover her tracks she is disturbed and wounded. So she promptly flees the scene only to be chased by Gennaro, who eventually catches up with her.....

Macelli promptly turns into a vampire whilst on the mortuary slab (Frank Oz appears as the pathologist which is good for a giggle) and Marie is the only one who can stop him before he manages to turn all of his organisation into vampires. Marie manages to get Gennaro to help her in stopping Macelli, and they both race around the city trying to catch him whilst Gennaro tries to avoid being bitten by just about everybody, which leads to a brilliant climax.

This is of course directed by John Landis the remarkable writer / director responsible for The Blues Brothers and regarded by many his greatest achievement An American Werewolf in London. Like An American Werewolf in London, Landis manages to make a scare the pants off of you horror film, whilst avoiding the usual cliches and also taking usual the vampire myths to a new level with very satisfying results. John Landis has a unique talent for humour and successfully incorporates a certain comedic element into his horror work, which is evident with Innocent Blood.

Anne Parillaud probably best known for La Femme Nikita is captivating as Marie and settles into the vampire role with ease. She seductively slinks and purrs her way through her role and works well with Anthony LaPaglia (Empire Records) who is obviously having emense fun as Joe Gennaro. Whilst I'm not particularly an admirer of him, I have to admit he appears an appropriate choice for this role. Robert Loggia (Independence Day) steals the scenes as the Mafia boss Macelli and you have got to see him play a vampire, on the whole an amusing and brilliant performance.

The story courtesy of Michael Wolk is good and provides a fresh film without the stereotypes that you would expect. Some of the special effects are not very impressive but John Landis, as ever provides superb direction. Very entertaining and a little gruesome in places but what do you expect although no Griffin Dunne as an undead corpse this time (what a shame!), but this is a film that deserves a sequel with a big budget and most of the original cast, and of course with the one and only John Landis in the directors seat again.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reviewed by Logan Back Top Home