Innocent Blood - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Innocent Blood Reviews

Page 1 of 12
Super Reviewer
January 20, 2018
So in some regions (dunno where) this movie is referred to as 'A French Vampire in America'. Are we seeing the connection yet? Yes this is a horror comedy directed by John Landis, but no this is not a sequel or prequel to his classic 'An American Werewolf in London'. But lets be honest here, that 'French Vampire' title is way better than 'Innocent Blood'. That doesn't really tell you anything, very bland. Personally I like 'A Vampire in Pittsburgh'.

Marie (Anne Parillaud) is a vampire in the (then) present day of the early 90's. We know little of her background, how she became a vampire, where she comes from etc...All we know is she only feeds on criminals. She is currently in Pittsburgh where there just so happens to be a very strong mafia presence, she's in luck. Marie begins to feed on a random Italian American gangster which causes a stir. The aftermath of which results in undercover cop Joe Gennaro (Anthony LaPaglia) being put into the witness protection program. Eventually Marie feeds on mafioso boss Salvatore 'Sal the Shark' Macelli (Robert Loggia), but she is unable to kill him completely. This leads to bigger problems with Sal becoming a vampire himself and then starting to turn all his men. Marie must find and kill Sal but needs the assistance of Joe, apparently.

So the plot is thin on the ground, its pretty weak. Basically Marie fudges up whilst feeding and causes a shitstorm. Remarkable really considering she's supposedly a very old and experienced vampire, you'd think she would be able to do this kind of thing blindfolded. But I guess everyone makes mistakes, even the undead. From there on out its simply about Sal trying to cope with being a vampire, and then realising he can turn all his men. In the meantime Marie must find Sal and stop this. But with all her supernatural powers you'd think that would be relatively easy. It begs the question, why do we need LaPaglia's character? OK he's a love interest, I get it, but she essentially doesn't really need the guy. What can he offer her?

Interestingly this movie isn't set in New York, even though it clearly really really really wants to be. I mean lets be real here, this movie is so rammed full of cliched Italian American mafia themes its unreal. Almost every cliche in the stereotype book is used here from the black limo's, the sharp suits, slick back hair, mullets, the chewing of toothpicks, the silly mafia names nicknames, the black leather coats, and the freezing cold looking city streets filled with plumes of smoke from the drain grates. Heck they even go as far as using Frank Sinatra tunes in initial scenes. Not only that, I think Landis cast almost every actor around at the time with either an Italian American last name, heritage or simply looks like a mobster (you know what I mean). Indeed many of these actors have gone on to become household names in mafia/gangster roles.

Worth noting, cameos for Sam Raimi, Dario Argento, Frank Oz, Angela Bassett, Chazz Palminteri, and Tom Savini. Although it also worth noting that Savini did not do the special effects here, that honour goes to Steve Johnson ('Ghostbusters' and 'The Abyss').

Lets talk about those special effects, how do they compare to Landis' classic lycanthrope movie. Well there is much less emphasis on the vampires and their fangs in this, but a lot of emphasis on the blood. There is a lot of claret on show in this movie, mainly gushing from victims necks as they get torn open. Indeed the effects on neck wounds are really quite grisly and wonderful. Nice big chunks missing with ripped flesh dangling. Often the victims clothes are drenched in wet blood, sodden and dirty. Loggia spends most of the movie virtually head to toe in wet and dried blood. In fact I'd go as far as to say Landis goes a tad overboard with the blood because it becomes less shocking the more you see.

As for the vampires, we never see any fangs believe it or not. The entire emphasis is on the eyes of these supernatural killers. Johnson used special highly reflective contact lenses that change colour. It really is a startling look that really grabs your attention. Some of the vampires have red eyes, yellow eyes, sky blue eyes; whilst Marie seems to have eyes that change colour, not sure why though. The only issue I had with this is the fact they are obviously contacts (clearly very thick) and on most of the actors the pupil was slightly off-centre in one eye. It kinda made all the vampires look a bit simple looking, or like they had strabismus.

Other early effects were a point-of-view flyby effect where the camera simply moves around a space to simulate the vampire flying. Quite a bit of wire work to simulate the strength of the vampires, lifting people up high etc...The vampires roar or scream sounded very familiar to me, I'm sure its the same sound effect used for the werewolf howl in 'American Werewolf in London'. Again its used very effectively, a quick cut to the vampires face with a loud blast of the howl, really makes you jump.

The best effects sequence in the movie has to be the death of recently bitten Manny Bergman (Don Rickles). Whilst in hospital this character is accidentally exposed to sunlight...and you all know what happens next. Well this is the money shot here folks. A slow painful looking death as Bergman's body cracks and breaks up in front of the doctors. The medical staff try to help him but his body crumbles and deteriorates in their hands. One shot of a nurse accidentally pulling off his crispy smouldering arm, only to then drop it and watch it break apart into a mess of black glowing ash, is incredible (for the time).

To be utterly honest not a great deal of interest happens for the most part in this movie (effects aside). Once Joe realises what Marie is he goes after her (ignoring his boss of course). Marie has all manner of powers but somehow Joe is still able to find and catch her. But did she want to be caught huh? This eventually leads to the inevitable sex scene betwixt man and vampire. By this time you will have realised that Anne Parillaud is not shy about showing off her entire self (very European, very French). Although the sex scene shows us how Marie must control herself (something Joe is always concerned about), its of little importance really. A little spice for the movie, gratuitous nudity.

Landis goes for broke with this one, he loves to throw out old beloved conventions. Like I said no fangs here, but lots glowing eyes (although no explanation as to why different vampires have different colour eyes). Vampires do have reflections in this movie, but still garlic makes them sick. A bullet to the head is enough to kill a vampire, as is snapping its neck. No mention of stakes through the heart or crosses though. They can still climb up walls, fly and have incredible strength. Lastly and most interestingly no one actually uses the word vampire in the movie (I think).

Loggia is clearly enjoying himself here as he chews up the scenery big time. He may not have the physique of a vampire but he certainly has the bark and snarl that's for sure. Loggia makes Frank Langella in 'Masters of the Universe' look positively bland in comparison. In the scene where Sal had to rape and abuse Marie, he really fecking went for it! As for the other main leads, Parillaud is definitely very cute and adorable as Marie. Like I said she's not shy about getting it all out for the camera and she's very fit looking to boot. Bit of an issue trying to understand her accent at times but she does convey the shy quiet vampire nicely. You do truly believe she is a centuries old Gallic beauty; a siren that has been seducing immoral men over the ages. On the other hand LaPaglia is...fine. You could literally stick any guy with that Italian American look in that role, the character is kinda pointless.

Ultimately I do think Landis went too far with the blood factor in this one and loses a real sense of dread and spookiness. His werewolf movie had blood but nowhere near as much as this, plus 'Werewolf in London' was eerie as fuck; it was genuinely scary. This movie loses any real sense of scare factor with all these stereotypical mafia bozos running around shooting at everything. Yes there are some good shocks and thrills but the comedy spoils it, its too hammy, too dumb basically. The movie is a horror comedy and Landis does hit his targets well, it is a fun flick for horror fans to enjoy. I just feel this is too much of a homage to other things, too many cameos maybe, too many winks and nods, not gritty and dark enough. Its a hard one to call because the cast is great and the old school effects are superb .

I do heartily recommend this as I'm pretty sure many will not have even heard of it (it is a forgotten gem). Bottom line, it doesn't quite satisfy your vampire needs/requirements, it ticks some boxes but misses others. But overall its still a top John Landis horror comedy and easily better than what you get these days. Shame about the end credits song, totally out of place methinks.
December 22, 2017
Enjoyable film... especially if you grew up eating at the Oyster House.
September 26, 2017
Innocent Blood was released in 1992 and was one of John Landis' final major films before he semi-tired (and bombed enormously with Blues Brothers 2000). It stars a wealth of working and character actors, including Robert Loggia, Anthony LaPaglia and Don Rickles, as well as French actress Anne Parillaud in the title role. The film is a sexy but funny and scary vampire movie, in the vein of An American Werewolf in London, which Landis also directed. Once the story gets going, and people begin turning into vampires, the fun factor level gets very high. It's not meant to be taken seriously and is pretty funny most of the time. There also some great cameos by Forrest J. Ackerman, Sam Raimi, Tom Savini, and Dario Argento if you keep your eyes peeled.
½ July 10, 2017
John Landis' Innocent Blood isn't as innovative to the vampire genre as his work with werewolves, but it's still a fun, bloody horror comedy well worth your time.
½ February 4, 2017
Vampire/gangster comedy (sort of). Loved it. Can't get it on DVD anymore unfortunately, but still hoping they rerelease it.
November 28, 2016
Odd but hysterical film. Should we analyze the fact that Rickles as a lawyer becomes a vampire? Should be on Blu-ray.
July 12, 2015
John Landis directed this vampire mob comedy starring Robert Loggia with Tom Savini, Sam Raimi, Dario Argento, Angela Bassett, Frank Oz, Luis Guzmán, Linnea Quigley, and Don Rickles. A French female vampire seduces the Pittsburg mob boss and turns him into a vampire. He turns his men into vampires and they go to war. A very uneven tone throughout the film detracts from the story. Watch with Vamp (1986) & Vampire's Kiss (1989).
February 19, 2015
Its fun, ain't exactly horror. A better version of twilight if you will.
October 28, 2014
Landis' indulgences and sometimes lax logic don't fully prevent 'Innocent Blood' being an enjoyable vampire romp. The film gets mileage out of a very snazzy score, atmospheric direction and even some amusing little sparks.
August 4, 2014
i thought the premise was good, and it had a talented cast and director so i checked it out, after a promising start, it kinda slowed down and fell apart halfway through, landis was able to combine horror and comedy more effectively in american werewolf in london, but here it just gets too silly, and the fact that here vampires can be shot in the head is stupid, the chemistry between lapaglia and parillaud isnt there, the ending is anticlimatic, if they just played it straight i think it couldve worked, still it has some good scenes when it sticks with just the mafia and its fun to see landis' cameos, but thats about it
July 30, 2014
Dated effects, but entertaining and very funny at times
July 26, 2014
A wild ride of a movie.
April 15, 2014
One of the best horror movies I've ever seen ! This is a must see horror classic !
March 8, 2014
Blended perfectly with horror and humor, Innocent Blood is an entertaining and graphic mix of the undead and the mob put together with a solid performance by the leading lady, Anne Parillaud.
½ February 28, 2014
Underrated horror/comedy from John Landis. Features a great role for Don Rickles - an undead mafia attorney. I really enjoyed this.
October 6, 2013
the scoring is ham-fisted at times and makes the movie laughable
August 24, 2013
I've always wanted to see this movie, as I always thought it was a vampire film by a great director I had somehow missed. Sadly, I was way off. It's more a cheesy mafia film, with a subplot about vampires.

I think the main thing that annoyed me about this is that it doesn't follow Vampire rules, nor it's own rules. Seems every vampire has different color glowing eyes, but when do they ever glow to begin with? Reflections CAN be seen in the mirror and you don't need to be invited into a home anymore.

Also the lead actress is awful. She looks really old for the type of character she needed to be and her accent is too over powering for this American role. Plus her acting is total cardboard.

I did enjoy Loggia and Rickles. Rickles final scene is aces!

I dig vampires movies, but this was too long and boring for my tastes. The mafia stuff all seemed cheesy too. And what the heck with that awful score?
August 6, 2013
Directed by John Landis, whose career went into an unstoppable and sad slump in the late 1980's/early 1990's. After the critical mauling he got for Oscar (1991), he attempted to try and recreate the success of An American Werewolf in London (1981) with this horror-comedy, which mixes vampires and the Mafia. Some of it works, some of it doesn't, but it could have been much better. In Pittsburgh, French vampire Marie (Anne Parillaud) survives thanks to a moral code, which sees her getting her blood from criminals who operate in the city, however she lands herself in a whole heap of trouble when she sucks the blood of Salvatore 'The Shark' Macelli (Robert Loggia), the top Mafia boss in Pittsburgh. While Marie usually kills her victims, she's interrupted before she can kill Macelli, which leaves him as one of the undead, and he uses this power on his henchmen, making them into the living dead. But, it's up to undercover cop Joseph Gennaro (Anthony LaPaglia), who learns the truth about Marie, to help put things right. It is a very silly film, and Landis as usual casts directors in cameos, here it's Frank Oz, Sam Raimi and Dario Argento. But it's not as bad as what people say, and it does have some good monster make up on display, which you don't get in films these days, but it does feel forced in places.
July 7, 2013
An anemic film that lacks focus, direction, and purpose. This film bumbles through a slap-shot attempt at a dark comedy but completely misses all marks.

Too much gore,
Too much nudity,
Too much "romance",
Too much heart (for a vampire movie),
No comedy,
No suspense,
Complete miss on casting Anne Parillaud as a vampire,
The score was a complete shambles,
With a great supporting cast a lot of good possibilities were missed.

This film was a real pain in the neck just to finish watching.
½ April 15, 2013
Although not as cute or slick as American Werewolf, this had some cute spots, and I appreciated the old movie segments and the use of cameo appearances in the small roles, but it just wasn't good enough. A poor reflection of earlier work that was rather ham-handed.
Page 1 of 12