Director: John Landis
Writer: Michael Wolk
Stars: Anne Parillaud, Anthony LaPaglia, Robert Loggia
Gilly has been summoned for a meeting with mob boss Sallie the Shark (a delightful Loggia). Sal’s goons Tony (Palminteri) and Joe (LaPaglia) escort him down into the depths under the fronted business to meet his untimely demise. Shortly after the meeting Joe bumps into the lovely Marie (Parillaud). After making her excuses to Joe she is then almost run over by Tony, who gives the beautiful brunette a lift. But this alluring lady is hiding a very dark secret.
John Landis is at his very best here and created the most delightfully dark and black comedy. If you loved American Werewolf then you are missing a treat if you have not caught this one yet. Innocent Blood is a finely crafted tale of love, revenge, blood-thirsty vampires and a mob boss who likes to sleep in the meat locker.
Michael Wolk only ever wrote this and that is a real shame as the script is wickedly sharp and suitably dark. While Landis may have had some misses later in his career, certainly in his earlier career the man had a midas touch and it is no different with this feature. Direction is excellent and is only improved further by the great script and photography present here.
The soundtrack is just big band perfection with each classic song seamlessly fitting the scene, be that someone being eaten or a something-or-nothing moment. The use of Sinatra was an inspired move that helps elevate this film all the more. Landis certainly was the king of his craft throughout the eighties and early nineties. Also keep an eye on all the different televisions that are shown, each one is playing a classic film to add to the fun of it all.
Acting is excellent all round from every cast member (which at times resembles The Godfather with vampires), from LaPaglia’s confused cop to Parillaud’s seductive yet innocent vampire. Top marks must surely go to Loggia’s portrayal of mob boss Sal though. He over acts in every scene he is in and seems to be having a huge amount of fun doing what he does. He really did have a gift for comedy even if it was not seen enough. Hugely over acted and hammy at times with great subtle humour.
With a blend of horror and comedy, Landis has once again created a masterpiece of cinema which has become a bit of a cult film many years after its initial release which is literally crying out for a Blu-ray release. Highly recommended for fans of both genres.
The Sage’s Rating: