A Color Story: Vamp

Title: Vamp
Year: 1986
Director: Richard Wenk
Writer(s): Richard Wenk, Donald P. Borchers
Producer(s): David P. Borchers
Costume(s): Betty Pecha Madden
Cinematography: Elliot Davis, Douglas F. O’Neons

Starring: Chris Makepeace, Sandy Baron, Robert Rusler, Dedee Pfeiffer, Gedde Watanabe and Grace Jones


Where do I start with this movie? I did discuss this movie on the blog, an underrated film and I still stand by that decision. But this isn’t about film being underrated. This is about the movie has some very cool, consistent, funky visuals and lighting.

Vamp, for those who don’t know, is one of the many vampire films that were released in the 80s. Unlike Fright Night, The Lost Boys, Near Dark or even The Hunger, this movie is more comedic, a different spin on the typical vampire lore in a new setting. Fright Night is the vampire next door, The Lost Boys is a whole tribe of vampires, Near Dark goes western, and The Hunger has intimacy all over it but VampVamp is, as I quote in my own words: two college student s want to impress and buy their way into a fraternity by hiring a stripper. However they place they pick is run by vampires…

It sounds very familiar in a way… like From Dusk til Dawn that came out in the 90s.

However, what I really like about Vamp is the overall mood of the film. The use of colors and lighting are very 80s. It’s neon, bold, lots of purples and greens more than any color used. Purple is about royalty, power, luxury, the energy the vampires give off, especially head vamp herself Katerina (played by Grace Jones) and green is all about fertility, good luck, fresh, nature, and the color combination works very well together.

The special effects are great, the vampires look like vampires. They look monstrous, intimidating, less human.  Which again, did From Dusk til Dawn get heavily inspired by this movie? Even the look of the vampires are very similar.

Maybe that will be a future update; Vamp vs From Dusk til Dawn.

Check out Vamp, it’s a good little ride. If you like vampire films, enjoy 80s horror and especially underrated horror movies, Vamp is a good place to start. And let me know if you see heavy references that were used in Rodriguez’s From Dusk til Dawn.

Major shoutout to late and great artist Keith Haring for creating and painting the very iconic swirls and patterns on Jones. He was a part of the additional crew. A little art trivia for you.

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