Released in 1992, INNOCENT BLOOD is a genre-defying film that seamlessly combines horror, crime, and comedy. Directed by John Landis, renowned for his work on AN AMERICAN WERREWOLF IN LONDON and BLUES BROTHERS, the movie offers a unique twist on the vampire genre. With its stylish fusion of suspense, humor, and unexpected alliances, INNOCENT BLOOD stands out as a highly entertaining and memorable entry in the realm of vampire films.
At the core of INNOCENT BLOOD is Marie (Anne Parillaud), a vampire with an uncharacteristic conscience. Departing from traditional vampire narratives, Marie assumes the role of an antiheroine who becomes entangled in a perilous conflict between the Italian mafia and a determined group of detectives. Her decision to feed on a notorious mob boss, Sal “The Shark” Macelli (Robert Loggia), sets in motion a series of events that propel the film forward.
Macelli, turned into a vampire himself, exploits his newfound powers to eliminate his mafia rivals, amassing an army of bloodthirsty mobsters. The ensuing chaos engulfs Pittsburgh, the backdrop against which the story unfolds. Sensing the impending danger, Marie forges an unexpected alliance with Joe Gennaro (Anthony LaPaglia), a tenacious police detective driven to uncover the truth behind the recent wave of violence.
Throughout INNOCENT BLOOD, director John Landis deftly balances horror and comedy, creating a delightful blend that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. Landis, celebrated for his ability to seamlessly blend genres, infuses the film with his signature humor. The result is a tapestry of darkly comedic moments that provide respite from the tension, making INNOCENT BLOOD a refreshing addition to the vampire genre.
The film showcases Landis’ talent for crafting memorable characters. Anne Parillaud shines as Marie, a seductive and lethal vampire grappling with her own moral compass. Anthony LaPaglia delivers a compelling performance as Joe Gennaro, a conflicted cop torn between his duty and his growing attraction to Marie. The chemistry between the two leads adds a touch of romance to the narrative, heightening the film’s complexity.
Supporting the main cast is a talented ensemble, including Robert Loggia as the charismatic and ruthless mob boss, Sal Macelli. However, it is important to note that Don Rickles, in a departure from his typically comedic roles, portrays Macelli’s lawyer in the film. Rickles injects his scenes with his unique brand of humor, offering a distinctive flavor to the character dynamics.
Every actor who has ever played a mob character either on tv or in movies is here. The movie is also full of great co-stars and cameos, including Angela Bassett, Luis Guzman, Tom Savini, Frank Oz, scream queen Linnea Quigley, Forest J. Ackerman, Sam Raimi and Dario Argento. It is people like this that really add to the fun of these movies as you never know who is going to show up next!
The effects in this film are amazing. The first time you see Marie with her glowing red eyes is a shock to the system and is a great addition to the look of the vampires. Another great effect is when Don Rickles, who plays Sal’s lawyer Manny, is hit with sunlight after being turned into a vampire himself. His body’s destruction is one of the best ever put to film and has yet to be topped in any vampire film. The prosthetic work is top-notch and there is no shortage of blood in this film. It is so nice to see this all done with practical effects, like reflective lenses in the eyes to simulate the glowing, as all of this today would be done in a computer.
INNOCENT BLOOD stands as a remarkable addition to the vampire film canon. With its seamless blend of horror, comedy, and crime, the movie provides a fresh and captivating take on the genre. John Landis masterfully navigates the film’s tonal shifts, creating an engaging and entertaining experience for viewers. The exceptional performances, unexpected alliances, and thrilling showdowns make INNOCENT BLOOD a film that warrants revisiting, reminding audiences that even the most dangerous creatures can find redemption and form alliances in the unlikeliest of circumstances.
If you would like to own any of the movies listed in this film, just click on the highlighted film titles in the first paragraph. What is your favorite vampire movie?