Remember when Eddie Murphy made good movies in which he didn’t voice a donkey? We don’t see an example of that in Vampire in Brooklyn, sadly. Nor is he the only one with talent who takes a wrong turn here. As a producer, Murphy evidently decided to bring in Wes Craven in between his a Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream movies to direct. Their plan was to satirize the old tale of Dracula and add an inner city twist. That’s OK. They also thought this concept could use bad acting, horrible dialogue, lame humor, and annoying characters. That’s not OK.
Our story has Murphy kind of playing Maximillion, a vampire who comes to Brooklyn like the original Dracula came to England. Since he can’t go out during the day, Max makes a ghoul of the annoying Jar Jar Binks, er, Julius Jones. I’ll explain my problem with this character later. Max is looking for a half-vampire named Detective Rita Veder to let her know of her heritage and consummate a relationship between them. Rita is reluctant to do this and upon discovering the truth, police partner Justice will try to dissuade her from being with Max.
My first problem is the acting. Everybody’s comedic timing is off to one degree or another. This is even true of Murphy, who has to speak in an ancient accent he can’t pull off. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such an unconvincing vampire.
Dialogue is lousy too. “You ever see a wolf, man?” “Evil is good and ass is good.” These are just two of the neverending corny jokes littered throughout this damn comedy.
In fact, unfunny jokes are the hallmark of this movie. Attempts at satirizing both vampire tales and urban life crash and burn almost every moment of the way. Are the creditors sure Murphy and Craven were in charge of this? Then again, after the later Elm Street movies and the majority of Murphy’s post-Clinton administration flicks, maybe they do have this piece of crap in them.
Speaking of which, I should add that the most trying of bad movies to watch are the comedies. At least a serious bad movie can be morbid in its awfulness. Bad comedies are just lame, ergo, boring. Hence, I was often checking on my Xbox One controller and being amazed by how little time had passed. Ninety-two minutes have rarely seemed so long.
With his bad lines and overacting, Kadeem Hardison is extremely annoying as Max’ idiot flunky, Julius Jones. Alas, he not only never dies but is the key to what seems to have been an intended sequel. More proof of the lack of sound judgment when it comes to this movie.
Worst movie of the 1990s? Nah. Batman and Robin, Highlander sequels, atrocious video game adaptations, and Hulk Hogan films, along with probably two or three I’m forgetting, are worse. But Vampire in Brooklyn is still plenty awful.
Overall: 3 out of 10