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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Richard Wenk
USA 1986

Fraternity pledges Keith (Chris Makepeace, MAZES AND MONSTERS) and AJ (Robert Rusler, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY'S REVENGE) are sent out on the town to obtain some strippers for a frat party to clinch their initiation. With geeky Duncan (Gedde Wantanabe) in tow, the pair venture into the downtown nightlife in search of the After Dark Club (tangling with a typically creepy Billy Drago along the way). The highlight of the After Dark Club's show is the beguiling Katrina (Grace Jones, A VIEW TO A KILL) and AJ soon disappears behind the curtain to get to know her better. Keith, however, only has eyes for spunky waitress Amareto (Dedee Pfeiffer, THE HORROR SHOW). When Keith goes in search of AJ, he finds him... dead and wrapped in a garbage bag. He returns to the club with the police only to find AJ seemingly very much alive, but his relief is short-lived when AJ and the club's strippers grow fangs and claws (and some really nasty toenails). Keith, Amareto, and Duncan make a run for it, but it appears that the city's vampire populace is not confined to the club, so they have to double back and confront vampire queen Katrina. VAMP is one of the better of a handful of vampire comedy films from the eighties (along with THE LOST BOYS, NEAR DARK, and FRIGHT NIGHT, with others like ONCE BITTEN and MY BEST FRIEND IS A VAMPIRE on a much lower tier; FRIGHT NIGHT PART II might owe more to VAMP than its own prequel) and certainly the best of New World's string of horror comedies. Makepeace, Rusler, and Pfeiffer are all likable leads (Watanabe, fresh from SIXTEEN CANDLES, gets some standout moments like his variation on "In the Mood for Love"), but Grace Jones' Katrina is a striking presence in both her stage make-up and under Greg Cannom's exaggerated vampire make-up (Cannom also provided vampire make-up for FRIGHT NIGHT 2, THE LOST BOYS, SUBSPECIES, and BLADE and won an Academy Award for his make-up effects on BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA); Jones also sings the song that underscores her striptease. Director Richard Wenk balances the comedy with some jumps and cool vampire prosthetics. The cinematography of Elliot Davis (who returned to vampires by lensing the lesser TWILIGHT) combines MTV camera moves with bold color gels and retro Dutch angles. Jonathan Elias' score segues from the OMEN-esque Latin choral main theme to eighties synths fitting to the club and neon-lit, rain-soaked LA streets (Elias scored several pictures for VAMP producer Donald P. Borchers, including the New World-released CHILDREN OF THE CORN and its recent TV remake). Even if VAMP isn't necessarily your cup of tea as far as vampire films go, it's still a fun eighties horror film.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 18 July 1986 (USA)

Reviews                                                                  DVD Reviews

 

 Comparison:

Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL vs. Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

1) Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

  

Distribution

Arrow Video

Region 0 - PAL

Anchor Bay Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC
Arrow Video
Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:30:06 (4% PAL speedup) 1:33:48 1:34:01.636
Video

1.84:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.76 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.84:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.27 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,297,313,687 bytes

Feature: 24,906,491,904 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 31.97 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Arrow Video

 

Bitrate:

 

Anchor Bay Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Arrow Blu-ray

 

Audio English LPCM 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

LPCM Audio English 768 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English, none none English (SDH), none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.84:1

Edition Details:
• DISC 1:
• Introduction by actor Robert Rusler (16:9; 0:27)
• Audio Commentary by Robert Rusler
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:22)
• Easter Egg (16:9; 0:13)
• DISC 2:
• VAMP IT UP - interview with Dedee Pfeiffer (16:9; 26:59)
• VAMP STRIPPED BARE - interview with Richard Wenk (16:9; 17:07)
• BACK TO THE 80's - interview with Donald P. Borchers (16:9; 21:40)
• SCRAPBOOK OF SCARES - Richard Wenk's VAMP memorabilia (16:9; 8:07)
• Behind the Scenes (4:3; 6:38)
• Blooper Reel (4:3; 6:13)
• DRACULA BITES THE BIG APPLE short film by Richard Wenk (16:9; 21:07)
• 4 panel reversible sleeve, double-sided poster, and collector's booklet

DVD Release Date: 7 February 2011
Digipack in Slipcase with Window

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.84:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by director Richard Wenk and actors Chris Makepeace, Dedee Pfeiffer and Gedde Watan
• DRACULA BITES THE BIG APPLE short film by Richard Wenk (16:9; 22:01)
• Behind the Scenes (4:3; 6:41)
• Blooper Reel (4:3; 6:13)
• Theatrical Trailer 1 (16:9; 1:24)
• Theatrical Trailer 2 (4:3; 1:57)
• 7 TV Spots (4:3; 0:30 each)
• Poster and Still Gallery
• Insert with Liner Notes by Michael Felsher

 

DVD Release Date: 21 August 2001
Amaray

Chapters 27

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow
 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,297,313,687 bytes

Feature: 24,906,491,904 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 31.97 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• One of those Nights: The Making of Vamp - a brand new documentary featuring interviews with director Richard Wenk, stars Robert Rusler, Dedee Pfeiffer, Gedde Watanabe (44:30)
• Behind-the-scenes rehearsals (6:41)
• Blooper Reel (6:14)
• Image gallery
• Dracula Bites the Big Apple (1979) - Richard Wenk s celebrated short film (22:03)

TV Spots (3:44)

Trailers (1:27, 1:58)
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil
• First pressing only: Booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Cullen Gallagher

Blu-ray Release Date:
October 3rd-4th, 2016
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 12

 

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - October 16': This is being simultaneously released by Arrow on Blu-ray in both Region 'A' + 'B'. Regarding differences in the US and UK Blu's -I suspect it as Michael Brooke informed us on Facebook about Day of Anger: 'As the producer of Arrow's release, I can confirm first hand that the UK and US discs are absolutely identical: we only paid for one master, so there's no doubt about this at all! Which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup. The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.'

Arrow's new Blu-ray transfer is on a dual-layered disc with a very high bitrate. It is in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. You can see the improvement over the SD transfers - it tightens, brightens and maintains the film's heavy presence. There is more detail - no noise or artifacts in the many darker sequences. It even has minor depth. It is probably from the same source as Arrow 2011 DVD but it has the high resolution and over 3 X the bitrate.

Arrow stay authentic with the audio using a linear PCM track and the musical score by Jonathan Elias (Two Moon Junction, Children of the Corn) sounds intensified via the uncompressed - not to mention all the vampiric growls and roars that carry some ominous depth. Of course, there is also the Vamp theme, written by Jonathan Elias & Grace Jones, running through the film and many should note the wry use of such older tunes as That Old Black Magic and I'm In The Mood For Love. There are optional English subtitles on the region FREE Blu-ray disc.

Arrow sure aren't lazy always adding new extras and augment this Blu-ray release with a new supplemental featurette - One of those Nights: The Making of Vamp is a brand new, 45-minute, documentary featuring interviews with director Richard Wenk, stars Robert Rusler, Dedee Pfeiffer, Gedde Watanabe. We, strangely, lose the audio commentary from their 2011 DVD edition and some of those interviews, but keep the Behind-the-scenes rehearsals footage, the Blooper Reel and Wenk's short film Dracula Bites the Big Apple from 1974. There is also an image gallery, TV Spots and trailers plus the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by the 'Twins of Evil 'and for the first pressing only: a new booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Cullen Gallagher.

This is a fairly unique, visually engrossing and amusing take on a vampire adventure. I'm reminded of Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn - intense horror visage, titillating strippers and at the same time a bit of a hoot. Grace Jones is such a presence and Makepeace does a super job... for the fans of both horror and comedy genres - this is recommended!

***

ON THE DVD: Arrow Video debuts a new Mondo Macabro-esque start-up promo reel with this title (it would have been nice if it was skippable for repeat viewings of the disc). Although the Arrow and Anchor Bay DVDs are matted to the same aspect ratio, Arrow's new DVD of reveals more picture information on the top and left sides of the frame. Saturation differs between the two transfers (although the Arrow is sometimes bolder), but Arrow reveals more picture detail throughout (a Blu-ray of the Arrow version is also due out). Unusual for DVD, Arrow has encoded the English mono audio as uncompressed LPCM (the commentary is 2.0 Dolby Digital) - so it should be the same as the audio on the Blu-ray - and optional English subtitles are provided.

Actor Robert Rusler provides a short introduction and a laid-back commentary (he has some interesting Grace Jones anecdotes, and we learn that Jerry Lewis was originally intended for the Sandy Baron role). Actress Dedee Pfeiffer, director Richard Wenk, and producer Donald P. Borchers are all interviews (as with other Arrow special editions, the animated credits and other intro material go on a bit too long, as do some of the clips). Commentary moderator Callum Wadell sifts through VAMP memorabilia with Wenk and Borchers. The short film "Dracula Bites the Big Apple" - which was shown on HBO and brought Wenk to the attention of Borchers - the behind the scenes footage, and the blooper reel were previously available on Anchor Bay's R1 edition. The Anchor Bay disc does feature an audio commentary with the director and actors Chris Makepeace, Dedee Pfeiffer, and Gedde Watanabe that is not present on the Arrow edition. It also includes a second trailer, seven TV spots, and a poster and still gallery. VAMP completists (if there are any) may want to pick up the Anchor Bay edition. It can be found quite cheaply on its own or in the Anchor Bay 6-disc FRIGHT PACK: CAMPY CLASSICS which features the film with five other New World horror-comedies (with all of the content of the individual editions).

 - Eric Cotenas

 



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Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


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Subtitle Sample Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 
Box Covers

 

 

 

 

  

Distribution

Arrow Video

Region 0 - PAL

Anchor Bay Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC
Arrow Video
Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 




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