Rockabilly Vampire (1996)

rockabilly vampire

“Are you really a vampire?”  “Of the rockabilly kind!”

The Scoop: 1996 Directed by Lee Bennett Sobel and starring Margaret Lancaster and Paul Stevenson

Tagline: No tagline.

Summary Capsule: A woman living in the ’90s but obsessed with the ’50s falls in love with a bloodsucker who’s a dead ringer (ha!) for The King.

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Heather’s rating: 2 ½ out of 5 bad Chris Rock imitations

Heather’s review: Like many movies, especially the ones featured in our Bad Sequels Week, one can tell just from the title that this isn’t going to be a good film.  Unlike many movies this isn’t even remotely trying to be what most would consider a good film. It rejects your reality and inserts its own and I love it for that.

Okay,  “love” is by far too strong of a word. I do not love this movie, but I do love its uniqueness.  Rockabilly Vampire: Burnin’ Love has all the elements of a bad little movie: Its acting is weak, at best, the sound quality is terrible, and the film is blurry and often overexposed. What redeems it are the interesting characters, rather decent editing, tolerable (and at times even witty) dialogue (what one can hear of it, anyway) and unique story.

Our heroine, Iris, is a young woman living in the grungy, metal 90’s but mentally trapped in the 50’s. How that possibly happened is, as I can best reckon, explained by the fact that her fondest memories of her dad pre-deadbeat were of him telling her stories about when he used to fight with Elvis in the war or something. As I mentioned earlier most of the dialogue comes out sounding as if a creature attached itself to the microphone with all the zeal of an  H.R. Giger creation, so some key plot points came across garbled.

Iris’s obsession translates to her dating similarly maladjusted men, exemplified by her most recent date, “Beatle Boy” Lorenzo who, as you probably guessed, is obsessed with the Beatles. Unfortunately this manifests in his dressing like one of the Fab Four circa the “She Loves You” video and completely butchering a British accent like no Hollywood big name actor ever dreamed. Sounds like he even threw some Scottish in there for good measure.

After a particularly blah day at work in the thrift store with her goth co-worker, Iris  finds herself being stalked by Beatle Boy and, in her attempt to dodge him, literally runs into Eddie Vincent, the titular vampire of the rockabilly kind. His striking likeness to Elvis Presley, with whom Iris is borderline psychotically preoccupied, takes her breath away and she finds herself completely smitten by him.

Vampires. Once, long ago, they were my frightful being du jour. Sadly all of my interest in vampires was stymied somewhere around the time vampires became mopey, bishie wimps and plummeted when they began sparkling. Eddie’s vampire, though, falls into a more believable mode of reluctant and sympathetic creature that’s pulled off better here than in many Hollywood attempts. The story (what I could make out, anyway) goes that some time in the 50’s he was on his way to an Elvis look-alike concert when attacked and turned by his brother Wrecks. Yes, Wrecks. Since then he’s roamed the Earth in search of a cure because for some reason that I couldn’t hear,  he is unlike his brother and his ilk in that he isn’t a full vampire. In fact, if traditional vampire lore were followed then none of these guys would be up to snuff; they eat and drink human food and traipse about in full overexposed daylight in what is an odd concept probably necessitated by the difficulty of low budget night shooting. His brother and his gang are for some reason chasing after him (I think maybe to fully turn him?) and his new-found love Iris and the movie follows her as she gets herself entangled deeper into his quandary.

Rockabilly Vampire is an independent third party film released by Troma studios, well known for its schlocky independent releases and happily in possession of a cult following. While this isn’t a film created by Troma studios, if you’re a Troma fan then, from what I’ve read from numerous devout followers, this is by far one of the choicer cuts of beef. This is most certainly not a movie for everyone; I’m hardly even sure it’s for me, but it has the aforementioned attributes going for it, as well as a swingin’ soundtrack that is actually rather good and comes through crystal clear, unlike any of the dialogue. That said, if you’re a fan of Troma or just B horror movies in general, I think you’ll enjoy this one.

Once again, yet another innocent falls victim to the mind-boggling power of Eddie's pimpin' bling.
Once again, yet another innocent falls victim to the mind-boggling power of Eddie’s pimpin’ bling.

Intermission!

  • In that first scene between the two shop girls there was so much hair tossing and eye rolling that I’m not sure that their spinal cords weren’t made of flan.
  • Okay I’m kinda confused… does Eddie get drunk off of blood, ‘cause after he killed that hobo he was slurring and weaving like Pat O’Brien on a date.
  • Holy Over the Top Stereotypes!  Greasy landlords, greasy 90’s Goths, greasy….er…Greasers
  • Haha….they robbed a blood bank.
  • He’s wearing a necklace to keep away evil spirits? When you’re a vampire, exactly what do you consider “evil spirits”?

Groovy Quotes:

Vinnie: Where’s my money?
Iris: I told you I’d have it soon
Vinnie: Where’s my money?
Iris: I said I was taking a bath
Vinnie: Where’s my money?
Iris: Do you ever say anything else?
Vinnie: Where’s my rent?

Vinnie: Did you get extra butter?
Iris: They were out. So I spit in it.
Vinnie: Oh…kinky. I like that.

(Eddie lights a cigarette)
Bum: WOAH, what are you doin’? Trying to burn down my house?
Eddie: Oh sorry, man. I didn’t know it was your pad.
Bum: Damn right it is, now get out of my yard!

Vinnie’s father: My son’s a boy. I can see why you resisted him. You need a man *grabs Iris*
Iris: Ugh! What you need is to brush your teeth.

Iris: If you’re a real vampire where’s your cape and fangs?
Eddie: Look, everything you’ve seen in the picture shows is a gross stereotype of people like me.
Iris: Sorry. Didn’t know you had to be politically correct with the undead.

If You Liked This Movie, Try These:

  • Cannibla! The Musical
  • Sleepaway Camp
  • My Best Friend Is A Vampire

2 comments

  1. Heather, you’re my new hero. Any movie called “Rockabilly Vampire” is one that needed to be reviewed on this website. And I hereby petition that the phrase “pimpin’ bling” appear in at least 20% more of our reviews.

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