Vampire In Brooklyn

Vampire In Brooklyn (1995)
Paramount Home Video
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Angela Basset, Zakes Mokae, Kadeem Hardison
Extras: Theatrical Trailer

’Vampire In Brooklyn’ has been almost universally dissed by fans and critics when it was originally released in 1995. Wes Craven directed this tale of a Carribean vampire, played by Eddie Murphy, who travel to modern day New York to find the last remaining descendant of his kind in Brooklyn. As it so happens, she turns out to be the cop who is investigating the trail of blood he leaves behind.

Although the film is unspectacular in many ways, I found ’Vampire In Brooklyn’ much more enjoyable this time around than I did when I first saw it years ago. The distance may have helped give me a more neutral perspective on the film and the endless slew of rotten teenage horror films of the past years may also have made me more sensitive to the qualities ’Vampire In Brooklyn’ actually possesses. While the biggest problem is that the film can’t decide whether it wants audiences to laugh or be terrified by Eddie Murphy’s character, the film is beautifully told and paced and contains some striking imagery. Hardly surprising in retrospect as director Wes Craven is a master in creating memorable images that are foreboding and rich.

Paramount Home Video is presenting ’Vampire In Brooklyn’ in anamorphic widescreen on this DVD in the movie’s original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The transfer is clean and is mostly free of defects, although some grain is evident in selected scenes. Contrast is very good, offering deep blacks, which are nicely complemented by good highlights that are never glaring or blooming. The color reproduction is very faithful and renders a rich image, just as the cinematography dictates. Only occasionally the image is marred by slight edge-enhancement and for the most part the picture is beautiful to behold and free of compression artifacts.

The DVD features a nicely produced 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track that is energetic and offers a wide dynamic range. The frequency response is natural, making the presentation sound very balanced and faithful. There is no distortion in the track and the surround usage makes for an engaging experience that makes effective use of the surround channels.

’Vampire In Brooklyn’ turns out to be much better than I remembered and makes for some solid entertainment. The engaging story, the dramatic story arch and most importantly the beautiful cinematography make the film a much more important contender in the horror field as anything currently produced.