VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN (1995) Reviews and overview

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‘A comic tale of horror and seduction.’

Vampire in Brooklyn is a 1995 American comedy horror film directed by Wes Craven (Scream; A Nightmare on Elm Street; The Last House on the Left).

Eddie Murphy, who also produced and stars in the film, co-wrote the film’s script, alongside Vernon Lynch and Murphy’s older brother Charlie Murphy. Michael Lucker and Chris Parker contributed rewrites.

The Paramount Pictures film co-stars Angela Bassett, Allen Payne, Kadeem Hardison, John Witherspoon, Zakes Mokae, and Joanna Cassidy. Murphy also plays an alcoholic preacher and a sweary Italian gangster.


An abandoned ship crashes into a dockyard in Brooklyn, New York, and the ship inspector, Silas Green, finds it full of corpses. Elsewhere, Julius Jones, Silas’s nephew, has a run-in with some Italian mobsters. Just as the two goons are about to kill Julius, Maximilian, a suave, mysterious vampire intervenes and kills them.

Soon after, Maximillian infects Julius with his vampiric blood, thereby turning him into a decaying ghoul. He explains that he has come to Brooklyn in search of the Dhampir daughter of a vampire from his native Caribbean island in order to live beyond the night of the next full moon.

This Dhampir turns out to be NYPD Detective Rita Veder, who is still dealing with the death of her mentally ill mother some months before. Rita begins having strange visions about a woman who looks like her and begins asking questions about her mother’s past…

New Blu-ray release:

Paramount is releasing Vampire in Brooklyn on Blu-ray on September 15, 2020. Order via


” …a disappointment, a series of oddly mismatched elements – a White director working with an almost completely Black cast; a horror director trying to do a comedy; a comedy star trying to do horror; and a B-script with an A-budget – and to no particular surprise it never clicks together.” Moria

” …Murphy, as the vampire of the film’s title, is the least interesting fixture in a story that gets muddled in its mix of horror and comedy genres: He is strangely cumbersome, which could be because of the hokey makeup and special effects surrounding him. Vampire in Brooklyn is neither funny nor frightening and comes up a tedious middle-road hybrid…” San Francisco Chronicle

“The movie’s pleasures are fairly minor. It’s intriguing to watch Bassett, who has an appealing presence and sculpted features to die for. It’s also interesting to see Murphy apparently playing Herb (of Peaches and Herb) with fangs. But this modern fable is little more than a Murphy potboiler, something to while away a couple of hours, rather than fondly remember.” The Washington Post

“In his unabashed rapacity and elegant aspect, Maximilian is a throwback: cunning, charming and guiltless. But the narrative, the complex make-up and effects, and Murphy’s performance as Max never probe beyond the surface. In fact, the make-up used to turn Murphy/Maximilian into other characters has more dramatic impact than the vampire transformations.” Alain Silver, James Ursini, The Vampire Film from Nosferatu to True Blood


“The chemistry between Bassett and Murphy is strong, Kadeem Hardison and John Witherspoon are adept at comedy, the special effect sequences and transformations are startling, and the overall 1930s-’40s mood is charming.” John Kenneth Muir, Wes Craven: The Art of Horror

“It was a misguided alliance. Each party pursued a different agenda, resulting in a confused and disappointing horror-comedy…” Brian J. Robb, Screams & Nightmares: The Films of Wes Craven

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Main cast and characters:

Eddie Murphy as Maximilian / Preacher Pauly / Guido
Angela Bassett as Detective Rita Veder
Allen Payne as Detective Justice
Kadeem Hardison as Julius Jones
John Witherspoon as Silas Green
Zakes Mokae as Doctor Zeko
Joanna Cassidy as Captain Dewey
W. Earl Brown as Police Officer
Simbi Khali as Nikki

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