It’s time for another horror comedy! Lauren Hutton is a vampire who needs to drink virgin blood by Halloween or she and all her converts will die. Jim Carrey is the virgin she seduces in one of those bars where everyone has a telephone on a table. He thinks they’ve had sex, but all she’s done is bite him on the thigh. His girlfriend won’t sleep with him, and there’s a mildly amusing scene where they’re making out in the ice cream truck he drives and everyone else in the parking lot is having sex. The ice cream truck has a scoop of ice cream on its roof with a cherry on top that looks like a giant boob, and there are oil well sex metaphors pumping in a field next to the parking lot.
I cannot recommend Once Bitten, as it is a comedy that has not aged very well, but I like it because I watched it in the 80s when it was just a movie and not an 80s movie. Maybe I thought it was funny when I was 11 and it played on HBO. I’m sure I thought Jim Carrey was cute, which feels weird to me now.
I can remember a kid telling me the entire plot of this movie on the school bus because she had been to see it in the theater. She thought the ending with the rocking coffin was funny. Does anyone remember those kids who would tell you the whole plot of a movie at school? I can remember this other kid telling me the whole plot of Porky’s in fourth grade, and how it was about a guy named Pee Wee who wanted to get “laid out.” She kept saying that. (Aside: if you didn’t live through the 80s you cannot imagine the extent to which no one would shut up about Porky’s. I’ve mentioned it twice on this blog this week and I didn’t even like it that much. It was a PHENOMENON. OK, digression over.) Anyway, It’s really funny now to think back on her retelling because “laid” and “laid out” mean very different things. Then when I was older and watched Kiss of the Spider Woman and Raul Julia kept asking William Hurt to “tell him a movie” I thought it was a beautiful interaction between two people even though they were in jail. So when I got even older and my kid wanted bedtime stories every night I used to tell him the plots of movies pretty often because I’m not good at making things up. I’m also not in favor of plagiarism, so I admitted I was telling him movies.
Anyway, there are a lot of things that a modern person probably wouldn’t like about Once Bitten, but nothing seemed strange about it at the time. Watching it as an adult Lauren Hutton’s house looks awesome with the at the time very hip design. I don’t know enough about architecture to describe it to you but it just screams 1985 with the pastels. The boutique where the girlfriend works is awesomely 80s as well, and I do remember stores in the mall looking like that with the neon and scaffolding. There’s a theme song called “Once Bitten” with lyrics about the movie, which is one of the best worst elements of any 80s movie.
But the absolute best thing about Once Bitten, the thing that makes me return to it again and again, is that there is a dance off. I unabashedly, unironically, will never get over 80s dance moves. I spent too much time as once of those kids who was in the dance studio three times a week for my entire childhood, and did dance exhibitions at every town festival and a recital with crazy costumes at the end of every school year. I even kept doing dance and recitals as an adult, until the year before my son was born. Yep, I’m one of THOSE girls. So I may laugh at the theme song, but this dance scene is serious business. Watch it, and then go watch the movie on Tubi or Vudu, if you can handle terminal 80sness.