ONCE BITTEN: A horny vampiress goes on the prowl for young virgin males. Since she has to find them in modern-day Los Angeles, she has quite a problem.
VAMPIRE'S KISS: Nicolas Cage plays Peter Loew, a sleazy literary agent who prowls the bars in the evening looking for some action. One night he hooks up with Jennifer Beals, and in the course of their relations, she bites him on the neck. When he wakes up the next morning, Peter doesn't feel quite right. He is irritable, and has a hard time dealing with life at the literary agency, where his secretary takes the brunt of his ire. Suddenly, it dawns on Peter that he was bitten by a vampire, so he goes out and buys a set of real fangs. However, mere plot exposition can't begin to get at what makes this movie so amazing. Well, the film itself isn't really amazing--it's Cage's performance. Here, it seems, he was given free rein to act like a complete madman. There is absolutely no precedent for this performance anywhere in film history, and Cage is a wonder to watch. Though this film is usually mentioned only when people want to talk about how Cage ate a live cockroach once because he insisted on absolute realism, his performance here dwarfs everything else he's ever done. The movie might be rather silly, what with its pretentious device of using Peter's transformation into a vampire as a metaphor for his other life as a parasitic literary agent and lady-killer, but Cage overacts so stunningly that you can't take your eyes off the film for a second.