The Little Vampire Review

by Jon Popick (jpopick AT sick-boy DOT com)
October 28th, 2000

"We Put the SIN in Cinema"

I admire Cameron Crowe as a writer and director but am feeling a strong urge to kick him in the balls for unleashing Jonathan Lipnicki on the world. The precocious little runt from Crowe’s Jerry Maguire is on his fourth go at the typical 15 minutes of fame. After Maguire, Lipnicki had a short-lived sitcom (Meego) and almost completely turned me off to Dawson’s Creek when he made several guest appearances last season. There’s something a little disturbing about seeing Creek’s hot babes in one scene, and then Lipnicki in the next. It’s enough to give you limpdicky.

The diminutive actor’s latest attempt at taking over the world via cute expressions is The Little Vampire, a truly awful film that will frighten little children and drive parents mad with boredom. In it, Lipnicki (Stuart Little) plays Tony Thompson, a nine-year-old boy who has just moved from San Diego to an isolated town in Scotland. Tony’s had the same dream every night he’s spent in Scotland – something involving a comet, the moon, a magic amulet and vampires, the latter of which causes him to wake his parents in the middle of the night and earn the scorn of his teacher and classmates, who call Tony names that are ordinarily reserved for Jose Canseco (“stupid Yankee”).

Long story short, Tony befriends a young vampire boy (they save each other’s lives) and learns that vampires are simply misunderstood and want only to become human again. Tony’s dream about the comet and amulet explains how the vampires are to go about becoming mortal. Inexplicably, Tony goes from pissing his drawers at the mere mention of the word “vampire” to wanting to become one in the span of about five minutes.

Tony and the vampires have 48 hours to find the magic amulet (they’ve been searching for it since the 1600s), which is also being hunted for by a vampire killer (Jim Carter, Shakespeare in Love). Until they can find it, the kindly vampires don’t feed on humans, but do suck blood from cows, which proceed to obtain glowing red eyes, float through the air and defecate on things.

There are several remarkable things about the film, such as how much it isn’t for kids. The other child actors run circles around Lipnicki, who is no longer cute and has the talent of thumbtack. There’s a confusing subplot where Tony’s dad tries to get him to be the next Tiger Woods. And the vampires don’t seem to obey the traditional rules of the undead, like not being able to enter people’s homes without being invited.
Vampire was directed by Ulrich Edel, who hasn’t directed a feature film since Madonna’s 1993 debacle Body of Evidence. It’s based on a series of children’s books written by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg, which were lethargically adapted by Karey Kirkpatrick (Chicken Run) and Larry Wilson (Beetlejuice).

1:35 – PG for blood sucking and frightening stuff like that

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