Obviously not a film for everyone, I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle is for those who wanted to see the cast of UK TV show "Boon" in a bad horror movie or who wanted to see a movie about a possessed motorbike or who wanted to see . . . . . . Neil Morrissey attacked by a lively turd in a random nightmare sequence. It has all of these things and more. None of them make for a great viewing experience.
The story is nothing to dwell on, what with it being fully described in
the title of the movie, so let's move quickly past that.
The acting is okay if you enjoy acting performances that look as if
they belong in some 80s British comedy drama series full of more bad
puns and lame moments than anything else. Neil Morrissey is the leading
man and he's so-so, if nothing special. He's certainly better than
anyone else on screen, with the possible exception of Anthony Daniels
in a rare non-C3PO role. Supposed to be a lovable loser trying to find
out exactly what's wrong with his new purchase, Morrissey is believably
dim but not really as endearing as his "cheeky chappie" could be.
The effects are about as varied as you can get with some of the stuff
here being quite enjoyably gory but other stuff looking as if someone
knocked it up in their workshed with a load of red paint and sticky
back plastic (which, in all likelihood, is probably what happened). The
bike itself is a nice looking machine and gains some nice design
"upgrades" as the movie progresses. Director Dirk Campbell also does a
good job of blocking scenes tightly enough to show the bike moving,
apparently, without anyone on board.
The biggest problem with the film, although there are many minor
failings to choose from, is that it's simply too preposterous to enjoy
fully. The central premise is not just stupid but also stupidly
executed. It's as if we're expected to buy into the fact that this bike
can get everywhere and sneak up on people every night when the bike is
there, reminding you that . . . . . . . . IT'S A BIKE! I must also make
a special point of mentioning the Hell's Angels here that are about as
scary as the Hell's Grannies depicted by Monty Python. Fans of the
great, quaint UK horror Psychomania will enjoy seeing this bunch of
tame "tough bikers". And, considering the film was released in 1990,
it's strange to think that it may have seemed dated as soon as it came
out. Perhaps people can argue that it's done that way deliberately, a
homage to the decidedly British horrors of yesteryear. I'm not buying
With Michael Elphick also hamming things up and a bunch of people who
were never really (or should never have been) bound for anything more
than TV work, the movie just about works it's way to an average rating
with it's exuberance and sense of self-belief (not to mention the
surprisingly enjoyable, generic soundtrack) but it just has far too
much to work against with the onslaught of poor, groansome gags, the
silliness of the whole scenario and the complete lack of tension
throughout. UK horror has seen much worse entries in the genre but it's
also seen MUCH better.