Red Blooded American Girl (1990) Poster

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Not your run of the mill vampire horror picture. A fresh, interesting and genuinely inspired take on the bloodsucker premise
Woodyanders18 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Brilliant, but eccentric scientist Dr. John Alcore (the always marvelous Christopher Plummer) hires nice guy virus expert and pharmaceutical genius Owen Urban (an engaging portrayal by Andrew Stevens) to help him with his groundbreaking experiments on genetic engineering and life extension at his clinic the Life Research Foundation. Owen discovers to his shock and dismay that Alcore and his associates have inadvertently become infected with a lethal new virus that has extremely dangerous side effects: folks with the bizarre blood disease have increased strength, an aversion to sunlight, and an insatiable appetite for human blood. In other words, they are basically vampires. Matters are further complicated when perky volunteer subject Paula (a fearlessly wild and crazed turn by the lovely Heather Thomas) becomes infected and goes murderously around the bend.

Ably directed with tremendous style and verve by David Blyth, with a fresh, witty and intelligent script by Alan Moyle which offers a clever, original and even pretty plausible "Coma"-style medical thriller take on the concept of vampirism, slick cinematography by Ludek Bogner, a snappy pace, a spooky, stirring synthesizer score by Jim Manzie, plenty of wickedly funny dialogue ("Yes, I'm a blood user, but I adore garlic and hate sleeping in coffins"), and an appropriately creepy and sinister tone, "Red Blooded American Girl" deserves praise for doing something refreshingly different and unconventional with your standard vampire premise. The cast in particular warrant kudos for their uniformly excellent acting; Kim Coates makes an especially strong impression as Alcore's pathetic, predatory jerk of an obnoxious assistant and ravishing French redhead hottie supreme Lydie Denier has a memorably sexy'n'sultry cameo as a young woman Dennis has his wicked way with after making love to her first. There are some cool kinky touches featured throughout as well, such as Dennis masturbating in a hot tub with a bag of blood and Paula gleefully caressing herself with a steak knife. Offbeat, intriguing and well worth a look.
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A different take on vampirism...
Vomitron_G20 May 2006
...and a really bad one! Man, I should have know that this movie was going to suck solely because of the fact that Andrew Stevens was in it. The man simply can't do any better than to "act" in those zillion erotic thrillers, B-movie style, he already starred in. As a matter of fact, RED BLOODED American GIRL looks and feels exactly like one of those movies. And this is supposed to be horror? Come on! There's no suspense, no thrills, no scary moments, no gore or bloodshed.

Still, there are two good things about this movie. I must say the initial idea (looking at vampirism as a virus that is passed from human to human by a bite, eating infected meat or a blood transfusion) was pretty interesting. Second good thing was the opening-shot: a top-shot of a beautiful babe lying on a bed with her boobies naked. So those two elements made me think that this movie might not be all that bad. But, unfortunately, after about twenty minutes all goes downhill fast and hits the sewers rapidly, only to never emerge from them.

Andrew Stevens (with glasses) plays Owen, a young scientist (can you believe that?) who receives an invitation he can not refuse. Dr. John Alcore (Christopher Plummer) asks him to come work at his (clandestine) facility. Turns out he's infected with the vampire-virus and in desperate need for a cure. Owen agrees, meets Paula at the facility, and falls in love with her. Paula gets infected too, escapes and flees into the city with a craving for blood. Maybe this all sounds interesting, but please, forget about it. This movie is just boring and laughably bad.

In the facility work only five men or so. Their fitness-monitoring room has only one home-trainer. The sets look cheap. Christopher Plummer is completely wasted on this movie and he doesn't seem to care he's in a pile of drivel. Andrew Stevens (with glasses!!!) is laughable and unbelievable as a scientist. He has a round-shaped king-size bed (with heavenly white sheets) in his working-room/laboratory (!) for the sole purpose of having sex in it. He has a normal bed upstairs in his room too, which is supposedly used to sleep in. And Heather Thomas (as Paula) looks like she might have (wrongfully) had ambition to become playmate of the year, but sadly got rejected or something and thereby had to star in an Andrew Stevens-movie. She can't really act (except for making funny faces when she's in need for blood) and looks really ugly when she has make-up on (that scene in the padded cell!). The scene where she was dancing in the kitchen to a ridiculous 80's song was plain idiotic.

So, yes, one might actually laugh a few times when seeing this movie, but it will definitely not be because of the very few attempts at comedy this movie makes. Those few so-called funny lines by some actors are totally misplaced... or maybe not, since this movie is laughably bad. But anyway, the little comedy in it, doesn't work. And then there's the fact that you just know that Owen and Paula will have their sex-scene in this movie (after all, this is an Andrew Stevens movie). But it doesn't happen for ages. And near the end of the movie it seemed like the director suddenly realized that he still had no sex-scene for the movie. So it is gratuitously presented to the viewer. Very funny that was. But perhaps the worst thing of this movie was the ending/conclusion. That was one of the lamest endings I've ever seen. Really, I'm not kidding, it was that bad and disappointing.

One crazy man here... ehrr, sorry, let me re-phrase that: one fellow-commentator here on IMDb actually claims that RED BLOODED American GIRL is on par with Ridley Scott's GLADIATOR and that RBAG even has more redeeming qualities! That's completely insane... impossible... I'm speechless. As much as I am not a big fan of GLADIATOR, I simply can not agree with that statement. Oh, well, to hell with it. This review is a warning for myself and for everybody else: stay away from movies that star Andrew Stevens in a leading roll!
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Heather Thomas wants your blood!
gridoon201929 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A new take on vampirism: it gives you no noticeable external characteristics (except enhanced strength), and it's more like an uncontrollable drug addiction - with blood being the "prize". This is a rather anemic production, but it gets a blood transfusion from its cast: Andrew Stevens and Christopher Plummer do what they have to do adequately, but the standouts are Kim Coates (playing yet another complete sleazeball) and Heather Thomas. Just like in "Cyclone", Heather is introduced to the audience while working out in a gym, which I suppose is only fitting given her body, but she doesn't really let loose until she is "infected" with the vampire virus; from that point on, she goes on these wild mood swings, from seductive to suicidal, and Heather has fun with the role. Unfortunately, the climax of the film is weak: seeing Stevens prepare his therapy process for about 10 straight minutes is not that exciting. ** out of 4.
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good acting can't save terrible script
Kabumpo21 June 2003
While this film has an interesting premise, Allen Moyle's script can't get anything worthwhile out of it. Said premise is that experiments with kuru have caused the spread of a scientific form of vampirism. Kuru is an actual disease that is transmitted when cannibal warriors eat the infected brains of their opponents. Perhaps if the script had been rewritten, it would have been a good film, as all of the cast are very strong and try to make the material they've been given better than it is, except for Christopher Plummer, who knows full well he is in drivel and too arrogant to care about doing his best. I felt a similar way about Ridley Scott's _Gladiator_, in which Oliver Reed gives a lackluster final performance in a drivel film with strong, albeit stylized, acting. The film is a mix of '90s slickness and '80s sleaze comedy. Because the actors are freewheeling and unwilling to let their craft be hampered by poor material, the film never stops being interesting, and leaves you feeling sorry for the actors, except for Plummer, whose boredom is infectious.

This is the sort of film that should be remade--one that had a lot going for it, including wonderful production design be Ian Brock--but since part of what makes it strong are the efforts of the actors, who have aged over a decade, there really isn't much point, particularly since all that ever get remade are films that were done right the first time. If it were remade, of course, the script should be thrown in the dust bin so someone with talent could write a good script using the same idea.

Like Scott's _Gladiator_, in which Joaquin Phoenix's Commodus is akin to Andrew Jackson's Donald here, this made it to my worst films of all time, but both films have similar redeeming values that make them of marginal interest. _Gladiator_ should have ended up only as well known as this one, not a Best Picture winner--they're very much on par. If you liked _Gladiator_ for any reason other than fandom for one of the stars, then I would recommend this picture wholeheartedly, even if you're not into horror/SF combinations. They're both worth a 4, but _Gladiator_ gets marked down a point in my book because it was so expensive (the cheaper a film is, the easier it is to forgive its flaws, particularly if acting isn't one of them--good actors can be found at any price) and so overpraised.
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