In The Little Vampire, Jonathan Lipnicki plays Tony Thompson, recent émigré to the Highlands. Rather than go the traditional route for Scottish fantasy and pick up a wooden sword and proclaim, "There can be only one," Tony begins dreaming of vampires. Night after night, Tony's slumber is disturbed as he dreams of a rite being performed by a clan of vampires. What it means, Tony has no clue. So Tony simply does what any other eight-year old stereotyped by cinema does: Goes to mommy (Pamela Gidley) and daddy (Tommy Hinkley), sleeps in their bed for the night, and then gets ridiculed by everyone he knows for his "wild vampire fantasies" during the day.
Lo and behold, one night a guy named Rudolf (Rollo Weeks) happens upon Tony incanting what he heard in the dream, and before the night is through the two have saved each other's life, fed on cows, and played on top of a blimp.
Should I even bother telling you at this point that The Little Vampire is kiddie fare?
As kiddie fare goes, The Little Vampire is actually one of the more imaginative offerings in recent memory. In a highly vapid genre, The Little Vampire injects a quasi-sardonic imagination (and sense of humor) into the field There are enjoyable running gags (such as the vampiric cows who disappear one-by-one, much to the chagrin of the forlorn farmer) and a storyline that doesn't absolutely reek. Sadly, the rest of the film doesn't fare quite so well.
In fact, the rest of the film runs rather hot and cold. One minute, the acting is terrific, the next minute, you're wondering if this is the players' first film. One minute, the humor is sidesplitting, the next it's too melodramatic to stand. In the end, The Little Vampire is really only a good film if you view it next to a contemporary like, say, Pokemon. Without that, it's just another movie to float into the mist of mediocre cinema.
Run time: 95 mins
In Theaters: Friday 27th October 2000
Box Office USA: $13.4M
Box Office Worldwide: $13.6M
Distributed by: New Line Cinema
Production compaines: New Line Cinema
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 36 Rotten: 30
IMDB: 5.7 / 10
Director: Ulrich Edel
Producer: Richard Claus
Starring: Richard E. Grant as Frederick Sackville-Bagg, Jonathan Lipnicki as Tony Thompson, Jim Carter as Rookery, Alice Krige as Freda Sackville-Bagg, Pamela Gidley as Dottie Thompson, Tommy Hinkley as Bob Thompson, Anna Popplewell as Anna Sackville-Bagg, Dean Cook as Gregory Sackville-Bagg, Iain De Caestecker as Nigel
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