Angela Bassett hasn’t done too many genre movies, or comedies, where she gets to let her hair down and have fun. While Wes Craven’s “Vampire in Brooklyn” may not be one of the best vampire movies of all time, it does provide Bassett with a substantial role and it shows a different side to her. Eddie Murphy plays the titular vampire Max, who comes to Brooklyn from the Caribbean seeking a Dhampir (daughter of a vampire and human).
Kadeem Hardison (“A Different World”) plays Julius, who is bitten by Max early on and spends the rest of the movie slowly decaying, providing the funniest moments. Murphy does his usual schtick of playing other characters — including a preacher and an Italian-American gangster. Allen Payne (“The Cosby Show”) plays the partner of Bassett’s detective Rita Veder, and the film is surprisingly sexy at times. Bassett gets to wear a stunning outfit on a date with Max, which is particularly jaw-dropping.
Not all of the humor in “Vampire in Brooklyn” lands, and it belongs to Murphy’s messier batch of movies, rather than his classics. Bassett takes the role seriously, and there is emotion provided when her roommate is murdered, and when she believes her partner has betrayed her. “Vampire in Brooklyn” is a fun horror-comedy, but Bassett’s acting is as impressive as ever, even while things around her are so chaotic and a mixture of tones.