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R: ARCHIVE, S: MOVIES, D: 10/26/2000,

The Little Vampire

Could there be a kid-pic about vampires? What’s next? Mr. Dahmer’s Neighborhood? Freddy Krueger on Sesame Street? All cynicism aside, The Little Vampire is a sprightly romp, funny, full of life lessons, and scary. Bespectacled American boy Tony Thompson (Jonathan Lipnicki, the adorable one in Jerry Maguire) and his family have transplanted to a huge castle in Scotland. Tony’s picked on at school and has recurring nightmares about vampires. Then one night a bat flies into his room and morphs into a vampire kid named Rudolph (Rollo Weeks). After getting over the jitters that come with entertaining a teen bloodsucker, Tony helps Rudolph find a cow for a blood apéritif. The two bond and embark on a quest to find the mystical amulet that can save Rudolph and his family.

The script, based on Angela Sommer-Bodenburg’s book and directed by Ulrich Edel (Last Exit to Brooklyn), is uneven, but at least the vampire cows and lines like "My parents would love to have your parents for dinner" are hysterical. Richard E. Grant is a plus as the Dracula-esque pa vamp, and Jim Carter is a goofy riot as the disorderly vampire slayer.

-- Tom Meek