80s, 90s, Articles, Celebrities, Movies, TV — October 25, 2017 9:50 pm

Rick Springfield is a Vampire

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A 1980s pop singer, vampires, Erica Kane’s ex-husband, and a made-for-TV movie from 1989. These are all things Linz loves, so it’s no wonder that when given the opportunity to purchase a $9 DVD containing those four elements she’d jump on it.

Nick Knight stars Rick Springfield as a vampire detective working the night shift. His arch nemesis LaCroix, played by Michael Nader (a.k.a Dimitri Marick, the two-time husband of Erica Kane on All My Children and Michael if you’re reading this HOLLA AT YO’ GIRL), comes back to mess with Knight and teach us how to pronounce that canned fizzy water brand vegans love (La-Kwa).

This made-for-TV movie was supposed to serve as the pilot for a TV series. The series was eventually made in 1992 and titled Forever Knight, but without Springfield.

Before we get too far, we need to talk about the actual DVD of this cinematic masterpiece. When searching for this on Amazon, you’ll notice a few things: a $70 copy of the movie (pass), a 2014 duet album by the Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter and New Kids on the Block’s Jordan Knight, and a $9 double-feature DVD with Nick Knight and The Gladiator (no, not the one you’re thinking of). Get the $9 one. The DVD menus are a treat. As are the trailers included in this release (Transylvania 6-5000, The Boys Next Door, Black Moon Rising, and Sister Sister—again, not the one you’re thinking of).

Back to the actual meat of this DVD—the Nick Knight movie.

This beauty opens with a woman cleaning a clay pot, which we later find out is a Mayan goblet. This existed in a far-away land where not only could you call a movie by an un-established character’s name, but Rick Springfield could carry a movie (albeit a made-for-TV one). Flash forward to modern day where the goblet is in a museum and a dude with some gnarly nails steals it and kills the guard, which is totally unnecessary.

We’re then treated to Rick Springfield in a tanning bed:

Remember chest hair? Let’s get that going again. Love of chest hair aside, we’ll get to why Springfield goes to the tanning salon so often in a bit. And kids, don’t tan, even if you’re a vampire trying to be human again. Oops, spoilers.

I’d also like to take a moment to recognize the soundtrack for this made-for-TV movie. One of the more prominent songs in this is The Human League’s “Human”, an amazing song and a great choice considering Springfield is trying desperately to become human again. I see what you did there. The film could have gone with Springfield’s own song “Human Touch”, but opted not to. At least you could say it’s not a vanity project for Springfield (he didn’t star in the TV series [Forever Knight] this movie was slated to launch, so there’s also that). Other songs featured in the film include Jody Watley’s “Real Love”, Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative”, and Richard Marx’s “Endless Summer Nights”. This soundtrack is FIRE.

Back to business: the camera pans Springfield’s apartment, located on top of a theatre that perpetually plays It’s A Wonderful Life, which not only has an unsettling amount of windows considering he’s a vampire, but also an unsettling amount of television sets. Like, at least six of the exact same one. Does he live in a Circuit City? He closes the blinds, but jeez. Why. And what’s the point of having the same thing on every TV?

In case we’ve missed that Rick Springfield is a vampire up until this point, we see him take a bottle of blood from the fridge, pour it into Mayan goblet, and microwave it. What in the hell kind of bachelor vampire life is he living? Wait, Nick Knight: Vampire Bachelor would have been a way better title.

Soon after, we’re with Dr. Alyce Hunter—wait, like a Vampire Hunter? Oof. Anyway, she’s in her office eating snacks and working late at night.

Looks pretty generic to me for the chips…

But the ice cream… It looks familiar. I thought it might be Edy’s, but maybe it’s an Edy’s knock-off.

More importantly than the brand of ice cream she’s eating: she drops ice cream out of her mouth when eating it. Can relate. Am I right ladies.

Moving on, Dr. Hunter opens some book, and we see her seafoam frosty translucent manicure. Full disclosure: I’m a nail polish addict and will notice this kind of shit.

But then a second later, Dr. Hunter has unpainted nails when putting her glasses on for some Murphy Brown career woman aesthetic. WHICH IS IT. You can’t have both. That requires a lot of nail polish remover.

Alright, enough side-tracking. We’re back to the film and the busy police station is holding a blood drive. Admirable, but wouldn’t you just send people to the Red Cross? Springfield’s partner says that according to his wife, eating raw garlic builds up blood cells. Is that even a thing? He then goes to breathe on Springfield as if we didn’t already figure out he’s a vampire.

The cops are then called to a fiery hostage situation at a late-night YMCA, which seems unnecessary. I at least thought we’d be seeing Dimitri from All My Children here. Springfield goes full-on vampire in his battle against the bad dude and it looks awful. His movements look terrible, like someone is moving him around in post-production. Springfield throws the perpetrator at a cleverly placed electric fence and then gets all ouchy because of course there’s a giant lit-up cross in the night sky.

Did I mention Rick Springfield has homeless friends in this movie? He does, and one of them gets murdered. It’s sad. They just wanted ice cream. This comes back in at the end, so if it seems weird that I mention it here… well, it is weird.

Ok, so after Springfield turns into a vampire, he disappears for a bit to sneak up on Dr. Hunter late at night at the museum. He goes back to not looking like a vampire but is being weirdly sexually aggressive, following her, alone, in her office at night. He’s bitching that she works at night, but so does he. Then they start making out for no reason. They do not know each other. Then he leaves, after becoming a vampire again, upon being close to her neck.

After this museum scene, we see that the local coroner is in on Springfield’s vampiric ways, trying to make him human. It’s animal blood in the bottle from earlier. Ah, all the TVs are sunrises and all the tanning bed skin cancer adventures are just him trying to acclimate himself to sunlight. A valiant effort.

Back to the homeless folks (told you we’d be back there): children are playing ball close to where these homeless folks are taking shelter. Not to say that homeless people are bad, but maybe this isn’t the best environment for children to play in. One kid’s ball goes right into the cardboard tent the one dead homeless man from earlier is in. The kid goes after it and discovers the dead body. Not traumatizing at all.

We make it to the obligatory weird vampire goth club and Dr. Hunter shows up, telling Springfield: “This has something to do with vampires, doesn’t it?” I mean, that’s a stretch. It’s all based on her finding a 1889 photo that looks like Nick Knight. Have you heard of Nic Cage? He’s a true vampire. You are a scientist. Stop.

Here’s where it starts getting good. Finally LaCroix makes an official appearance… as a radio DJ. This is everything. He plays Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” and does a jig, furthering my new theory that the soundtrack is the best part of this movie. Besides everything else. Do I accidentally like this movie?

LaCroix lures Springfield out, leading him to some weird livestock place where he drinks cow’s blood, god that place must stink. Springfield tries to get the goblet back from LaCroix and breaks the goblet after seeing Dr. Hunter on the catwalk above. Suddenly it’s daytime and Springfield starts sizzling when he’s in contact with the sun’s harmful UV rays. The best course of action is to lock yourself in the trunk of your own car when this happens, which is exactly what Springfield does. The car ends up impounded, but not to worry, Springfield’s partner gets his car back for him, only to go on a joyride with Springfield still in the trunk.

The partner ends up at the blood bank and the blood bank guy is weird and hella creepy. This has to be the dude behind everything. Besides LaCriox.

Hi-jinks ensue in this movie, and here’s the best part. The partner dude is still cruising around in Springfield’s car 24 hours later. The brakes are cut and this movie legit does a “two guys carrying a mirror across a street” shtick like this is fucking Paper Boy while the car is speeding. And the mirror breaks when the movers run into a fire hydrant. Classic!

Springfield’s property is up for the taking from complete strangers, apparently. Besides his partner that he just met hijacking his car, we see Dr. Hunter in Springfield’s empty apartment with the homeless lady whose husband was murdered. Why is she in his empty apartment? Again, they do not know each other.

Here we find out that the creepy blood donor clinic guy’s mom died. She was in car crash and needed a blood transfusion, received tainted (Hep C) blood from a donor of a specific blood type, and now he’s killing people with that blood type. That escalated quickly. This guy ends up at Springfield’s apartment, too, because of course he does. Springfield flies over. Literally. Why didn’t the blood bank guy kill the homeless lady to begin with? This just created more work for him, and now Springfield’s apartment is on fire since she tried to get the guy with a fiery broom. This is why I don’t invite people over.

Finally, LaCroix shows up with less than 10 minutes of film left. Dr. Hunter offers her blood to Springfield to make him stronger and I remind you again that they don’t know each other. He doesn’t take her up on it, but he thinks about it. Welp, LaCroix gets her, leading Springfield to stab LaCroix and now he looks absolutely fucking ridiculous.

Springfield launches LaCroix into the air, via his fiery stabby stick. He hits the wall and his face melts in what can only be described as a magnificent display of 80s special effects.

Dr. Hunter is dead, but what are the rules on this? What makes someone a vampire instead of just dead after a vampire bite? I’ve always been unclear. Either way, that apartment is toast. Springfield is going to have to move above a theatre showing Ernest Saves Christmas.

As a sort of happy ending, Springfield and his partner (played by John Kapelos, the only actor to return for the Forever Knight series) are official partners instead of temporary partners, setting up the situation for eventual TV series. The partner replaces Springfield’s car. Cue pan to view of city, play Richard Marx “Endless Summer Nights” (fire!)

In conclusion: I think I accidentally like this movie and now like Rick Springfield even more. Send help. I still don’t know how this got a DVD release, but I’m thankful it did. Also, here’s a clip of Rick Springfield’s awkward interview on the Pat Sajak Show, which I find endearing because I too am made up entirely out of anxiety, dry shampoo, and awkwardness:

I’ll leave you with this.

Holy shit, in “Human Touch” Rick Springfield was contacting Sally in 2016. We truly are in the future.

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