I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990) is a particularly difficult movie. It’s an English Horror Comedy and comes frustratingly close to being a schlock masterpiece, but falls short in one important area. Editing.
The setup is, Our main character Noddy (Neil Morrissey) buys a classic motorcycle whose owner was recently killed. The previous owner just so happened to be an occultist, and now his soul is trapped in the bike. Strange things start happening to Noddy. His friend Buzzer (Daniel Peacock) who’s helping him restore the bike is mysteriously murdered. And sometimes when Noddy is riding on the bike, it feels like he has no control over it at all.
Everything we need for the story to progress is here. The occultist was killed by a local biker gang and anytime Noddy passes by them the motorcycle takes control and upsets them to the point where they will be chasing after Noddy for the rest of the film.
We even get the priest (Anthony Daniels) that Noddy will consult later.
And after Buzzer is murdered Noddy is introduced to Inspector Cleaver (Micheal Elphick) who has terrible garlic breath.
We also get one more scene with Buzzer that I would be stupid not to include here.
Upset that his friend is dead, Noddy has a dream. In his bathroom, Noddy hears Buzzer’s voice coming from the toilet. And when he peers into the bowl he sees a large turd with Buzzer’s face. It says hello and then jumps into his mouth. This is one of the more funny and horrifying things I’ve seen put to film.
However, after this the movie gets lost for a while.
After the occultist, the possessed bike, the gross inspector, and that bathroom scene I Bought an Vampire Motorcycle (1990) spreads itself thin. It seems as though they had a great idea for a short film, because the beginning and ending are strong. But the middle portion might as well be a different movie. We do get a little action between Noddy and the biker gang when they fight in a bar, but most of the second act is spent watching Noddy and his girlfriend Kim (Amanda Noar) run errands in their Birmingham suburb.
We see them going to get Chinese takeout, buying snacks at a gas station, or parts to restore the bike.
But the film doesn’t need this. Its an hour and forty-one minutes long and could cut out about fifteen minutes worth of filler. Then all of the interesting elements that are set up in the first act wouldn’t feel like they are being put on hold.
Then its action, tension, and strangeness would be rising constantly to a conclusion that is unexpected, ridiculous, and brilliant. And that I won’t spoil here because this film is absolutely worth watching.
But I will say it may involve bandoliers of garlic, bad breath, body builders, and tanning beds.