Februrary 20, 2013
Jim Carrey, Karen Kopins,
and Lauren Hutton
Once Bitten is on this countdown for one reason and for one
only. It is here because it is the earliest
noteworthy Jim Carrey movie. And
what is amazing is that so few people out there are even aware that
Bitten came out in 1985 (yes, nine years before Jim Carrey's "debut"
in Ace Ventura), and at the time it was considered little more than a
B-level forgettable teen sex comedy. Yeah, it was kind of a
quirky little movie, since it had vampires and dancing, and because it
had a goofy sense of
humor and all, but at the time it was one of those movies that you
maybe saw once with your friends, you laughed a little, and then you
pretty much forgot about. In no way was it ever a big hit
something like Ferris Bueller's Day Off or The Breakfast Club (which
both come out around approximately the same time.) Once
was fun, but it was never destined to be a movie that people
were going to talk about twenty five years later. It just
wasn't that good and it just wasn't that
Oh yeah, and at the time, the only real name actor in the movie was
former model Lauren Hutton.
For the first nine years of its existence, Once Bitten was pretty much
just known as a Lauren Hutton film.
Ah, but then we come to the talented young actor who played
the lead in the movie. An anonymous young Canadian who, in
1985, often still went by
the name James.
Yes, it is easy to forget this now, since he is one of
the biggest names in movies and all, but at one point in his life Jim
Carrey was a struggling young actor just trying to get a break
in Hollywood. And he thought he got his break in
1985 in Once
Bitten. Which was the very first movie he ever
Was not talking out of his butt yet
Jim Carrey plays a young man named
Mark Kendall. And unlike pretty much any other character that
Carrey has ever played in a movie, there is nothing odd or quirky or
bizarre about Mark. He is just a normal teenager in Los
who walks around doing normal teenager things. And it is
jarring the first time you see this movie. It is weird to see
young Jim Carrey walking around and not see him doing Jim
Normal Mark and his normal girlfriend
Mark is a teenager in L.A. who (like most teenagers) is
in sex. And (again, like most teenagers), he has never
HAD sex. He keeps trying to talk his girlfriend into it so he
can lose his virginity, but unfortunately she isn't really all that
interested so for now he is stuck. He is a virgin.
He is a virgin in Los Angeles. In fact, he might be
the oldest virgin left in Los Angeles.
Mark's disapproving girlfriend, the adorable Karen Kopins
One night, after another particularly frustrating
evening of a lack of action, Mark's friends decide
that they are
going to do something about this. They are going to
help deflower their buddy. So they take
him out to a
nightclub in L.A. They figure,
well this can't hurt. We'll introduce Mark to some random
who is just out looking for some action for the night, and then after
it is over he will stop pissing and moaning that he is still a virgin.
And then everyone will be happy.
Sounds like a good plan, right?
Mark at his first singles bar
Well this is where Once Bitten begins.
see, there is a female vampire living in Los Angeles who
goes by the name The Countess (Lauren Hutton). She is
vicious and extremely powerful and extremely beautiful. But
catch is that she is also extremely old. She is thousands of
years old. And the catch with
female vampires is that the only way they can remain powerful
and young and beautiful is if they drink the blood of a virgin
every so often.
And, well, it is just about time that The
Countess needs to feed again. And because this is Los Angeles
the 1980's, she is having a hard time actually finding a virgin to feed
The countess and her manservant Sebastian, trying to conceal her age
and keep her looking young
there you have your movie. The Countess runs into Mark in a
nightclub in L.A., she can instantly tell that this naive young doofus
who drives an ice cream truck is still a virgin, and she spends the
rest of the movie trying to drink his blood on three different
occasions. Since, you know, vampires need to feed on the
a virgin three different times in order to stay young.
rest of the movie is Mark's friends and his girlfriend trying to figure
out what is going on, and trying to save Mark from The Countess.
And from turning into a
Mark gets his buttons bit
Like I said, Once Bitten was
never destined to become a classic. It was funny, but it
THAT funny. It was memorable, but it wasn't THAT memorable.
Lauren Hutton was hot and Jim Carrey was likeable and the
was interesting, but it never really stood out at the time as much more
than "Oh yeah that movie about the female vampire." In fact,
Jim Carrey had never become a big star, I doubt we would be talking
about this movie at all. I bet not even I would have
it, and I remember just about everything.
Bitten faded into obscurity for more than half a decade.
just completely disappeared. And then Jim Carrey suddenly hit
big in the world of comedy.
All of a sudden, around 1991 or so,
"James Carrey" became a really big deal on In Living Color.
was "the white guy on that sketch comedy show made by black guys."
And people started to take note of how bizarre he was.
how odd his sense of humor was. And how he could contort his
and how his body was basically made out of rubber.
Because they saw him every week on In Living Color, Jim Carrey was a
name that people
were suddenly talking about.
Thinks that John Denver is full of shit, man
I will admit, I
was never the biggest Jim Carrey fan when he was on In Living Color.
I thought he was too spazzy and too weird, and he was never
favorite castmember. If you ask me, the funniest guy on In
Color was always Damon Wayans. But for whatever reason Jim
was the guy who really sort of resonated with people, and then for
whatever other reason it was decided that he would get his own movie.
And then, voila, in 1994 Jim Carrey made his movie "debut" in
Ventura: Pet Detective.
And you know the story after that. After that he became
pretty much the single biggest comedy star in the world.
Mostly because of stuff like this
I remember when Jim Carrey hit it big after Ace Ventura. It
like he just sort of showed up in movies out of nowhere. And
of a sudden then he was in EVERYTHING. Within one year he was
Ventura, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber. And then he was in
Liar. And then after that he was the villain in a Batman
the list goes on. When he hit it big man he hit it REALLY big.
I said, I was never the biggest Jim Carrey fan prior to Ace Ventura.
I thought he was way too much of a niche talent and I figured
would never hit it big as a mainstream movie star. And I
Ace Ventura looked like the stupidest movie I had ever seen.
In fact, when
I first saw the previews for Ace Ventura, I would have bet you money
that that movie would have turned out to be a flop. I mean,
on. Jim Carrey as a movie star? That weird Canadian
does all the impressions on In Living Color? Who would have believed
that he ever would have made it as a movie star?
to sum up this story, I saw Ace Ventura and I wound up loving it.
I didn't want to love it, on paper that is still the
movie that has ever been made. But damned if Jim Carrey
try so hard that he actually won me over in the end. I
remember seeing that
movie, and I remember thinking, wow this guy is actually pretty
talented. Maybe he actually WILL make it as a movie star one
Then he was perfect in The Mask, and he killed me in Dumb and
Dumber, and the rest is history.
And that is when a friend
pointed out to me, hey did you know that Jim Carrey was actually in a
movie about ten years ago? Do you remember Once Bitten?
Well Jim Carrey was the teenager in that movie. You
check it out, if you watch it now in retrospect it is actually
Well I pretty much ran to the
nearest video store to find a copy of Once Bitten. And there
was, dusty and untouched in the comedy section since nobody had rented
it since about 1986. And wow, what a find. Look at
that, right there on the cover. Teenage Jim Carrey.
would have thought that the guy who gets paid millions of dollars now
talk out of his ass had ever once been a normal awkward looking
I rented Once Bitten, and I liked
it so much (in retrospect) that I immediately went to Suncoast the next
day and I bought it. And it has proudly been on my movie
ever since. It is one of those random little movies that nobody else
loves but me, but I love pulling
it out every year or so and watching it because it is fun and because
it is very 80's and because it always make me happy.
Also, where the white women at?
Once Bitten one of the greatest comedy movies ever made? Of
course not. It probably isn't even one of the top 20 best
comedies made in 1985. But it is cute and it is likeable and
quirky. And it has Jim Carrey. And if you go back
it again, you can see how talented he was, and how he made this movie
so much better than it had any right to be in the first place.
And yes, you can see that it is possible for Jim Carrey to be in a
comedy movie and not
have him doing Jim Carrey things.
are two moments in Once Bitten where Jim Carrey actually breaks out of
"being normal" and
he suddenly morphs into being "Jim Carrey." It doesn't happen
if you watch for them in the movie you can see hints of the type of
would later become.
The first moment where he becomes "Jim
Carrey" is the scene where for no reason at all, in the middle of
talking to his girlfriend, he suddenly busts out a dead-on
accurate perfect Robert De Niro impression. I don't know why
he chose to
do that, it didn't fit the story for Mark Kendall to suddenly become
Robert De Niro for two seconds in the movie, but it is one of
my favorite little
moments in Once Bitten.
You see that scene now and you realize, ah
yes. Jim Carrey was at one time considered the single best
impressionist in Los Angeles. A lot of people don't know that
(since Carrey quickly decided to move away from impressions and move on
to physical comedy), but at
one point in his stand up comedy career-- say around 1985-- he was
considered the #1 top impressionist comedian in L.A.
Here he is impersonating a vampire
second moment in Once Bitten where Jim Carrey becomes JIM
CARREY is the
scene towards the end of the movie at the school dance. This
the scene that EVERYONE remembers from Once Bitten, and it is 100% pure
Jim Carrey just being Jim Carrey. In fact if I would
this movie for one scene and for one scene alone, it would be for the
school dance scene.
If you are a fan of Jim Carrey at all, you
need to see it at least once.
Jim Carrey in the famous Once Bitten dance scene
At the school
dance, Jim Carrey gets to dance with two women. And he gets
to flop around.
And he gets to contort his body into rubber.
gets to do all the stuff he would later become famous for on In Living
Color. At one point he lifts his leg up over his head and he
plays it like a guitar. I remember seeing him do that the
time I saw Once Bitten and I remember thinking "Ah HA. And
there, that is why everyone needs to see this movie. That was
Carrey's very first Jim Carrey moment."
Oh yeah, and then to top it
off, Jim Carrey ends the scene by pulling an incredible Michael
Jackson impression completely out of nowhere. At the end of
the scene, Mark Kendall turns
around and he just pulls a perfect dead-on Michael
Jackson dance impression out of his butt.
You watch that dance
scene and you realize, okay now THIS is why Jim Carrey would one day
become a star. Even when the guy was a teenager he could do
things that nobody else could do.
I love the leg guitar scene so much that here it is again
And so there you have
it. Once Bitten. I am quite certain that I love it
than most people love it (the user reviews on the IMDB are particular
brutal) but I don't care. I will ALWAYS love it.
said, this is one of those movies that I try to rewatch every
often because it is cute and because it is funny and because
it always makes me happy. I honestly don't understand how
some people can
claim to hate it so much. I mean, no it's not the greatest
in the world but there sure are tons of worse comedies out there.
And 99.99% of
them don't have a babyfaced kid named Jim Carrey who can play his leg
up in the air like a guitar.
I mean, come on. Mark
Kendall doesn't even drive a car, he drives an ice cream truck.
can you dislike a movie where the main character drives an ice cream
Also, Karen Kopins is absolutely gorgeous and she should have been in
By the way, I would
be irresponsible if I didn't point out that Jim Carrey HATES this movie
and he will never talk about it in interviews. I wish that
the case but oh well. I heard that John Cusack is also like
that when it comes to Better off Dead. I should also point
out that in real
life Jim Carrey and John Cusack are both rumored
to be dicks. Again, oh well.
At least Jim Carrey can play his leg like a guitar.
I wish I
could do that.
favorite IMDB user reviews about Once Bitten:
early role for Carrey - 6
is the first film in which I ever saw Jim Carrey. I told all my friends
they just had to see it (back in '86).... I said, "Pay attention to the
guy who plays Mark Kendall. He's the only one who could act in the
whole film, and he's gonna go places." Boy, did he ever! Carrey plays
the innocent Mark Kendall with charm and sweetness. His virginal
girlfriend, who has been stringing him along for quite some time, is
just not ready for "going all the way". What's a young, red-blooded,
American teen supposed to do?? Well, Mark's friends have the answer: go
to a singles bar, of course! Not only does Mark meet one hot woman, he
goes home with her. Strange, though, he can't seem to remember it at
all... He's changing, and not for the better. What's gotten into this
sweet, naive fellow? It's a typical 80's movie. Watch out for big hair
and dancing. And Carrey was sweet in this role. Don't expect the wild
and crazy guy many have come to know and love on screen. (This is
pre-"In Living Color"/"Ace Ventura".) Look on it as a retrospective!
(and if you don't find the movie itself funny, it's also easy to make
fun of...) Enjoy!
Well, we all have to
start somewhere - 23 November 2003
gotta love our struggling starving actors, hard to believe that Jim
Carrey was once one of them, right? You know in the strange trend that
was the 1980's where not only horror movies were made into goofy
comedies, but a lot of stars popped out of them. Look at Michael J. Fox
in Teen Wolf, Nicholas Cage in Vampire's Kiss and Robert Sean Leonard
in My Best Friend is a Vampire. Jim Carrey also had to jump the band
wagon with the camp classic Once Bitten. A classic 80's romp with the
dated clothes, hair and talk as well as goofy vampires who are chasing
high school teenagers.
Over the course of the centuries, the
Countess has collected a stable of young men and women who will
accompany her on her journey through eternal night. While she is
immortal, she requires three shots of a virgin's blood to keep her
appearing youthful. At the same time, Mark wants to have sex, but is
being put off by his girlfriend Robin. One night, Mark and his friends
go into L.A., and Mark meets the Countess at a singles bar. He goes
back to her home, and passes out when she bites him. When he wakes up,
she pretends they have had sex, and implies they are now connected.
Mark does not realize what she really means, and begins having strange
dreams, avoiding direct sunlight and drinking the occasional glass of
blood. After the Countess gets a second bite, Robin notices Mark's odd
behavior and confronts the Countess during a dance off at the high
school's Halloween dance. While it appears that Robin has won back
Mark, this is only temporary. The Countess kidnaps Robin in order to
lure Mark to her home for a final bite before her deadline expires, and
it is up to Robin and her friends to stop her.
Over all Once
Bitten is worth the look, just to see one of Jim Carrey's first movies,
he's such a baby in this movie. It was interesting seeing him as
someone who wasn't so crazy physically, I was expecting so many goofy
faces, but it's all good, he's fun enough. I loved the countess, how
she dressed was so funny and they way she acted. It was pretty funny to
see the countess and Robin have a little dance off as a battle for the
affection of Mark. Definitely if you were or are into those campy 80's
teen horror movies that were just a cheesy good time, Once Bitten is
one not to be missed.
I <3 it! - 15 July
love this movie! I was flipping through chanels the other night and
found this movie was on like HBO or something. I saw that it had Jim
Carrey in it (one of my favorite actors) and I thought it was very
interesting seeing Mr. Carrey as this young man. I liked the random
jokes and hilarious scenes that make this movie a hit (in my book) from
Mr. Carrey from the 80's. I enjoyed the plot and it really seemed to
interest me a lot because I am a teenager myself. It has the basic
teenage sex drama that many people can relate to in real life. Sure
they do not have Countess Vampires seducing them or anything, but just
the way they arranged this old favorite plot of Sexy Bad Girl vs. Cute
Sweet girl will just attract any young viewer. Great movie that makes
me want to live in the 80's!
so that was Jim Carrey...
- 30 June 2005
of us think that Jim Carrey started out in lead roles in "Ace Ventura:
Pet Detective". Well, here's an interesting flick from the mid-1980s
with the man known for butt-talking getting second billing, and he
could easily get top billing. He plays high school student Mark
Kendall, who has a one-night fling with a woman (Lauren Hutton) who
turns out to be a vampire; she has to keep drinking blood to maintain
her youth. And when she drinks Mark's blood, she doesn't bite his neck,
if you know what I mean! Overall, "Once Bitten" is nothing special, but
it's pretty funny, for what it is. I guess that you just can't go wrong
when you mix vampires and comedy. And Lauren Hutton was hot, as always.
All Star Must See Bad
Flick - 21 December 2003
saw this several years ago. My reaction then was "Holy mackerel, Lauren
Hutton and Cleavon Little in a low-budget teen flick!" Well, then time
passed and I am watching it now (12/20/03) and thought to myself: "HOLY
MACKEREL, JIM CARREY, Lauren Hutton AND Cleavon Little!"
it is still formulaic, tiring, and simple it is well worth watching
alone for Carrey. E.g. while all of the other actors tried to look
evil, and didn't, Carrey was able to be convincing by transfiguring his
Jim Carrey has several good scenes and lines, but perhaps
that's because his talent was shining through at this early stage in
One of Carrey's best... -
29 September 1998
get the impression Jim Carrey and his fans would like to forget this
movie, but it's actually one of his better flicks: it's certainly one
of the best he did before going mainstream. The dialogue between Hutton
and Little is amusing, some of Carrey's acrobatics (particularly the
three-way dance sequence - at one point he plays his leg like a guitar)
are downright incredible, and generally it's an entertaining flick,
hints of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to come down the road.
favorite trivia about Once Bitten:
* Screenwriter Jeffrey Hause campaigned for Michael J. Fox to star in
the film, but executive producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr. was convinced that
Fox would never be able to carry a big-screen movie.
* Morgan Fairchild turned down the role of the Countess.
favorite quotes from Once Bitten:
haven't had anything this pure since the Vienna Boys' Choir hit town.
Are you a prostitute?
I'm whatever you want me to be.
[relieved] Good! 'Cause I only have five dollars.
one of these lady vampires actually bite a guy? You know, like a
Well how old would he be?
Well I seriously doubt it. You see the female vampire needs the blood
of a virgin, and an 18-year-old boy would hardly be a virgin, now would
just hypothetically, what if he -was- a virgin?
Well then I think he has a lot bigger problems to worry about than
female vampires. [chuckles]
doesn't want you because you're mean and evil. He wants me because I am
nice and sweet and pure, so *fuck off!*
How many days left till Halloween, Sebastian?
Oh, a little more than a week, Countess. I told you not to worry.
Not to worry? How amusing. But then you're not the one who needs to
have the virgin blood of a young man not once, but three times before
All Hallows Eve. Not to worry? Being a vampire in the 20th century is a
Did we get up on the wrong side of the coffin this evening?
I don't want to be a vampire. I'm a *day* person.
Wait! I have to replace every door you people smash. Can't you at least
try the knob first?
in front tries the knob and it opens easily] Jocks.
[emerging from a coffin, smirking] You're too late.
You couldn't have! You've been in there for less than a minute.
[Mark emerges from the coffin smirking]
[dejectedly] You could've...
[raises an eyebrow]
...but you didn't have time to enjoy it.
Please don't bite my buttons.
favorite scene in Once Bitten:
Everyone loves the big dance off between Carrey and the two women
(especially the part where Jim Carrey plays his leg like a guitar) but
to me the defining moment of Once Bitten will always be the end.
To my dying day this will always be one of my all time
movie quotes: "Mark doesn't want you, because you're mean and
He wants me, because I'm nice and sweet and pure.
OFF." Right there, that is Once Bitten in a nutshell.
yeah one more little moment I forgot. My wife and I have
thought this scene was cute. At the end of the movie, the
vampires are running around chasing Mark and Robin through the
Countess's mansion. And every door they come to they smash in
with their fists. Well after about the fifth door the
gets mad and she screams at her minions to stop smashing in doors
because she has to replace them all afterwards. She asks them
at least please try the doorknob first to see if it is unlocked.
I always thought that was a cute little moment you don't see
often in a movie.
at the IMDB
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