By the mid-80’s, the genre had already pivoted to horror-comedy hybrids. For many fans, this was the death knell of horror as it is tricky to get the mix just right. Released in 1986, Vamp made it pretty clear in their tagline and promotion it was “a frightening comedy.” The filmmakers were lucky to nab Grace Jones in the deadly but silent lead of Katrina. Her presence alone was enough to create a memorable performance and set the film apart from the vampire herd. The main cast was also strong with Chris Makepeace (Keith), Robert Rusler (AJ), Dedee Pfeiffer (Allison), and Gedde Watanabe (Duncan) all turning in great performances. Although the script and set decoration would indicate the movie takes place in Kansas, it was shot mostly around downtown Los Angeles. Be sure to check out the print version of this in the Horror's Hallowed Ground article in HorrorHound magazine.
The film opens on the University of Southern California (USC) campus as the boys are subjected to a hazing gone wrong. Shot at the Mudd Hall of Philosophy (3709 Trousdale Parkway), the clock tower should look familiar to Freddy’s Dead fans.
They decide to go to “the city” to find a stripper, and somehow make it all the way to Los Angeles. They drive through downtown around West 6th Street, then to 7th & Spring, and by the Million Dollar Theatre located at 307 South Broadway.
After their car spins out, they end up in front of the Bixby Building located at 431 Wall Street. However, their point of view is about a half-mile away, near the corner East 6th and South Anderson Streets, looking toward the now demolished Sixth Street bridge.
As dusk turns to night, the boys continue their drive by 319 East Winston Street, the same spot used for the opening shootout scene in Predator 2.
When the boys arrive at the club, they park at 5901 Broadway in South Los Angeles. The club exterior location is still elusive, but keep watching this page for location updates. Interior shots were filmed at Ren-Mar Studios in Hollywood.
When looking for AJ, Keith spots some strange activity behind the building located at 900 East 1st Street. The building on the right is one of the few structures left in this spot.
Keith is later chased thorough the alley next to 726 South Santa Fe Avenue. Snow and his gang follow him and turn onto the street at East 7th Place. For fans that haven’t been to this area lately, check it out for some great restaurants and coffee shops and before it is completely transformed beyond recognition.
Hiding in the sewer, Keith sees the little girl vampire attack Snow at the corner of East 3rd Street and South Garey Street. The last time I went by this corner, it looked like this building was ready for demolition.
As they chase continues, the vampires run under the East 4th Street bridge near the corner of Mateo Street and Santa Fe Avenue. Madonna fans will recognize this spot used in her Borderline video. (The last two shots are from outtakes on the blu-ray.)
The chase continues back to the alley behind 900 East 1st Street, which was seen from a different angle earlier in the film.
Keith, Allison, and Duncan get back into the car and attempt to escape by driving on the sidewalk at 5900 block of Broadway Street, south of downtown Los Angeles.
They escape just in time before the tow truck and garbage truck crash into each other at 5911 South Broadway.
Poor Duncan meets his fiery end in the parking lot at 556 Towne Avenue.
Allison and Keith are on the run and nearly captured on the 200 block of Boyd Street. This used to be a popular filming spot in the 80s and 90s, but nearly all the buildings have been demolished and replaced and is unrecognizable since filming.
Still on the run, our heroes must retreat to the sewers again at the corner of South Garey Street and East 2nd Street. Sadly, the red and white building has been demolished and replaced with (surprise) condos.
After the big boss battle in the sewers, Allison and Keith emerge at the corner of East 4th Street and South San Pedro Avenue. This area has dramatically with new buildings, but there are a few structures still standing and recognizable.
Below are outtakes from a deleted scene, which was shot near the corner of Produce Street and Mill Street in Downtown Los Angeles.
Forever hunk, Robert Rusler...