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67 thoughts we had while watching I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle

By Jenny Trout

I blame Cher Martinetti.

We were discussing the possibility of me writing for the very site upon which you now feast your ravenous peepers. As we kicked around ideas for things I could easily accomplish while high on Michigan’s newly legalized cannabis, she mentioned a 1990 horror movie she’d recently heard of: I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle.

Already fairly high at the time, I convinced myself that the film she described was absolutely electrifying. A biker gang murders an occultist mid-spooky ritual, causing an evil spirit to possess a motorcycle that hungers for the blood of bikers? Sold! I will take 20. Load ‘em up in the wagon with the other supplies.

Now, this isn’t a true “Deja” View, in that I’d never seen the movie before. And I didn’t want to learn too many other details about the film before I watched it. I didn’t want to ruin the experience. Little did I know (though I probably should have had an inkling based on the title alone) that the movie ruins the experience on its own. And now I’m not entirely sure this wasn’t all an elaborate hazing ritual to welcome me into the FANGRRL fold. But I did watch it. And here are my 67 thoughts I had while doing so. Fair warning, there are some pretty gory images ahead.

1. I know zero of the people in the opening credits ... except for C-3PO. And he’s not first billed. This doesn’t bode well.

2. Neither does the fact that it’s a Dirk Campbell film directed by Dirk Campbell for Dirk Pictures.

3. You know, I really respect a necromancer who’s willing to dress like a rock-n-roll Orthodox priest and roam around in public like that. I just would have thought someone with this kind of high production value in his rituals wouldn’t be doing them under an overpass.

4. Maybe he just doesn’t like to get chicken blood on his floor. Azealia Banks made it sound like a bitch to clean off hardwood floors.

5. A motorcycle gang that carries guns and battleaxes? Sign me directly up.

6. So, I’m not sure the motorcycle gang are the bad guys here. These people were trying to raise some evil demon.

7. Oh my god, maybe this gang is the branch of rogue magicians Giles from Buffy was involved in. Maybe this is how Watchers-in-training let off steam.

8. Wait. Are the necromancer people a rival biker gang? Or do they just wear the matching jean jackets as part of their overall aesthetic?

Sunny Delite
9. You know it’s an evil spirit if it looks like the angry sun from Super Mario Bros. 3.

10. If the spirit can possess a human body ... why does it pick a motorcycle instead? You’d think it would be handier to have thumbs.

11. Maybe I shouldn’t judge. I’ve never been a demonic entity struggling to escape the body of a dead necromancer before. Maybe you just take what you can get.

12. Is that Tony from Men Behaving Badly?! I’m just gonna call him Tony, then. Because I’m sure as heck not comfortable calling him "Noddy." That poor little elf.

13. From now on, if someone tells me that the previous owner of a vehicle died due to a crossbow accident, I’m going to be more cautious before buying it.

14. I bet the guy that stole that piece of the bike is going to be the first one that gets killed.

bloody hand
15. I hate when I spill bright red tempera paint on myself while I’m working on my haunted motorcycle.

16. Wouldn’t it be funny if the vampire motorcycle fell in love with Tony and started coming into the house to watch him sleep, but the exhaust fumes killed him?

17. Called it. Fuel tank cap thief was the first to go.

18. I’m no detective, but it looks like there’s been a motorcycle at this crime scene:

tire marks
19. They certainly chose whimsical music to underscore a sentence like “We’re going to need you to identify the body.”

20. So far, there have been two shots of the full moon with a wolf howling on the soundtrack. Is this motorcycle a vampire or a werewolf? Is the motorcycle howling?

21. If my boyfriend was being this blasé about decapitation, I might reconsider our relationship.

girlfriend 1
22. Oh god. Is the bike ... is the bike attracted to the female lead? Like ... sexually?

girlfriend 2
23. Oh god, I hope the bike isn’t attracted to the female lead like, sexually.

girlfriend 3
24. Oh god. The bike is attracted to the female lead. Sexually.

25. “Dirk, this scene is set at night. I’m not sure we should film parts of it at three in the afternoon.” “Nah, it’ll be fine. After we edit it, nobody will even notice.”

clearly daytime
26. I noticed.

27. Man, Tony wins the shit boyfriend award, but I’ll be damned if he ain’t also in the running for Joint of the Year, 1990:

28. If the talking severed head was all a dream, does that mean his big giant joint was a dream, too? Hashtag major bummer, dude.

29. I most certainly did not sign up for this:

poop 1
30. Nor this:

31. And if I had, I would most certainly not have been eating refried beans at the time.

32. I have to say, this is the only vampire movie I’ve ever seen where the vampire gets peed on by a dog.

33. The vampire motorcycle ... can’t go out in sunlight. I think. I could be hallucinating a large portion of this film.

34. First of all, this is how I want to arrive at my funeral. Even though I’m having a home funeral, I demand to be driven around the village in a sidecar. Or a golf cart. Either way, I’m not picky. But that seems like kind of a large box for just a head. And the actors are behaving as though it’s very heavy. I know for a fact that the human head weighs eight pounds. That short nerd from Jerry Maguire (the blonde one, not Tom Cruise) said so.

35. The Hell’s Angels have shown up to heckle a funeral? I thought the main characters were delivery drivers, not a rival gang. Unless they’re a rival gang of delivery drivers. Even then, I had no idea it was such a cutthroat industry. Do FedEx and UPS have funeral-interrupting level beef?

36. I’ve never seen a more polite, British reaction to anything as this barkeep calmly issuing a second warning about discharging a crossbow in his establishment.

37. I don’t remember biker brawls at any of the other Medieval Times restaurants I’ve been to.

38. Everyone is fighting except one guy, who seems to be causing property damage in an effort to make the fight look more badass than it was.

39. You know that feeling when you’re watching a movie and you’re like, I really hope this woman isn’t sexually assaulted by a possessed vampire motorcycle, but you think it’s a possibility? And then when it doesn’t happen you still don’t trust that it won’t happen eventually? That feeling?

40. If you’re a possessed motorcycle, you have to depend on people stealing you in order to kill them and feed on their blood. Again, seems like a disadvantage.

41. That guy. Just licked puke. Off that other guy’s face.

42. This biker gang is really awful, but they did kill the necromancers, so I’m torn on who we’re supposed to be rooting for. Am I supposed to be rooting for the guy who ate puke?

43. Wait, now the motorcycle has a crossbow, too?

44. And a spear?

45. The production value on this film is staggering.

46. The subplot about the old dude being repeatedly hit by cars seems unnecessary.

47. So, the bike’s light is its eye and also its mouth, but it drinks blood through its gas tank, too? Look, if you’re going to make a vampire motorcycle movie, you need to establish exactly how the vampire motorcycle’s physiology works. You can’t just phone it in. You can’t make it up as you go along. The audience for movies about possessed vampire motorcycles is very narrow and pitilessly discerning.

48. Did ... did it just close the garage doors behind itself? That’s one considerate possessed demon motorcycle.

49. The biggest star in the movie has finally shown up an hour in. This man was in what is arguably the most famous movie of the 20th century, as well its prequels and sequels. He is an integral part of a science fiction empire that has earned billions of dollars. And in 1990, less than 10 years after the final installment of the groundbreaking original trilogy, he secured a small role in I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle. C-3PO is in I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle.

50. He’s a vampire motorcycle-riding, mullet-wearing bad boy. He’s a 14th-century witch hunter brought forward in time to hunt demons. To prevent the end of the world, they’ll have to work together. Heaven’s Angels, coming to The CW this fall.

c3p0 fingers
51. Dang, C-3PO can’t stay in one piece in any movie!

52. So, Priest-3PO is also a ... ninja throwing star expert?

53. And the vampire motorcycle can control other motorcycles with its ... mind? What part of the motorcycle even is its mind?

54. Great job, Padre. You didn’t exorcise the demon. You turned it into a demonic superbike.

demon bike
55. Wait, did a British person just call garlic “foreign stuff”? Didn’t they like, conquer the world to get spices? And they’re not even using garlic? How are they living?

56. So, fangs are just like straws! I knew it!

57. Was that strictly necessary, Dirk?

58. In the end, the vampire motorcycle is defeated ... by masonry? You know what? Fine. I’m fine with that. Whatever gets this over with.

59. Aw, hell. The bike is still alive, isn’t it?

60. Is it dead now?

61. It’s not dead now.

62. This is Little Shop of Horrors without the plant. Or the charm.

63. I swear to god, if the bike is killed by a tanning lamp …

dying cycle

64. Oh my god. The bike got killed by a tanning lamp.

65. You know what? I’m glad this isn’t technically a “deja” view. Because I wouldn’t have been watching this a second time. Even years from now, I will remember how bad this movie was and I will never be tempted to view it again.

66. One hour and 36 minutes, we finally get a joke. At least, a joke that works. And at least the vampire motorcycle has been vanquished forever.

67. Or has it?

Missing media item.There are some movies that are so bad, they’re good. This is not an example of that type of movie. I can’t tell what our pal Dirk was going for, but I’m neither laughing with nor at this film. I guess the best thing it has going for it is the poetic irony of its casting. Less than a decade after Return of the Jedi, one of the stars had already been brought so low as to take a paltry 15 minutes of screen time in I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle. Tony-Dude appeared in this movie and a few years later was cast in Men Behaving Badly, despite this acting credit and that ponytail. If that’s not the cycle of acting life, I don’t know what is.
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