What Bad Movie Night & a Nicholas Cage Freakout Taught Me

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Vampire Kiss (1988), then this post might ruin it for you. Then again if you haven’t seen it, that’s probably for the better.

Just what is Vampire Kiss, you ask? Before there was Interview with the Vampire, Twilight, and True Blood, there was Nicholas Cage in Vampire Kiss, a movie in which Cage plays a man who believes he’s a vampire and gradually goes insane.

It’s very much a B-rated version of American Psycho, and Cage has a lot of delightful freak-out moments. In this one he’s freaking out over his office assistant, and he demonstrates his impeccable knowledge of the English alphabet:

And this one, where he’s…well, to be honest I’m really not sure what’s going on here:

Now to his credit, his character is having a major meltdown, completely unhinged. You would be, too, if you lost your plastic vampire teeth.

About a month ago, Toku and I joined some of our friends for “Bad Movie Night,” and Vampire Kiss, was the first movie we watched with them.

Much to my surprise (and delight) the following week we watched Deadfall (1993) another Nicholas Cage gem. I would give you a glimpse of Deadfall, but I couldn’t find any clips that didn’t contain profanity, boobs, or gratuitous hydrochloric acid violence. Wikipedia describes Cage’s performance best, stating that it’s “so over-the-top that it is unintentionally hilarious.”

Both of these movies are pretty terrible, particularly when it comes to Cage’s acting. But I have to admit it was inspiring to watch him early on in his career, when he’s trying to learn what he’s all about. It kind of reminds me when I was in high school and filled my notebooks with the kind of dark, angsty stories you write when you’re seventeen and you take yourself too seriously.

Cage has put out quite a few movies. Some of them hurt your brain after a two minute trailer. But there are some good ones, too, such as Leaving Las Vegas, Bringing Out the Dead, Adaptation, and Kick-Ass. When I scroll through Cage’s filmography, one thing is clear: he took the chance to practice his craft.

He did not turn his nose up to Vampire Kiss or Deadfall. The man works. He practices his craft. Perhaps he does it, because he owes a buttload of money to the IRS or because his uncle helped him shake a few of the right hands. But if you look at his filmography, you’ll see that he’s hardly skipped a year of acting, since he made his first movie 33 years ago in 1981. And all this work didn’t hurt him either. He made $7.5 million from Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengance.

Practice your craft. These opportunities are a gift, and even if it turns into Sasquatch vomit like Vampire Kiss, you cannot go wrong by practicing your craft. If you have those opportunities, then you should take them all, as many as you can. That is how Nicholas Cage went from Vampire Kiss to Leaving Las Vegas.

Be like Nicholas Cage…but maybe without the freak-out moments.

Start by making a list of what you’d like to accomplish in the next year, 3 years, or 5 years. Then write down the steps to reaching those accomplishments. Now, what is one thing you can do today to get started?

You can be like Nicholas Cage but without the freak-out moments. You can work as tirelessly as he does.

Deadfall article on Wikipedia.

Cage owes back taxes.

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