And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

Home | Index

NICK KNIGHT (1989)
[aka Midnight Cop]

"Nicotine. It’s an addiction, you know. Man, oh man, addictions are hard to give up."
"Yeah, well, we all got our addictions...."

Director: Farhad Mann
Starring: Rick Springfield, John Kapelos, Robert Harper, Laura Johnson, Richard Fancy, Michael Nader
Screenplay: James D. Parriott

Synopsis: During a museum break-in, a guard is killed and a Mayan goblet stolen. The dead man has throat injuries and his body is drained of blood. Detective Nick Knight (Rick Springfield) is given the case, which appears to have been committed by the same person who has previously killed three homeless people, who were also drained of blood. Nick has a secret: he is really a vampire himself, something known only to his colleague Dr Jack Brittington (Robert Harper), a forensic pathologist who is trying to wean Nick back into the human world. Jack tells Nick that he does not believe this last killing was carried out by the same person. The previous victims had their throats slashed, while the guard has fang marks. To Nick’s disgust, he is assigned a partner, Donald Schanke (John Kapelos). Dr Alyce Hunter (Laura Johnson), the archaeologist who discovered the missing goblet, becomes intrigued by Nick and by his knowledge of the missing artefact and its use in blood rituals. Rick tells Jack that he has another such goblet, and needs two to complete a ritual that can make him mortal again. Alyce discovers a photograph of Nick in a book that is nearly a hundred years old, and guesses his secret. As the attacks on the homeless continue it becomes apparent to Nick that they are indeed looking for two killers, one human, and one vampiric. He believes that Lacroix (Michael Nader), the vampire who converted him and who bitterly resents his attempts to live a mortal life, committed the murder and the theft in order to force him into a showdown.

Comments: In Nick Knight, the potentially interesting idea of a night-shift working vampiric detective is thrown away on weak characterisations, poor writing and practically non-existent special effects. The bestowing of French names on the supernatural characters - Nick’s original name was "Jean-Pierre", his nemesis is "Lacroix", and a female vampire is "Jeanette" - is nothing more than a half-hearted attempt to link this story with Anne Rice’s phenomenally successful "Interview With The Vampire". In the titular role, Rick Springfield (Rick Springfield!? Oh, God, I feel old....) is supposed to be a tormented character, but comes across as sulky and self-pitying. He’s not helped by a painfully labored screenplay, which makes every point about four times, and sticks him with twee little character traits like his habit of watching the sunrise on six TVs at once (why six? - you tell me), or driving a ‘59 Cadillac because of its "trunk space". As Jack Brittington, Robert Harper probably comes off best, while John Kapelos is at least convincing as Donald Schanke: he’s meant to be a pain in the butt, and he is. Laura Johnson gets the worst role as Alyce Hunter, the archaeologist. As we all know, an attractive woman who takes up science as a career has to have something wrong with her psychologically, so Alyce meekly accepts Nick’s diagnosis of "burying herself in the past" and "being afraid to live in the present". (That she might be an archaeologist because she likes it and she’s good at it is never considered; nor does either of them stop to think what this second-rate analytical approach might make of the career choices of Nick, the homicide detective, or Jack, the forensic pathologist.) Even though Nick Knight was intended as a pilot, that doesn’t excuse the gaping plot holes and numerous loose ends, such as the nonsense about the Mayan mortality ritual, or why, if no-one else knows Nick’s a vampire, he’s allowed to dictate his own terms at work, and come and go as he chooses. The "special" effects are restricted to fangs and contact lenses, and far too many throwing people across the room wire tricks; otherwise, the subjective camera gets an extensive (and inexpensive) work-out, including a series of headache inducing flight sequences. As a pilot, Nick Knight went nowhere, but the central premise was later lifted and turned into the TV series Forever Knight.

Check out all the details of this movie on the IMDB