Interview With the Vampire (1994)
In The Crying Game, director Neil Jordan blithely spliced a nerve-wracking tale of the Irish Troubles with a gender-bending love story highlighted by an even more nerve-wracking wait for the unveiling of trannie love interest Jaye Davidson's johnson. His In Dreams was a brilliant examination of a woman's mental crack-up, until it about-faced so as to focus on its featured serial killer, an apple-obsessed cross-dresser. But Jordan's adaptation of Anne Rice's blood 'n' frocks bestseller Interview with a Vampire is the pinnacle of this singular auteur's brand of narrative bipolarity. The N'Awlins-set Interview doesn't really have a plot, but with Tom Cruise as ambisexual blond vampire Lestat, Brad Pitt as his sepulchurally foxy, rat-sucking nemesis Louis, Kirsten Dunst as a frisky 12-year-old neck-biter, and the most necrotically scrumptious set design ever, who needs plot? (And we haven't even mentioned Antonio Banderas as a sort of Fabio of the Undead.) Blithely tone-hopping from existential vampire ode to gruesome, beyond-camp Dionysian chucklefest, Interview is less a film in the usual sense than a studio-financed freak show, a visually rapturous act of geek love that asks nothing more of its viewer than to gaze upon it in head-scratching wonder.