Before Shaun of the Dead there was another horror film made by the cast and crew of a then popular TV programme and that was the bizarre oddity that is 1990’s I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle.
Boon was a popular prime-time ITV comedy-drama starring Michael Elphick that ran from 1986 to 1992, and in 1990 a large chunk of cast and crew made I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle, a ridiculously low budget horror film set in Birmingham (Boon was filmed across the Midlands) featuring a possessed motorcycle (a Norton Commando for those who like such detail) that goes around gorily killing people and drinking their blood.
The film stars Neil Morrissey (who continues to reveal his lack of talent here) as Noddy, a motorcycle courier who buys the Norton which has been inhabited by the leader of a bikers gang who was killed by an opposing gang. Once Noddy has the bike strange things happen which end up in bloody deaths, so calling in the church (a priest played by Anthony Daniels of C3PO from Star Wars fame) Noddy and his friends try to stop the bike from killing them. It is ridiculously silly even trying to outline the plot as it really is best to approach this film with the attitude that everyone who made it is having a laugh, and so its best to laugh along with them. Basically the film is boy buys bike, bike is possessed, bike kills people, boy tries to stop bike, bike fights back. Makes perfect sense after six pints.
I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle looks like one of those ideas dreamed up in the pub after everyone’s been drinking snakebite all night, before they wake up in the morning having realised what they’ve agreed to do. That said, it somehow works. Yes, it is a bit Carry On in places, and the gore is Pythonesque at times, but it also succeeds in capturing biker culture of the time, which as made the film an instant cult hit with bikers who lapped up the gore, tits, violence, bikes and cider that the film was full of.
This is not a great film. The acting on the whole is awful. The direction by Dirk Campbell borders upon being static in places yet in other places (the opening biker fight for example) the direction is interesting, but like another British horror/biker film, Psychomania, it hangs together to make something which ends up being stupid, daft fun – especially for gore fanatics and fans of B-movies.
As a little footnote, there was a sequel made a few years later in Nottingham with much the same team. I know people who were in it and as far as I know, nobody outwith the people who made the film has every seen it as its apparently so bad the producers locked it away. I’ve scoured the internet trying to find mention of it but it seems it has indeed been wiped from living memory. If anyone out there has seen it or know what happened to it I’d be interested to hear from you in the comments..