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"THE LITTLE VAMPIRE"
(2000) (Jonathan Lipnicki, Richard E. Grant) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Minor Moderate *Moderate Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Heavy None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor Mild Mild Mild Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Comedy: A young American boy tries to help his new Scottish vampire friend and his family retrieve an amulet that will make them human once again.
PLOT:
Tony Thompson (JONATHAN LIPNICKI) is a nine-year-old who's moved with his mom, Dottie (PAMELA GIDLEY), and dad, Bob (TOMMY HINKLEY) from San Diego to Scotland where the latter is designing a golf course and convention center for Lord McAshton (JOHN WOOD).

Tony isn't happy because he doesn't have any friends, and his parents are worried about the many nightmares he's been having that are always about vampires. To make matters worse, nobody believes his stories about such creatures and even McAshton's two grandsons pick on Tony in school.

Things change when Tony meets Rudolph (ROLLO WEEKS), a young vampire who mistakes Tony for one of his own when flying by one night. Weak from a lack of plasmatic nourishment and initially unhappy to have met a human, Rudolph realizes he shares a kindred spirit with Tony and is happy when he finds him a cow to satiate his appetite.

It turns out that Rudolph, along with his aristocratic parents, Frederick (RICHARD E. GRANT) and Freda (ALICE KRIGE), sister Anna (ANNA POPPLEWELL) and rebellious older brother Gregory (DEAN COOK), don't want to attack humans, but instead want to become them. Unfortunately, for the past three hundred years they've been searching for a missing amulet stone that, when used upon the rare alignment of the moon and a certain passing comet, will turn them back into mortals.

Worse yet, Rookery (JIM CARTER), a persistent vampire hunter, is hot on their trail, determined to kill them the old fashioned way - with stakes - or via the missing stone that, when used in another amulet, will send them straight to Hell. From that point on, Tony tries to do what he can to help Rudolph and his vampire family while they all try to avoid Rookery and the light of day.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're familiar with the original, best-selling novels, are interested in vampires or are fans of anyone in the cast, they just might, with the film seemingly aimed at the elementary and middle school crowd.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For mild peril.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JONATHAN LIPNICKI plays a young American boy who's just moved to Scotland and isn't happy due to a lack of friends and persistent nightmares about vampires. Once he meets and befriends Rudolph and his family, however, he's much happier and sets out to help them achieve their goal.
  • ROLLO WEEKS plays his new vampire friend who helps Tony with his problems while trying to solve his own.
  • RICHARD E. GRANT and ALICE KRIGE play his pleasant vampire parents who hope to find the amulet that will make them human once again.
  • JIM CARTER plays a persistent vampire hunter who doesn't care about their goal and only wants to send them all to Hell.
  • ANNA POPPLEWELL and DEAN COOK play their other vampire kids with the former befriending Tony and the latter being somewhat of a disillusioned, rebellious teenage vampire.
  • PAMELA GIDLEY and TOMMY HINKLEY play Tony's loving parents.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this PG-rated film that's targeted at kids. Due to the presence of some occasionally menacing looking vampires (as well as the general thought of them), as well as a number of related, suspenseful scenes and other material (where characters are in danger or face peril in cemeteries and other dark locales), parents should be cautioned that some kids might find some of that material (that also includes the non-gory sight of two dead bodies in a crypt) as unsettling, suspenseful or even scary. As usual, however, all of that depends on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material.

    Some related violence is present with people briefly fighting with vampires or each other (some punches are thrown and off-screen vampire biting also occurs) and some property damage is observed. Several characters have bad attitudes toward others (including some kids who pick on the young protagonist) and some drinking and smoking are present, as is one non-explicit line suggesting some marital hanky-panky (that will go over most kids' heads).

    Meanwhile, profanity consists of a few religious phrases and an abbreviated expletive ("b.s."), while a handful of colorful phrases are also present. Should this summary not answer your concerns about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in the film.

    For those concerned with the repetitive flashing of bright lights on the screen, some of that occurs (occasionally in strobe-like fashion) from flashes of lightning in certain scenes.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have drinks at a reception, including Dottie who states that she needs to have another one (she says, "I need another drink...of poison" after hearing Tony's teacher talk about him).
  • Rookery and a cemetery owner briefly drink (with one saying, "I'll drink to that").
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • What looks like blood around Tony's mouth turns out to be ketchup (while acting like a vampire).
  • After seeing Rudolph disappear behind a cow, we then hear the sound of him biting and slurping out some of its blood (but don't see any of that).
  • Tony has a tiny bit of bloody nose after McAshton's grandsons struggled with him.
  • We see two small (non-bloody) holes on the side of a man's neck after a vampire has bitten him.
  • We hear more blood sucking sounds from behind some cows in a barn.
  • Anna gives Tony a dead mouse as a gift and we then see it again on several occasions (he carries it around with him).
  • We briefly see two dead people in a coffin (the woman has a stake sticking out of her chest - but without any blood). Both have a cold and somewhat light bluish hue to them and appear covered in centuries of dust or similar crud.
  • A vampire cow either regurgitates some of its cud onto Rookery's windshield (most likely) or defecates on it as it flies by (the wipers then smear that material across the windshield).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • McAshton's grandsons are mean to Tony, make fun of him, knock him to the ground and dump out the contents of his backpack.
  • Some viewers may not like the topic of vampires being treated in a lighthearted, family-style fashion.
  • Conversely, some viewers may see Rookery as having both for trying to kill the vampires who are simply trying to become human once again.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • While most of the material listed below (including the thought and sight of vampires) and scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" will have no affect on older kids, some of it might be unsettling, suspenseful or downright scary to some younger kids, all depending, of course, on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material. That said, none of it's played like what would appear in a PG-13 or R-rated horror film.
  • The opening scene (that turns out to be a nightmare), where Frederick has assembled his clan and try to evoke the power of an amulet during a thunderstorm at night, as some vampire hunters arrive and struggle with him, might be unsettling or suspenseful to some kids.
  • Not watching where she's going or realizing that she's driving down the wrong side of the road, Dottie nearly runs into a man on a tractor.
  • The initial sight of Rudolph (at night in Tony's room) and the somewhat menacing way in which he approaches Tony and then zips over to the door where he lands and hangs on it like a fly, might be unsettling or scary for some kids.
  • Thinking that Tony is a vampire (after spotting him in the middle of nowhere at night), Rookery tries running him over with his large truck (and Rudolph moves Tony out of the way just in time).
  • We briefly see - on several occasions - one or more cows that have glowing red eyes (from having been bitten by vampires).
  • In a cemetery at night, Tony tries to hide from Rudolph's family, but runs out when Gregory spots and then menacingly chases him. Rookery then shows up and briefly chases Tony.
  • Rookery lowers a cemetery owner down into the darkened bowels of the graveyard where he slowly walks along. We then see a figure racing up behind him (it turns out to be Gregory).
  • McAshton and Rookery go into a mausoleum and open a large, stone crypt looking for a body. Although they don't find one, Tony, who was eavesdropping on them from above, suddenly finds himself hanging and eventually falling from a balcony railing baluster. Rookery, thinking Tony is a vampire, then pushes the boy back down into the crypt and slides the heavy stone lid nearly all the way closed over him (thus trapping him inside it).
  • We briefly see two dead people in a coffin (the woman has a stake sticking out of her chest - but without any blood). Both have a cold and somewhat light bluish hue to them and appear covered in centuries of dust or similar crud.
  • Tony has a vision from the past of two vampires being chased by a mob that grabs the male vampire and raise their stake (but we don't see the impact) and then that mob coming after the woman.
  • Rookery uses a sledgehammer to break open the front door to Tony's house and then to Tony's bedroom (as Tony and Rudolph frantically search for a hidden amulet stone). Rookery then grabs Tony and carries him away.
  • Rookery's truck lands in the sea and begins to take on water (for those sensitive to such matters).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Sword: Used by a vampire hunter to attack Frederick in a scene set in the past.
  • Stake gun: Used by Rookery to fire stakes at Frederick and his family (he doesn't hit any of them).
  • Flare gun: Used by Rookery to fire into the bowels of a cemetery.
  • Toy guns: Briefly played with by McAshton's grandsons.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Creep," "Stupid yank," "I think I'm going to hurl," "Losers," "Blood sucker" and "Sweet mother in Heaven."
  • Tony puts two pieces of paper in his mouth to look like vampire fangs (and adds ketchup for that realism effect).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of ominous and suspenseful music (often played in a lighthearted fashion aimed at kids) plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 2 uses of "Oh my God" are used as exclamations, while Bob says that he's tired of "all the vampire b.s." (instead of saying that word in full).
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Dottie shows a bit of cleavage in a dress she wears.
  • After Bob states that Tony is off playing with Rudolph, Dottie playfully states, "That means we get the afternoon alone."
  • SMOKING
  • Rookery smokes a cigar around three times.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Tony tells his dad that he never has the time to play with him.
  • Frederick and Gregory get into a tiny bit of an argument with the latter calling his father a coward for being a passive vampire.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Vampires, the history of them, and whether they exist.
  • Recurring nightmares and what they mean, if anything.
  • Moving to new places and meeting new friends.
  • Why Anna gave Tony a dead mouse as a gift and what significance it might have.
  • VIOLENCE
  • In the past, a vampire hunter comes at Frederick with a sword and the two struggle over it.
  • One of McAshton's grandsons pushes Tony to the ground, with another dumping out the contents of his backpack and then kicking them.
  • Rookery drives over a fence with his truck.
  • Rudolph tries to jump and fly from Tony's window, but we hear him fall and land on the ground (but he's otherwise unhurt from that).
  • McAshton's grandsons grab Tony and struggle with him (and we later see Dottie tending to Tony's slightly bloody nose).
  • Rookery fires stakes at Frederick and his family (but doesn't hit any of them).
  • We hear Gregory attack a cemetery owner who's tied to a line back to Rookery. When that vampire hunter retrieves the line, he either knocks out that man (by bumping him along some steps) or that man is unconscious due to having been bitten (we see two small holes on his neck).
  • Tony throws a rock that breaks a light Rookery had lowered into the vampires' den.
  • Rookery pushes Tony back down into a crypt and then nearly closes the heavy stone lid on top of it all the way (but nevertheless traps the boy inside it). Rookery is then briefly menacing toward McAshton and holds a stake to his neck.
  • Rookery uses a sledgehammer to break open the front door to Tony's house and then to Tony's bedroom (as Tony and Rudolph frantically search for a hidden amulet stone). Rookery then grabs Tony and carries him away.
  • Rookery's truck drives over all sorts of items on the road as it goes out of control.
  • After Rookery shows up to ruin Frederick and his family's transformation, Bob steps forward and punches the man, followed by Dottie who punches him in the gut and then the face. Bob then pushes Rookery who falls over the edge of a cliff (we hear him hit the water below).



  • Reviewed October 21, 2000 / Posted October 27, 2000

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