Central Park Drifter is an amazingly silly little vampire film from 1987.
Stephen Tespes (Michael A. Miranda, credited here as Silvio Olivero) is a 350 year-old vampire who suffers from not a little ennui. He spends his night driving a taxi (he works the graveyard shift, of course) around Toronto. (Actually, he’s supposed to be in New York but make no mistake about it, this film is so Canadian that you half-expect David Cronenberg to make a cameo appearance.) Stephen picks up depressed women who are on the verge of suicide. After making love to them in the back of his taxi, he bites them and does his vampire thing.
Stephen has a very strong ethical code. He only bites people who no longer feel that life is worth living. He tells all of the women that he has bitten that they are not to attack “innocent” people. Unfortunately, nobody wants to listen to Stephen and soon corpses are piling up all over
Toronto New York.
Can the New York police solve the crime, figure out what’s happening, and prevent more senseless carnage? Well, fear not. Check out the detectives below because they are on the case!
For his part, Stephen has other things to worry about. One night, he picks up a music video director named Michelle (Helen Papas). Michelle is unhappily married to Eric (Cliff Stoker), who we first meet while he’s busy cheating on her with a backup dancer. Michelle has just discovered that she is terminally ill. Normally, this would make her the ideal target for Stephen but, when Stephen tries to bite her, he finds himself kissing her instead.
That’s right! Stephen’s fallen in love with Michelle and, soon, Michelle is in love with Stephen. Sure, she’s a little upset when she comes across him drinking another woman’s blood in the back of his taxi but, when she tries to run away, Stephen catches up with her and explains that he’s a vampire and he has to do that or else he’ll start to dramatically age. Michelle, noticing that Stephen’s hair is no longer as gray as it was when she first met him, decides that she’s okay with that and soon, they’re having sex in Stephen’s coffin.
What Stephen doesn’t take into consideration is the fact that, as the result of their vampiric bond, all of the women that he’s bitten can sense when he and Michelle are having sex. And they don’t like it one bit. Soon, they’re all going on a killing spree and the streets of New York start to fill up with the bodies of pervs and nightwatchmen.
Eric, meanwhile, finds out about the affair and starts to make plans to destroy Stephen once and for all…
Look, technically, there’s a lot of critical stuff that I could say about Central Park Drifter. It’s a silly film that is full of inconsistent performances and it’s such an 80s film that it might as well have been made in 1987. (Oh wait, it was made in 1987…)
But, to be honest, I enjoyed Central Park Drifter. It’s a film that happily sacrifices logic for nonstop style, a movie that says, “Sure this makes no sense but listen to the music and take in the atmosphere and tell me that it matters.” It’s a silly film about silly vampires but, when taken on its own low-budget terms, it’s fun.
Plus, it was made in Canada and you know how much I love Canada!