By Merle Bertrand | March 16, 1998

Do we really need yet another vampire movie? Sure, about as much as we needed another movie about that ship that ruined a perfectly good iceberg. After all, the vampire legend is territory that’s already been staked out, sorry, couldn’t resist it, by pretty much everyone. Bela Lugosi, Peter Cushing, Lance Henrickson, Frank Langella, Eddie Murphy, and Mel Brooks have all sunk their teeth – damn it, now I’m really sorry! – into the vampire mythos, and that’s just the “A” list. Still, in spite of such familiarity, writer/director Larry Fessenden’s “Habit” somehow manages to suck a few last drops of blood (sigh) from this well-tapped vein.
Sam (Fessenden) goes to, what else, a Halloween party, where he’s singled out by the darkly seductive Anna (Meredith Snaider.) Even though Anna seems to have this kinky biting fetish, the sex is great so Sam plays along, until he realizes that his new flame is quite literally sucking the life out of him. Unfortunately for Sam, dating a vampire is a lot like smoking cigarettes; By the time you realize they’re bad for you, it’s too late.
And that’s about it, as far as the plot goes, which is why “Habit’s” 112 minutes is about thirty too long. Still, it’s a creepy ride through the grungy side of Transylvania, “Habit’s” New York exuding the same grimy squalor as “Romeo and Juliet’s” gritty L.A. While Fessenden, despite his gaunt physique and missing teeth – picture Nick Zedd on a bad, (or good,) day – is a surprisingly strong screen presence, Snaider’s blood-sucker acts a little too cutesy, though she sure looks yummy with her clothes off.
While this particular “Habit” is okay, the vampire legend as a whole is drained; a habit that filmmakers need to break.

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