Even for a Nic Cage joint, Vampire’s Kiss is pretty out there, but therein lies its charm. The 1989 release was a true box-office bomb (it only took in $725,000), and the critics weren’t too kind to it either, but it went on to develop a significant cult following. This is not only due to Cage’s over-the-top performance, which is lauded as one of his most, ahem, “memorable” ones, but certainly also because of the memes the movie has inspired. But did you know?
The scene in which Peter picks up a cockroach and promptly eats it is 100% real. In fact he ate two as it took two takes to shoot the scene. Cage admits that it was actually his idea, and he did it to “get on the map” and ensure he would be remembered. “I heard stories about Ozzy Osbourne and all that and I thought ‘That’s wild!’”, he said. “It created such a gasp in the audience, and people were shocked by it, and it didn’t cost any money.”
Cage was strongly encouraged to pass on the job and actually dropped out ahead of production. “I was getting a lot of outside pressure from my agent and people representing me that this was not a good move after Moonstruck, to make a movie of this nature with the vampire fangs and going off like that,” he reveals in the DVD audio commentary. “I responded to the pressure and I broke.” Cage ultimately regretted his decision and when the film’s producer Barry Shils followed up with him, he signed back on.