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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend

Renfield on IMDb

Plot Overview

ornate crucifixdiscipleshipgarlicEarly 20th century, Rumania: Count Dracula (Nicolas Cage) enlisted British real estate agent R.M. Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) for other, slave-like duties and persuaded him to release his blood-sucking self from a vampire trap. Renfield became his intimate called a familiar, eating bugs for vampire-derived powers.

boy and girlschool cafeteriaHaving by and by fled to New Orleans a diminished Dracula complains of the inferior meat his servant brings him; it reeks of the corruption of American decadence. Dracula wants, needs, innocence to fully restore him­self (“Renfield, bring me innocent victims! I want a handful of nuns, a bus load of cheer­leaders—”) While Renfield's filling the order he's caught in the cross fire of a mob turf war and saves the bacon of a hapless cop Rebecca Quincy (Awkwafina) who busts her high profile target Tedward Lobo (Ben Schwartz) … who is immediately released by the corrupt police department. They spark.

female patriotBefore long Renfield's true colors surface, but he acts as Quincy's protector—she needs one—and voluntarily remains in her custody. Rebecca tells him: “I don't think you're such a bad guy. But you're never really gonna be free until you face him.” That's easier said than done, but not unheard of. Viz a 1957 Andrew Lytle novel:

You ever hear about the broke devil? Well, there was this devil, see, and this man. This man and this devil made a trade. I'll go to hell, this man said, if you'll give me any­thing I want while I'm upground and kicking. What do you want, the devil asked. Enough money to run a saw­mill with­out going to the bank. I'll give you a million dollars, the devil said. The man shook his head. The most beautiful woman in the world. The man shook his head a little slower, but he shook it. Sweat commenced to pop out on the devil's horns and he scratched his tail. Look, he said, I'll give you a million dollars and a car­load of women. The man considered this, and this time he shook his head mighty slow, but he shook it. The proposition, he said, comes twenty years too late. All I want is— Yes, I know, the devil said, enough money to run a saw­mill with­out going to the bank. Well, a trade's a trade, but I'm sure one broke devil. (150)


lovers1 Corinthians
7 headerThe poignant question this movie addresses is how far should an association between a traffic cop and a vampire's assistant go. That lends itself to comparison with Christian–nonchristian liaisons. In 1st Corinthians, Paul tells us (1Cor. 5:9-10) that Christians may associate with character-flawed non-christians; that a Christian may maintain a marriage to a non-christian (1Cor. 7:12-17) so long as the unbeliever is willing; that believers can compromise with the heathen in the work­place—Criswell Study Bible preface to First Corinthians: “Some Christians needed to know whether or not they should attend the meetings of their trade guild, meetings held in the idol temples and involving meat offered to the idols (1Cor. 8:1-13)”—as long as they're doing it in faith and not stumbling some­one; that they can compromise in the market­place (1Cor. 10:25-26) and in entertainment (1Cor. 10:27-28) for the same reason, and as long as not too many questions are asked. Like­wise, the relations between the cop and the familiar are dicey but innocent enough, at least as they're presented here.

In 2nd Corinthians Paul does ask them the rhetorical question, (2Cor. 6:15) “what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” Webster defines, “infidel: one who is not a Christian or who opposes Christianity.” The Corinthians have ready examples at hand due to their allowed associations. It's these mismatches that impress on their minds the inadvisa­bility of mixed composition of their services, so that, say, they should not establish a ‘Vampire Church of Christ.’ The two are incompatible, won't mix well at all. Paul thus tells Christians: (2Cor. 6:14) “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: ...” Note the plural pronoun ye. Webster defines, “ye pron you 1 — used orig. only as a plural pronoun of the second person in the subjective case and now used esp. in ecclesiastical or literary language and in various English dialects.” Christians are forbidden to integrate heathen practices into their church in the aggregate, though as individual believers they are allowed to rub shoulders with unbelievers in various places so long as they remain aloof from their idolatry or what­ever and don't stumble anyone.

Which translation is God's word?The more modern (English) translations have used the pronoun you (or you under­stood) that can be either singular or plural. This opens it to mis­in­ter­­pre­tation as a proof text for, say, a Christian (singular) not to be unequally yoked with a nonchristian spouse. It puts a command under Paul's pen that he did not insist on, though he has insisted on refraining from fornication, through getting married instead of enduring endless temptation, which may not be doable with expanded restrictions on spouse selection. Other liaisons are subject to the proviso that they not stumble some weak brother. There are likely to be weak ones within any congregation, so this liberty is more for individuals outside a congregational setting. One does well to recall, (2Pet. 3:15-16) “even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

In “Renfield” when Quincys traffic cop & FBI sister join forces with Dracula & company to fight the Lobos gang, it does not end well for the good guys as to their hurt they'd been unequally yoked with devilment. But the individaul liaison was a good thing.

Production Values

” (2023) was directed by Chris McKay. Its screenplay was written by Ryan Ridley based on an original idea of Robert Kirkman. It stars Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage and Awkwafina. Cage is pretty good in a horror role he'd long wished for, though his screen time was limited. Hoult did okay as the titular character. Akwafina brought up the rear with­out falling flat.

The major casting liability was putting a face-recognizable character (Cage) in a dark role contrary to type; his individual familiarity from previous parts was liable to bleed through. This was (mostly) over­come through distraction by casting according to stereo­type. The powdered vampire from Eastern Europe was quint­essential occidental, his servant was Brit, the mob spic, and the pig mysterious oriental. A real traffic cop would not be allowed to profile this way, but hey, this is the movies.

MPAA rated it R for bloody violence, some gore, language through­out and some drug use. This is a pretty good horror comedy with a decent story­line and splashy gore. Runtime is 1½ hours.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

The Criswell Study Bible. Authorized King James Version. Nashville | Camden: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1979. Print.

Lytle, Andrew. The Velvet Horn. Copyright © 1957 by Andrew Lytle. New York: McDowell/Obolensky. Print.

Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, Mass.: MERRIAM-WEBSTER. 1984. Print.