8 Facts About Once Bitten For Its 35th Anniversary

Jim Carrey stars in Once Bitten (1985).
Jim Carrey stars in Once Bitten (1985).
Scream Factory

The horror comedy Once Bitten (1985), starring Jim Carrey and Lauren Hutton, tells the story of a 400-year old vampire who feeds on virgins to keep her youthful appearance. The film, which is still regularly revisited, had a decent showing at the box office, but was not a hit with most critics. With Halloween and the film's 35th anniversary fast approaching, we decided to take a look back at the cult classic with a little help from one of the original screenwriters, Jeffrey Hause.

1. Once Bitten marked Jim Carrey's first major movie role.0E4OIMY---Imgur.gif

Jim Carrey appeared in a couple movies as a young comedian, but nothing that would have made him a famous actor. In 1984, he landed a job on a sitcom about a cartoonist at an animation company called The Duck Factory, but the series was canceled after one season. That bit of bad news turned out to be a good thing for Carrey, as it freed him up to audition for the lead role of Mark Kendall in Once Bitten.

2. Once Bitten's filmmakers really wanted Michael J. Fox for the lead.

Writer Jeffrey Hause campaigned for the Family Ties star to be the lead in the film. Sam Goldwyn Jr. of The Samuel Goldwyn Company was not convinced that Fox could carry the movie. Carrey was cast, and Hause said that it only took one scene to convince him that the young comedian was right for the part. “We had written a dozen sleazy L.A. bar sight gags into this scene—all cut—but Carrey just had to walk across the bar and look scared: Somehow he made that funny! Every line delivery was fresh and original, and he knew how things looked on camera without having to look through a lens.” For his part, Michael J. Fox didn't make out so badly; a few months before Once Bitten was released, Fox became a major box office force with both Back to the Future and Teen Wolf.

3. LAUREN HUTTON WAS NOT A FIRST ROUND PICK EITHER.

barcomparison.jpg

Before the rewrites and The Samuel Goldwyn Company’s involvement, Hause and his writing partner David Hines wanted actress Elvira to play the Countess. Director Howard Storm wanted actress Morgan Fairchild for the part. The sketch above shows Hause’s vision for the bar scene in which the vampiress is introduced. “It's dark, she casts no reflection in the mirror, and a spider is stealing the cherry out of her drink,” says Hause of the composite sketch and photo. “On the right is Lauren Hutton in a much more glamorous bar than we had originally envisioned.”

4. JIM CARREY HAS BEEN FASCINATED WITH VAMPIRES SINCE HE WAS A KID.

More specifically: Jim Carrey has fantasized about vampires since he was a kid, as he explained during an appearance on The Afternoon Show in 1985.

5. THE TITLE IS A REFERENCE TO AN OLD IDIOM.

Blood-sucking films without either "Dracula” or “Vampire” in the title often find other ways to reference their mythic subject matter (see 1983's The Hunger, 1987's Near Dark, or 2009's Thirst), but the filmmakers decided to go one step further with Once Bitten. An early version of the expression “once bitten, twice shy” is found in a 1484 translation of Aesop’s Fables by William Caxton. The translation reads “He that hath ben ones begyled by somme other ought to kepe hym wel fro(m) the same.” Hause tells mental_floss that at one point the title had an ellipsis: “At first it was Once Bitten..—dot, dot, dot—which was probably a setup for a sequel, but I guess it didn't work with the logo they created.”

6. MEGAN MULLALLY HAD A SMALL ROLE IN THE FILM.

After a couple of small TV roles early in her career and a bit part as a call girl in Risky Business (1983), the future Will & Grace star played “Suzette” in Once Bitten, the girl taking tickets at the school before the infamous dance-off between Mark’s girlfriend, Robin, and the Countess.

7. THE WOMAN WALKING A LION IN HOLLYWOOD AT NIGHT WAS NOT IN THE SCRIPT.

Jeffrey Hause writes on his blog that in making the film more commercial and keeping with the times, the studio hired someone to create a montage. “It was a big deal in the 1980s to have video montages in every film. And this film has a terrible one ... one thing they added—and don't ask me why—was the image of a supermodel walking a lion down Rodeo Drive. We had nothing to do with it.”

8. THE HOLLYWOOD SEEN ON SCREEN WAS ENTIRELY DIFFERENT THAN THE ONE IN THE ORIGINAL SCRIPT.

The writers intended for the film to show a much darker side of Hollywood. The head script reader for Goldwyn wrote in his notes that the project was hilarious, and that “the writers create a Fellini-esque vision of Hollywood that reeks not only of comic atmosphere but somehow captures and hyperbolizes our worst fears about the sleazy parts of town. It is a vision that balances precariously and triumphantly on a razor blade."

In an email interview with mental_floss, Hause shared the original title and direction of the film, and shared his thoughts on how the film turned out: “We had originally called it Nightlife, but Goldwyn didn't think it sounded like a comedy ... our draft really was about L.A. nightlife and trying to be a little creepier in tone.”

“I hope I don't come off as too mean-spirited or bitter on the website,” Hause continues. “I'm grateful and proud that the film was made and feel lucky to have worked with a true comedic genius like Jim Carrey ... I just have an idea of what it could have been (teens invading a vampire movie) instead of what it became (vampires invading a teen movie), but other people disagree and their opinions are just as valid as mine—thank God it was made at all!”

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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The Longest Movie Ever Made Would Take You More Than 35 Days to Watch Straight Through

Nishant Kirar, Unsplash
Nishant Kirar, Unsplash

A typical movie lasts between 90 minutes and two hours, and for some viewers, any film that exceeds that window is "long." But the longest film you've ever seen likely has nothing on Logistics—a record-breaking project released in Sweden in 2012. Clocking in at a total runtime of 35 days and 17 hours, Logistics is by far the longest movie ever made.

Logistics isn't your standard Hollywood epic. Conceived and directed by Swedish filmmakers Erika Magnusson and Daniel Andersson, it's an experimental film that lacks any conventional structure. The concept started with the question: Where do all the gadgets come from? Magnusson and Andersson attempted to answer that question by following the life cycle of a pedometer.

The story begins at a store in Stockholm, where the item is sold, then moves backwards to chronicle its journey to consumers. Logistics takes viewers on a truck, a freight train, a massive container ship, and finally to a factory in China's Bao'an district. The trip unfolds in real time, so audiences get an accurate sense of the time and distance required to deliver gadgets to the people who use them on the other side of the world.

Many people would have trouble sitting through some of the longest conventional films in history. Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996) lasts 242 minutes, and Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Cleopatra (1963) is a whopping 248 minutes long. But sitting down to watch all 857 hours of Logistics straight through is nearly physically impossible.

Fortunately, it's not the only way to enjoy this work of art. On the project's website, Logistics has been broken down into short, two-minute clips—one for each day of the journey. You can watch the abridged version of the epic experiment here.