Air Date: August 20,  1989 (CBS Sunday Night Movie)
Cast: Rick Springfield, John Kapelos, Robert Harper, Richard Fancy, Laura Johnson, Michael Nader
Director: Farhad Mann
Running Time: 92 minutes
Rick's Character Name: Nick Knight (Jean-Pierre)

It's taken two hundred years but this cop's past is about to catch up with him

Synopsis #1:
Four dead bodies.  All drained of blood.  Terror holds the city hostage, as a series of bizarre murders bafles the police.  but for one homicide detective, the case is all too familiar.  Meet NICK KNIGHT (Rick Springfield), a man of extraordinary power who is consumed by a personal struggle between the forces of good and evil which rage within him.  Throughout the centuries.  Nick has burned with an overwhelming desire to become whole and human again - to escape his dark side...THE VAMPIRE.  An action-packed story of lust, revenge, betrayal and murder.  (from the back cover of the VHS movie.)

Synopsis #2:
Rick Springfield stars a Nick Knight, a Los Angeles homicide detective with a solo nightshift, a '59 Cadillac and one very chilling secret: He is a vampire hundreds of years old, tormented by his addictions and searching for a way to regain his mortality.  But when a string of gruesome murders leaves a trail of blood-drained bodies, Nick's investigation teams him with a push new partner (John Kapelos) and a beautiful archaeologist while leading him to his immortal nemesis Lacroix (Michael Nader of Dynasty) and an all-too-human killer with a boodlust of his own.  Laura Johnson (Falcon Crest) co-stars in this atmospheric and action-packed movie that would emerge from a world of darkness to become the inspiration for the cult sci-fi series Forever Knight. (from the back cover of the DVD)

Online Review:

This is the original movie pilot for the television series Forever Knight. I can't pretend that I know too much about the show itself or any of its similarities (or lack thereof) to Nick Knight as I honestly never tuned in. But, with my keyboard poised at the ready, I'll proceed cautiously forward to see exactly why this became a series... 

Rick Springfield is Nick Knight (a fake name he uses instead of Jean-Pierre), a vampire detective who drives his 1959 Cadillac to a tanning salon three times a week but never gets a tan. Knight is on an especially tough case; four murders, all with very little blood left in their bodies. The first three were homeless people but the latest victim is a night watchman. The killer was actually after an artifact, a jade goblet, on display at the museum where the unfortunate watchman was working. While talking with Alyce Hunter (Laura Johnson), who was part of the dig where the goblet was uncovered, we learn that it is a cursed object. We also learn that it was used to drink the blood of human sacrifices. With the newspapers beginning to run with the stories of the vampire killer, Knights boss decides that one person working solo on the night shift isn't enough to get the job done. Enter Donald Schanke (John Kapelos); he is an abrasive and annoying pain in the butt and he is now Nick's new partner. 

As it turns out, Knight has the same goblet in his apartment. He uses it for the same purpose, too. Being a vampire, especially one who works homicide, he suffers from some pretty heavy cravings. Break out a little of that blood he keeps stored away, pour it in his ancient coffee-mug, a few seconds in the microwave and... voila! No more urges to contend with. Now he can sit comfortably in front of his six televisions and watch the sunrise from a reasonably safe distance. 

Finally, we get to see his dark side during a confrontation with a cracked-out psycho (carrying a shotgun) who has decided to get gonzo at the spa that our hero frequents. He has a hostage and it's up to Detective Nick to sort of talk him down. It doesn't go too well. Knight gets blasted and takes a header into the pool, which would normally be all she wrote, but not so here. Knight rises out of the water, fangs glaring, and kicks the crap out of the bad guy. The idea behind this whole set piece is fine but the execution leaves a little to be desired. While all of this is happening the seemingly random murders continue, this time it's two homeless people that Knight was friendly with, they are apparently killed by... ?? 

It's about time that I mentioned Lacroix. He is the one who turned Knight into what he now is... a long time ago. Knight spends his time making up for what he has done in the past by serving the people through his work on the local police force. He doesn't want to kill anymore. As a matter of fact, he wants to be human again. Tired of watching those he cares about grow old and die (and tired of living in eternal darkness) he's decided that if there is a way to give it all up and be mortal again then that's what he wants to do. The two of them believe that if he is able to get both goblets Knight will be able to undo what was done to him. Lacroix does not want that to happen. 

Interestingly, Lacroix is not Knight's biggest worry, just a worry. Everything to do with Knight's vampire master seems played down a little; it's more of a subplot. Yes, there is a showdown between hero and nemesis at the end but this is not the main focus. There are some I'd-be-surprised-if-they-weren't-there romantic entanglements along the way and a few unexpected plot twists. Some of the attempts at light comedy work on minor levels while others fall completely flat. The one really interesting aspect of the story is watching Knight try to be as human as possible while attempting to fight his vampire nature. He's trusted his secret to a doctor friend in hopes that between them they might find a way to force Nick's humanity. More often than not the performances are on target but occasionally some actors slip into some pretty hammy melodrama, nothing too over the top but noticeable nonetheless. The movie as a whole is fair. It isn't a failure but it isn't quite a success either. It's one of those odd flicks that sort of floats in between, deep in cinematic limbo. Nick Knight (the movie) is constantly battling against itself; it gets involving but then becomes mundane. It has atmosphere but then becomes monotonous. It has originality but then falls into clich�s... etc. etc. etc. 

Littered throughout the film are several unfortunate transitional sequences that feature a fluffy, nearly unbearable, eighties pop-chart soundtrack. I personally would have preferred that they used a faulty jackhammer for ambiance, but they didn't. There's one musical moment that was good for a laugh, though. Lacroix uses a radio station to try to get Jean-Pierre's attention. The station is "KTDE - metal for the ages." After announcing some late night "lead" what do think gets played? You guessed it! Bobby Brown?!?! 

Director Farhad Mann has worked in television before and since this project; shows like Max Headroom and V.I.P., for example. His big foray into theatrical features resulted in the unfortunate Lawnmower Man 2. You can take that information as either a warning or a recommendation, I guess it sort of depends on you. It comes down to this: The show got made and became a sort of cult-hit three years and several cast changes later. If you thought highly of the Forever Knight series then you'll probably have fun taking a look at Nick Knight to see how it all began. It may also hold some interest for fang-flick completists, eighties nostalgia buffs, and die hard Rick Springfield fans. For everybody else? Eh... catch it on cable if there isn't anything else on... maybe. 

Review by Michael Mackey staff writer at

This is certainly not what I would consider a great vampire flick as far as actual vampire stories go. It's a pretty good movie in the cop/mystery genre though. I am a lover of vampire movies, and especially the stories with a tormented & guilty vampire such as Interview With The Vampire with Louie (one of my all time favorite movies) and also The Lost Boys with the tortured & guilt-ridden Michael. The Lost Boys had some jokes and humor scattered throughout the plot, which I liked�and Nick Knight does too. I give credit to Nick's partner "Skanky," for the comedy moments. 

Nick Knight is a vampire/cop who works his shift at night, and sleeps by day. He lives in an abandoned theatre with an interior that needs some major work done! He watches sunrises on his many TV's, eats nearly raw hamburger meat, and drinks animal blood which he warms in the microwave---anything to keep from killing and being the vampire he really is. He does in fact have a conscience and refuses to kill for blood. The only one who knows about his secret life is Jack, his forensic scientist friend, who is always trying to help him come on over to the human side. He is up against the vampire Lacroix, the one who "made him," as he has seeked Nick out once again.

I don't think the people who put this together got the concept of how to make Rick look like a "sexy vampire" as is so often how it's done now, in some of the more recent vampire flicks. He is not even a SCARY vampire, at least not to me. It didn't frighten me in the least. I guess this goes to show how far special effects have come over the years. I don't think scary is really what the movie was aiming for anyway. BUT�.with all that being said, I do like this movie a lot. Now, here`s the question I keep asking myself�if Rick were not a part of the movie, would I continue to watch it from time to time?? No, I'm quite sure I wouldn't. The music in Nick Knight is pretty good (I especially like the songs Human and Mystify). I also like the relationship between Nick and his partner Skanky, and it's one of the movies' highlights for me. Skanky cracks me up! The man never shuts up and I get a kick out of how he is constantly badgering Nick and Nick just blows him off most of the time. Nick discovers that Skanky is going to be his partner and he pretends to pass his gun to the police chief and says, "shoot me." LOL I also love the friendship between Nick and Jack, his scientist friend. The "romance" if that is what one would call it, between Nick and Dr. Hunter (the museum curator) was a bit hurried in my opinion. I thought that they had a pretty decent chemistry between them, but it didn't seem like it was built up enough. Of course, the movie was not meant to be a romance by any means, so maybe that is why. And that could be considered a good thing, since it's not so "hard" or emotional on the viewer at the end of the movie. 

Rick looks absolutely sexy in this movie too!!! He looks awesome in the color blue, blue jeans (tight blue jeans that is!) and leather. That man is built to kill! He has got to be the hottest cop I've ever seen, looking very sharp cruising around in his 1959 Cadillac convertible. He had a great haircut during this time too. I also like how he has some stubble in this movie, which gives us a really cute scene of Nick shaving and running around his apartment with his shirt off. Ooo la la! 

I think the sentiment is very nice in the story about Nick having love for the homeless folks. Nick cares a lot about the street people, considers them his friends, and checks on them daily. They obviously adore him as well. Unfortunately several of his homeless friends lose their lives to a vampire. The first time I saw this, I wasn't real sure if the killer was Nick or someone else. 
Some of my favorite lines: Nick talking to Jack about drinking blood from a wine bottle---"I am what I am, and I don't think Betty Ford takes vampires," Nick talking to the women who run the tanning bed, right after he hit the panic button and they come to see about him---"I got a little claustrophobic, it's a coffin in there," Nick talking to the mobs of reporters at one of the crime scenes---"why don't you folks go home and watch David Letterman. I've got work to do!" Nick talking to Skanky about Skanky`s marriage----"Man that must feel good to wake up with a woman every morning." Skanky`s reply---"That's no woman, that's my wife you're talking about." There are so many lines in this movie that make me smile or chuckle that I could on and on with them. These are only a few. 

I got a kick out of the scene where Skanky goes to pick up Nicks precious Caddy from the impound lot, and takes off in it. The car is Nick's "baby" and he told Skanky he loved that year in a Caddy because "it has a lot of trunk space." LOL Skanky had no idea that Nick was asleep in the trunk for the night, and had just woke up, minutes before he pulls out in it. Nick hears him talking and knows it's his partner who is driving. Skanky "loses" his breaks and wrecks the Caddy. I thought it was quite funny when Nick busts Skanky�hopping out of the trunk and surprising him! Skanky just knew he was dead meat for wrecking the Caddy. 

Favorite scene? There are a few�one being the part where Dr. Hunter discovers a picture of Nick from 100's of years ago in one of her archaeology books. She scans the picture, enlarging it to be sure it really is him. Right when she realizes it is in fact him, he appears behind her and startles her to death. They have some interesting conversation about Dr. Hunter's love of the night and the past as Nick appears to be "stalking" her. She is talking and backing away from Nick and he continues to approach her. I thought that was a pretty hot little scene with a lot of close-ups of Rick's amazing eyes. He then kisses her�very sexy part�and as she's hugging him she tells him how she feels so safe now that he's there. I thought that was pretty funny considering she was in the arms of a vampire! Little did she know�.he begins to transform into a vampire over her shoulder and nearly bites her. He leaves in a hurry before he hurts her. It is not long before she is trying to get Nick to confess to her that he is a vampire. He beats all the way around the subject, but she ends up seeing for herself when he faces up to his master�the evil vampire Lacroix. 

I also like the scene of "the morning after" at Nick's apartment. Jack finds Nick there, tormented and angry with himself. He tells Jack that he kissed Elise last night and then nearly killed her. They have an argument because Nick is sipping on blood and Jack tells him that he will never become fully human if he continues to feed on blood. I thought Rick's acting in this scene was incredible. There were tears and expressions of real pain and sorrow. He tells Jack, "you have no idea what it's like to watch those you love grow old and die, and never have a real relationship with a woman." (HA! Oh yeah�that is NICK talking�not Rick!) 

Lacroix has stolen a goblet from the museum which holds magical powers. Blood can be poured from goblet to goblet and then drank, supposedly curing vampirism. Lacroix is the one killing the homeless people, draining them of their blood. All the homeless victims were blood donors with O negative blood. In the end, Lacroix and Nick face off�and "justice" is served. 

I would love to know what Rick thinks of this movie when he looks back on it, if in fact he HAS watched it since then. Something tells me he would probably get a laugh out of the makeup they used on him to try and make him look like a "frightening" vampire! But this movie is certainly not one he should hang his head about. His acting was superb as always, and the movie was pretty good. I think it is unfortunate that Rick did not continue on with this once it became a TV series. That would have made us Rick fans very happy!  - Kelley Pearson