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Maximillian (Vampire in Brooklyn)

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I am Maximillian, connoisseur of death you might say, but no one seems to take pride in the art anymore.
~ Maximillian

Maximillian (or Max for short) is a vampire and the main antagonist of the 1995 horror comedy Wes Craven movie Vampire in Brooklyn.

He was portrayed by Eddie Murphy.


Maximillian was born in ancient Egypt and he along with his kind, the Vampires known by many names (such as Nosferatu, Des Vampyr, the undead and Hominus Nortuna) were exiled by the country's human inhabitants.

Other vampires including Maximillian went to the comforting islands of the Carribean while many others of his kind fled to the Carpathian Mountains and the regional land of Transylvania in Romania, Europe.

Maximillian and his fellow bloodsuckers lived there for happy centuries feasting on unweary travelers and living in isolation, until they were discovered by a group of humans who then exterminated the rest of his kind, and Maximillain alone survived the attack.

Welcome to Brooklyn

An abandoned ship crashes into a dockyard in Brooklyn, New York, and the ship inspector, Silas Green, inspects it, finding it full of corpses. Elsewhere, Julius Jones, Silas' nephew, has a run-in with some Italian mobsters. Just as the two goons are about to kill Julius, Maximillian, a suave, mysterious vampire (who arrived on the ship in his intricately carved coffin), intervenes and kills them. Soon after, Maximillian infects Julius with his vampiric blood, turning Julius into a decaying ghoul; he then explains that he has come to Brooklyn in search of the Dhampir daughter of a vampire from his native Caribbean island in order to live beyond the night of the next full moon.

This Dhampir turns out to be NYPD Detective Rita Veder, who is still dealing with the death of her mentally ill mother (a paranormal researcher) some months before. As she and her partner, Detective Justice (who has romantic feelings for her that she is beginning to reciprocate), are in the middle of investigating the murders on the ship (and connecting Julius to them), Rita begins having strange visions about herself (or at least a woman that looks like her), and begins asking questions about her mother's past. When she tells Justice about having "a strange feeling" about the investigation, he reacts in a skeptical manner, which frustrates Rita. The visions, as well as some of Rita's more unusual personality traits (including being more of a "night person" than Justice), are presumably influenced in part by her vampire heritage; this is hinted at a few times throughout the first two-thirds of the story. Rita is completely unaware of this heritage, and believes she is headed toward a state of mental illness, similar to what happened to her mother.

Maximillian initiates a series of sinister methods to find out more about Rita and to further pull her into his thrall, including seducing and murdering her roommate Nikki, as well as disguising himself as her alcoholic preacher Preacher Pauly and a lowlife crook named Guido (killing and consuming each in order to assume their bodily forms). Max, in these disguises, misleads Rita into thinking Justice slept with Nikki, making her jealous and angry with him. This effectively cools much of the desire on Rita's part to begin a relationship, although Justice remains cautiously persistent.

After saving her from being run down by a taxicab, Maximillian gets a dinner date with Rita. Rita is highly impressed with Max's sophisticated and sensual manner (as well as being flattered by his apparent better job at understanding her unusual personality, as compared to Justice) and begins to fall in love with him. While dancing with her, he bites her.

Later the next day, Justice finds Rita in her apartment; Rita has been asleep all day with her apartment completely darkened. Justice informs Rita that Nikki has been found dead, and vows to help her understand her strange visions, as one of them had correctly foretold Nikki's murder. A shocked Rita tearfully forgives Justice, while berating herself for not listening to his side of the story, and is happy he is now beginning to understand her. The two friends then embrace.

Rita takes the opportunity and begins to kiss Justice and the pair finally become highly passionate. However, the romantic activity begins Rita's transformation into a vampire, and just as she is ready to bite the unsuspecting Justice in the neck, she sees her reflection disappearing in her bedroom mirror - a sure sign that she is transforming into one of the "undead" (presumably by biting, drinking the blood of, and killing, Justice, the transformation will be complete). Horrified at what she has become, she races to Max's apartment to angrily confront him about the changes occurring in her.

Max explains himself, and by doing so, Rita, who already blames his biting her neck for "turning" her, deduces that he is also responsible for all the murders she and Justice are investigating. Rita further finds out that Maximillian was sent to her by her father (a vampire, making Rita a dhamphir), whom she has long been curious about; his death at the hands of vampire hunters was what drove Rita's mother insane.

Max tries to convince a hysterical Rita that she will be happier as a vampire instead of remaining in the human world, where he feels she will remain out of place and misunderstood by society. A concerned Justice plans to rescue Rita from Max, and seeks help and advice from Dr. Zeko, a vampire expert they visited earlier in the murder investigation. Zeko explains that years ago, he knew Rita's mother while she was doing her research on the vampires of the Caribbean islands, and that she surrendered to the side of evil by falling in love with Rita's vampire father, resulting in Rita. Rita's only hope for becoming human again, and avoiding becoming Maximillian's bride, is 1) not drinking the blood of an innocent human victim, which becomes harder and harder for her to resist as the night progresses and she becomes physically weakened, and 2) Maximillian dying before the next full moon. Zeko gives Justice an ancient dagger with instructions to either kill Maximillian or risk being killed by Rita.

By the time Justice reaches her, Rita is lying inside Max's coffin, almost completely changed into an evil vampire, and threatens to bite Justice. Justice and Max engage in a battle, which Justice becomes close to losing. He loses Zeko's dagger on the floor. Max encourages Rita to finish Justice off for good and complete the transformation. However (while having compassion for Max's quest for a mate), Rita ultimately rejects life as a vampire, and drives Zeko's dagger through Maximillian's heart, causing him to disintegrate; as her vampire self is heartbroken over the death of Max, she changes back into a normal human. Rita and Justice then embrace with a passionate kiss as they officially begin their romance.

Meanwhile, Julius, now completely decayed, enters his master's limousine. He happens upon Maximillian's ring and puts it on, at which point he instantly transforms into a fully intact and well-dressed member of the undead. Overjoyed, he tells his uncle Silas, "There's a new vampire in Brooklyn, and his name is Julius Jones.".


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