In this week’s segment of Disney Channel Masterpiece Theater we continue with the season of Halloween with the film Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire. It tells the story of a family that becomes inadvertently entangled with a vampire. Single mother Lynette Hansen has grounded her two teenage kids for the weekend, and in a plot to sneak out, they set her up with a date that turns out to be a blood-sucking vampire. The film stars Caroline Rhea (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) as the mom and Charles Shaughnessy (The Nanny) as the vampire as well as Matt O’Leary, Laura Vandervoot, and Myles Jeffrey as the kids who are trying to save their mom before it’s too late.
This movie came out fifteen years ago on Friday the 13th and I remember loving how perfectly the film’s premiere coincided with this haunted date. Disney Channel has a knack for holiday-themed movies, and the Halloween season was my absolute favorite. There was a chill in the air, a scent in the trees, a change in the atmosphere that oozed the feeling of Halloween, and I knew that the start of October meant the start of Hauntoberfest.
The first Disney Channel movie that comes to mind when I think of the Halloween season is this one. Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire has all the spooky ingredients: vampires, coffins, vampire hunters, huge haunted houses, all the things that my 7-year old self loved to hate. I remember thinking that this movie was so scary and so thrilling, especially with middle child, Adam (Matt O’ Leary), leading the chase. He’s the monster expert and knew what to do based off of his vampire film repertoire. He’s clever and his witty humor made my seven year old heart swoon, and it was the start of a small, but keen obsession with Matt O’ Leary. He went on to star in Frailty, Domestic Disturbance, and Spy Kids 2 & 3, all of which I saw solely because of him.
After re-watching the film the other day, I still enjoyed it. Of course it wasn’t as scary as I remembered. The special effects are minimal and the last battle scene between vampire and family was not as grand, as epic, or as scary as I used to think it was. Still, the movie has so much heart what with true love breaking a vampire’s trance and important values interweaved throughout the film’s plot. For instance, don’t message strangers on the internet, don’t set your mom up on a blind date, and all guys are the same. No matter if they’re human or if they’re a supernatural creature.
Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire will always be one of those Disney movies that I’ll remember because it’s a movie that reminds me of my favorite time of the year, and it’s a movie that I loved when I was just a little kid counting down the days till Halloween, and for that, it will always be one of my favorites.
Till next time!