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As a vampire, Eddie Murphy bites the dust

As a vampire, Eddie Murphy bites the dust — Critics hope ”The Nutty Professor” will save the actor’s career

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It’s not undead, and it certainly isn’t alive: Eddie Murphy’s cheapo comedy Vampire in Brooklyn is just a plain old stiff. With a deadly $7 million opening, Vampire could become the biggest flop in a career that made Murphy a superstar in the ’80s with both black and white moviegoers. ”Whites don’t want to see him,” says Price Entertainment’s Marvin Antonowsky. How can he resurrect himself? ”By making a movie with a major costar,” something he hasn’t yet done. Vampire isn’t seducing blacks, either. ”His career is fading,” says an exec at Paramount, home to Murphy’s production deal. ”He’s not the Eddie of Beverly Hills Cop II.”

Murphy’s comeback now rests on 1996’s heavy-latex remake of The Nutty Professor. And he recently ditched Joel Silver’s Sand Blast for a role in Metro as a veteran cop working with rookie Michael Rapaport. Who’d have bet that 13 years after 48 HRS., Murphy would graduate to the Nick Nolte role?