JANUARY 12, 2010
With a cover so shamelessly ripped off from another movie (Zombieland, to be exact), I thought for sure that Vampire Killers (aka Lesbian Vampire Killers) was an Asylum release. But nope, it was actually from Dimension Extreme! Since they have a slightly more dependable output, I hoped that, if nothing else, it would amuse me for 85 minutes and not make me wish I was back in that decrepit, empty theater watching Transylmania.
And it didn’t! It’s not a good film at all, but it lived up PRECISELY to my expectations: I was mildly amused and I never once wished I was watching Transylmania instead. But that’s about it. It’s only been a few hours and I’m already hard-pressed to recall anything about it beyond what I wrote in my notes, and if someone were to quote a line from the film I doubt I’d be able to recall the reference.
Part of the problem is that it spends so much time homaging other movies that it never has the time to have its own identity. It starts off like Shaun of the Dead (British slacker gets dumped, finds solace in a bar with his chubby, rude best friend), then dips into American Werewolf territory (they hitchhike their way to a local bar and are not welcomed by any of the patrons), before finally settling for a mix of any number of horror comedies, including Buffy (slacker learns his birthright is to slay vampires), Fright Night (young dolt teaming up with harried expert), and Evil Dead (lot of excessive bodily fluid gags, a cabin in the woods, etc). Add in the usual “straight” movie references (Star Wars) and the (admittedly cool) Hammer look to the final half hour (graveyards, fog machines cranked to 11, etc), it’s a wonder that they even bothered coming up with the original title instead of just calling it “Vampire” or something.
One thing it DOESN’T really deliver is lesbians. I’m sure the title change had more to do with possibly offending some folks, but I often wondered if they had cut the movie along with the title (IMDb claims there was an 88 minute cut at one point - anyone know the difference?). They are referred to as lesbians, and they fondle each other ever so slightly every now and then, but really, the video for "I Would Do Anything For Love" has more R-rated action in this department. In fact, other than language, the film as a whole is rather tame - no blood (just white goo - unless this is supposed to be jizz in which case the movie is disgustingly R rated), no nudity, not even any real explicit violence. The big bad vampire just gets a sword to the chest.
Speaking of jizz, the film’s most original gag is that the only sword that can kill the main vampire has a handle that is shaped like a penis. It’s a funny sight gag (as are some of the followup gags, such as the hero’s reluctance to grab onto it), but I was a bit puzzled at what this may be suggesting - the only way to stop a lesbian is with a cock? Did Banky write this movie? Or am I reading too much into this nonsense.
And I don’t know who thought it would be funny or helpful or necessary to have onscreen captions for every location, but they aren’t any of the above. Especially when they repeat - it’s been 5 minutes since we last saw it, do we really need to be reminded that Fletch (awesome name by the way) is in the McClaren graveyard? Christ, even Fringe lets us use our noggins every now and then when it comes to labeling establishing shots.
So I dunno, if you haven’t seen too many horror comedies then you will probably enjoy this one, but nearly everything in it has been done before, and better, so its of little use to horror fans. And the DVD doesn’t even have the trailer (it DOES have an unusually long and somewhat out-of-date spot for Planet Terror though - huh?), let alone real special features, so I certainly wouldn’t suggest buying it. It’s the movie free rental days were made for!
What say you?