Vampires Suck!
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Vampires Suck!

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And so does this film!

Vampires Suck! And so does this movie!

The writing and directing team of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have produced a number of witless genre parodies that skewer cliches and familiar characters. Their previous films have included Disaster Movie, Epic Movie, Date Movie, and Meet The Spartans. They faithfully follow a formula that has grown stale and lazy. But their latest parody is, arguably, the nadir of these inexplicably popular genre spoofs to date. It’s difficult to recall the time when the pair contributed to the very funny Scary Movie franchise!

Vampires Suck is a witless, unfunny, uninspired and laboured reworking of the whole trendy vampire milieu. In particular though the pair take a chainsaw to the successful Twilight franchise and its central characters.

The film explores the overwrought and unrequited teenage romance between Becca (newcomer Jenn Proske), the moody, misunderstood, unsociable and lonely new girl in town, and the mysterious but handsome vampire Edward Sullen (Matt Lanter, who provided the voice for Anakin Skywalker in the animated Star Wars: Clone Wars series). It’s an ill-fated romance destined to launch four novels and an incredibly lucrative and successful movie franchise.

But the setups are predictable and obvious, and the payoffs fall terribly flat. Friedberg and Seltzer mainly rework the essential plot of Twilight, but the pair also include a number of pop cultural references about the Kardashians and Lindsay Lohan, fart jokes, a strong homoerotic subtext, and some ribald humour. There are also fleeting references to a number of other films, including Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and the classic Carrie. Unfortunately there is nothing funny here, and even the preview audience failed to laugh. Most of these films have a fair ratio of gags that miss the mark, but here nearly every single joke falls flat. Friedberg and Seltzer’s direction lacks subtlety.

The largely unknown cast is merely going through the motions here, and it’s almost as if they realise that the material is inferior. Making her film debut, Proske is a fine match for Kristen Stewart’s moody mannerisms. As the werewolf Jacob, Chris Riggi whips his shirt off at every opportunity, because “it’s in my contract!” And although Diedrich Bader (from The Drew Carey Show, and the feature film adaptation of The Beverly Hillbillies) has a usually good sense of comic timing, even he seems to know that the script is substandard. His performance seems rather tired.

Even the most easily pleased of audiences who have sat through the pair’s previous patchy efforts will find themselves quickly bored and disappointed here. And even at a reasonably brief 80 minutes, the film drags and seems too long.