Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lesbian Vampire Killers (Phil Claydon, 2008)

Horror comedies are nothing new. There are basically two types: the Shaun of the Dead variety where a serious attempt at horror 'truthiness' is made with a comedic backdrop, and films like Scary Movie which are generally just spoofs of iconic horror imagery. Lesbian Vampire Killers is firmly in the former's camp. Don't get me wrong. I like a lot of the Scary Movie films. They do a great job of making known scary moment funny. Their intent is not horror, however, which is the difference.

Now, I will admit that when I first heard of this film, I was certain it would be a knock-off of Shaun of the Dead, but I was completely wrong. There are similarities. Primarily the skinny, semi-responsible guy and his heavy-set, unemployed man-child sidekick. There are some others, but they are more movie cliché in general than direct derivation. The big draw was Mathew Horne whom I know from The Catherine Tate Show. He and co-star James Corden currently (on BBC America, at least) are the stars of Gavin & Stacey. I knew Horne to be funny, so I had high hopes.

The plot? Pretty basic stuff. Ancient vampire destined to return. Ancient hero whose bloodline is prophesied to save mankind. Destiny brings it all together. Simple, straight-forward vampire story. Aren't they all?

The movie is, in my opinion, very true to vampire traditionalism. The film looks like a Hammer Dracula movie with updated effects. They draw greatly on the classic feel, and while there may not be much that is 'new' in the way the story runs there is one thing I know about vampire traditionalists: you don't break the rules. These are Bram Stoker vampires. They don't sparkle, they are not sullen leStat types. Best of all, Claydon and his team really use a vampire's powers effectively, particularly their hypnotic powers.

If you like a little funny with your horror, this one is for you. It is not some softcore Misty Mundae vehicle, as the title might suggest. The American release is merely Vampire Killers, which I thought was selling out, but frankly the lesbian part is my main point of contention with the film. It is a purely gratuitous addition to the story that almost never arises. I think the idea was added to get some notoriety going. There is very little nudity, and no sex. Vampire purists and Hammer fans will also have a lot of fun with it.


TS Hendrik said...

I've been wanting to see it. I love Gavin and Stacey and think Corden and Horne are hilarious. Well, with the exception of their sketch show which just falls flat too often.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I have not seen the sketch show, nor G&S much (I've just started to DVR it). Horne was always great on The Catherine Tate Show. "That was well bad, mate!" :-D

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