I was determined to come to Vampires Suck with an open mind, but having seen the trailers and being aware of the track record of this production team, from the Scary Movie franchise, through Date Movie, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, Meet The Spartans et al, my hopes were not high. It is of course no revelation at all to identify the Twilight franchise as the target this time around, although if like me you haven’t seen any of those films, you are really no better or worse off. Even if you are only vaguely aware of the characters and themes of the Twilight films, you’ll be able to see where most of the scenes comprising Vampires Suck are headed.
I can state that in all honesty I did not so much as crack a smile, much less laugh out loud at any point during this dire, pointless film. The jokes, such as they were, whether in the background, pop culture reference points, plays on words, rip-offs from Twilight or whatever, fell entirely flat on every occasion. At one point Becca’s father expresses astonishment at how much she has grown, commenting on how big her breasts have grown. Excellent, an incest gag, how classy. I think the whole situation is just so frustrating, given how fantastic a well-crafted spoof can really be. Think of Airplane!, Police Squad, The Naked Gun, Top Secret, The Big Bus, Hot Shots Part Deux. Instead, what we are reduced to with Vampires Suck, as with all of this recent swathe of so called spoofs are scenes where we do not laugh, so much as say, “oh yes, that looks or sounds a bit like that thing from that other film”. There is no joke, no punchline, so intelligence, no subtlety, just crudeness, crassness and idiocy.
The writer/directors, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, must shoulder full responsibility for this horrible mess. The actors they have cast are no great shakes as far as I can tell, but they can obviously only work with what they have been given, which is a turkey of staggering proportions. This idea of wringing box office takings out of recognition of films and characters rather than actual jokes is long past its sell by date and must now stop, except that we now have news of another Scary Movie franchise entry possibly being in the works. Heaven help us.
Commenting on the cinematography, art direction, pacing, acting etc feel a little redundant in this instance. The running time is around 1 hour 15 minutes, so at least it doesn’t last too long and although I cannot in all good conscience recommend it, it made close to $40m in the US and UK alone, against a budget of $20m, so plenty of people must at least be morbidly curious if nothing else. If you are a glutton for punishment, you can rent it from LoveFilm here. It is out on Blu-ray and DVD on 14th February 2011.