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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - Vampires Suck

Directed by:
Jason Friedberg
Aaron Seltzer

Produced by: Peter Safran

Screenplay by:
Jason Friedberg
Aaron Seltzer

Jenn Proske
Matt Lanter
Christopher N. Riggi
Ken Jeong
Anneliese van der Pol

Music by: Christopher Lennertz

Cinematography by: Shawn Maurer

Editing by: Peck Prior

Regency Enterprises
Road Rebel
Stand Up! Films

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Running time: 86 minutes

Country: United States

Language: English

Budget: $20 million

Gross revenue: $79, 658, 108

Hey, hey, made out my list of films to catch up on before Oscar season is finished. The Social Network will probably have to be added by default after the Golden Globe wins, but definite reviews incoming for Tony (still haven't finished), Catfish, Shutter Island, Kick-Ass and Exit Through The Gift Shop. Other films will get in there, but because of both my own revision of the year and film studies revision, I am watching an insane amount of movies. On Monday, I crammed in Catfish, Ed Wood and Citizen Kane. Not bad eh? Also, done The Cat And The Canary (and soon Tony again) today, with Salesman and The Lady From Shanghai being done tomorrow. All good films, but Kane is the best, not by default, but because it is a really great film.

And on the other end of the spectrum, we have... no, I suppose that isn't fair. To be an objective reviewer one has to highlight both the good and the bad, starting with the good, and advancing with a logical progression. In this case, there isn't much, so I'll just throw in some vaguely related filler. I have just last week finished reading the first Twilight novel, and you know what, it's very good. The films do not seem to do the works justice, and I am now looking forward to digesting New Moon (consider my man card now null and void). So, Twilight and vampires in general being all the rage at the moment, how appropriate is that we have an entire spoof movie dedicated to the subject. Not forgetting also that we must give the film a cool double meaning that is both self-referential to the vampire mythos and hip slanguage.

In Vampires Suck, we follow Becca Crane (Jenn Proske), who moves the town of Sporks, after her mother starts an affair with Tiger Woods, to live with her dumbass father Frank (Diedrich Baber). Meanwhile, people are getting killed, with the blood drained from their bodies, the initial suspects being the Kardashians. At her new school, she befriends some people, but is fascinated by Edward Sullen (Matt Lanter). Of course, he's a vampire, and a relationship starts, occasionally problematic for her friendship with Jacob White (Christopher N. Riggi). Yes, you know the story already!

However, Vampires Suck likes to challenge our expectations with what we get from Twilight, spoof or no spoof, being the highly intelligent comedy that it is. To give the film its due, Jenn Proske does do a very good impression of Kristen Stewart's performance(s) as Bella Swan. It stands out in this film, believe you me! Also, I won't lie there was the rare titter from me that consisted not of a laugh as such, but instead a silent release of air rising from my throat (no, not a burp). So yeah, there's what is good about Vampires Suck. What else can I say? I haven't thought long and hard about this, but to frank, I don't think I need to.

Let's start about the acting. As said, Jenn Proske does a good impression of Kristen Stewart. However, this does not disguise the fact that everyone else in the film is rubbish. Matt Lanter is terrible as Sullen, not even seeming to make any attempt to act or be funny whatsoever, instead being not Sullen, but Boring. The fact is that even when Pattinson isn't at his best he is a presence at best. With Lanter there is none, and I did not laugh a single time at his performance. Diedrich Bader is ridiculously bad as her father Frank. Not even a postmodern so-bad-he's-good, but just bad like a rancid, four-week old raw steak. Christopher N. Riggi as Jacob White is perhaps as bad for the Jacob Black character as Lanter is for the Sullen/Cullen character. Each of these performances, as well as notable others not worth a slander but instead an imagined stab wound in my head, do nothing to elevate already bad material.

Which brings me to the script, the almighty script, the foundation of all films, yes, in case I didn't make it clear, the fucking script! Now, I haven't seen any other films by Jason Friedberg or Aaron Seltzer films, but anyone who needs reminding, just so you know, they made Meet The Spartans, Disaster Movie, Date Movie and Epic Movie. The tone has already been set, despite different topic matter. This is without question the worst script I have encountered in a film from 2010. Barely any of the jokes are even related to the Twilight series, most of which contain rather annoying spoilers for fans of the series, so if you are interested in Twilight don’t see this film. Instead, they mostly act as a checklist on a hankerchief on popular culture. Tiger Woods, check, Kardashians, check. Hmm, lets see, ah yes, Jonas Brothers, check, Lady Gaga, check, and of course, Facebook and iPod, check check. At this point the lads must have been thinking, "Hang on, lets get things in perspective. With these pop cultures and references to Facebook and iPod, of which we will of course get endorsements from for mentioning, people might think that we are instead trying to make money instead of a good film. So let's mention Stephanie Meyer at least once. Oh, here, while we're at it, we can shove in a Twitter reference and get more endorsement. Great idea Jay! Thanks, say Aaron, aren't we great? Of course we are Jay, of course we are." I can't object, because I haven't seen another of your films (although the looming spectre of Meet The Spartans lurks on my desk), but let me tell you, your movie is shit. Even whenever you decide to keep things in context of the Twilight series, your film goes off the rails into territory that is barely related to anything that is going on. As writers, you have done a shoddy job.

As directors however, you outdo yourselves in this auteur tour-de-force. Being a director, it is your job to realise that the script you are about to put to screen is either good or bad. In this case, the writers are the directors, rendering the whole process null and void. Considering that the two come across as lobotomised they are that far removed from good humour, they do an admirable job though in following through on their vision. The script is shit and the film is shit. Non? The film goes from Point A, progressing through an epic journey of emotion, full of so many belly-laughs and guffaws that strangely enough, we end the film right back at Point A. Full circle right, like all good films are supposed to right? Look, and I think that Rowan Atkinson as Edmund Blackadder would be best at putting this so eloquently: just because the film remains at Point A for its duration doesn't mean it has come full circle, you nitwit! Also, to take a page from Blackadder, and in Jay and Aaron case this is even more important, so just say to yourselves, "talking to myself is the only way I can be sure of an intelligent conversation." See, Blackadder has given you all the justification you need, because as far as I'm concerned, from Exhibit A here you clearly exist on a completely different train of thought. Maybe we found the missing link and his bride in these two scourges!

I know, I said I was going to be fair, but don't I always go back on my word? At least you know that going in. I was not spared the great discomfort that was Vampires Suck. During my watching of the film, thankfully in private, I was howling in anguish as it ironically sucked all the energy from me. Perhaps the scariest thing about this film is the fact that it made nearly $80 million at the box-office. Do people actually find this funny? The American made roughly the same amount of money, Cemetery Junction and Four Lions, two far superior comedies, made about £4 million together. This film was so bad that it made Marmaduke look funny. Vampires Suck was complete anguish that made Norbit seem like a great comedy. I guess the only thing for me left to say about this vitriolic piece of trash is fuck off!

The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 0.5/10

The Thin White Dude's Self-Diagnosis - Sick (because this makes heroin seem appealing. I'm getting withdrawal symptoms despite never being a user!). Also, why are Ken Jeong and Arnon Milchan involved in this? Have they too been lobotomized?

P.S How typical, my Internet starts buggering up when I’m about to post this! - Read the profile if you want to. Expose these motherfuckers!

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