Vampires Suck (2010) - Dread Central
Connect with us
vsuck.jpg vsuck.jpg

Reviews

Vampires Suck (2010)

Published

on

Vampires SuckReviewed by The Foywonder

Starring Jenn Proske, Matt Lanter, Chris Riggi, Diedrick Bader, Ken Leong

Written and directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer


The scam artists responsible for Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans, and Disaster Movie are back with their latest con, Vampires Suck, one of those rare movies with a self-reviewing title. Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer are widely reviled as the most untalented filmmaking hacks in the business today. That the DVDs for some of their previous crimes against cinema have boasted commentary tracks of film critics ripping on how terrible their films are only cements my belief that they are con men that know they’re untalented hacks and don’t care because they’ve found some success with their special brand of cheap, lazy, crudely constructed comedies so depressingly unfunny they leave you longing for the comparatively upbeat nature of a Lars von Trier movie.

For the remainder of this review I will refer to Friedberg & Seltzer simply as “F&S” for short. F&S is kind of like S&M, except there are actually people that derive pleasure from the pain generated by S&M. If you know anyone that derives pleasure from F&S, those people are to be shunned for the betterment of mankind.

The mental anguish of Vampires Suck began immediately with a hopelessly incompetent opening sequence that wraps around to the climax set at the high school prom. The alleged jokes in this pre-title portion included teenage girls representing “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” hitting one another with shovels, a naked sparkling vampire with a glimmering disco ball covering his privates, a vampire drinking a bottle of “True Blood”, another vampire applying suntan lotion, and a vampire revealing a single triangular fang like that you’d see on a vampire chipmunk, which, by the way, we will actually get one of later on. By the time the title appeared on the screen, I was fully prepared for an experience about as enjoyable as teabagging a blender.

Vampires SuckThe one thing working in these grifters’ favor is this time they have an actual structure to build upon (key scenes and plot points from the first two Twilight movies) unlike, say, their previous sham, Disaster Movie, the first ever full-length motion picture based around parodying scenes from the trailers of movies that had yet to open at the time of filming. Doesn’t change the fact that the best they can come up with still produces fewer laughs than b-roll footage from a snuff film.

Twilight is so rife for parodying; yet, these two cinema swindlers consistently miss their target by relying on their usual disarray of jokes that are just excuses to make a pop culture reference regardless of its lack of context, jokes that go for lowest common denominator punch lines, jokes they run into the ground even after they flopped the first time, jokes meant to make you groan that still end up doing so for the wrong reasons, jokes that actually require the actors to explain the joke and why it’s supposed to be funny, and I lost track of the sheer number of times I was expected to laugh just because someone got randomly hit hard in the head, face, or back. Even understanding what makes basic slapstick work is asking too much of F&S. They also operate under the mistaken assumption that if someone angrily shouts “bitch” at the end of a sentence, that automatically makes the line funny. They even end their movie in such a manner.

Moody teenage heroine Bella Swan, sullen vampire Edward Cullen, and angst-ridden teen wolf Jacob Black have been cleverly renamed Becca Crane, Edward Sullen, and Jacob White. The town of Forks, Washington is now named Sporks. This is as clever as it gets.

“Just your breathing is the greatest gift you could ever give me,” says vampire Edward, crouched over a sleeping Becca. Then she farts in his face, and he tumbles backwards out of her bedroom window.

“We only feed on animals and the Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

Vampires Suck“The blood was drained from his body and he had multiple bite wounds on his neck. You know what that means? The Kardashians are in town.”

“Once you go bat, you never go back”

“Promise me, Becca, that you won’t do anything reckless.”
“I promise I won’t date Chris Brown.”

Their big joke with werewolf Jacob is that he turns into a chihuahua instead of a wolf. Do they have him do anything funny as a chihuahua? Nope. Nothing. Nada. Why try being creative when you can just have the other members of his pack, shirtless, wearing only sneakers and jorts, dancing gay to “It’s Raining Men”? Didn’t they recycle that “It’s Raining Men” scene from Meet the Spartans? Even if they hadn’t, that was really the best joke, let alone best gay joke, they could dream up? Did they sit around debating for hours between having them dance to “It’s Raining Men” or “Who Let the Dogs Out” and decide on the former because the cheaper gay joke required less actual thought?

How do they parody Dakota Fanning’s character and her psychic ability to inflict indescribable pain (much like what I felt during the pre-title and third act of this film)? They don’t. They found a way to shoehorn in pointless references to “Jersey Shore”, “Gossip Girl”, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Alice in Wonderland, and so on (shockingly, no Justin Bieber jokes!), but a single gag mocking an aspect of Twilight begging for riffing was somehow asking too much.

Another gag sees Edward fighting off a pair of vampires by tossing them into tanning beds, their legs shown twitching as they roast. But these are Twilight vampires and Twilight vampires aren’t supposed to burn in sunlight – they sparkle, a conceit F&S had already poked fun at twice by the time of this scene. These two are such inept writers I wouldn’t even trust them to write a check.

Vampires SuckSo many opportunities are missed it reached the point I found myself thinking what I might have done with certain scenes. Like when the evil redheaded vampire based on the Victoria character from Twilight gets written out of the film never to be seen again; the dreadlocked vampire holds up a photo of Bryce Dallas Howard (who replaced the original Victoria actress in the latest Twilight sequel) and makes a comment – not a joke – about how the role had been recast. They thought that would generate laughs? How about saying the role has been recast and then have Clint Howard (Bryce Dallas Howard’s real-life uncle) emerge in drag dressed as Victoria? Maybe it would have gotten a laugh, maybe it wouldn’t, but at least it would have been an attempt at an actual pun rather than just a lame observation masquerading as a punchline.

Perhaps the only unintentional success of Vampires Suck was that I often couldn’t tell the difference between the two leads in this parody and their actual Twilight counterparts. I dare say newcomer Jenn Proske does a better Bella Swan than Kristen Stewart, and I’d even go so far to say she’s prettier, too. Matt Lanter’s tongue-in-cheek take on every teenage girl’s undead albino wet dream isn’t all that different from Robert Pattinson aside from Lanter looking less like someone experiencing nicotine withdrawal and, of course, his lack of eyebrows that can double for Seventies porn mustaches. I fully expect to see these two in better films in the future, although given this is Lanter’s second session in the F&S dungeon, having previously starred in Disaster Movie, maybe not.

Vampires Suck is a pathetic reminder of how the art of the spoof movie has been all but lost since about 1995. A Jonas Brothers joke was the only line that garnered so much as a faint chuckle out of me, possibly because it was one of the only in a myriad of lame pop culture of the moment jokes that actually had a set-up and some context to it. To see how the comedic talents of Diedrich Bader and Ken Jeong go to waste here is nothing short of criminal. Ah, hell, the whole movie is a crime. Scam artists, I tell you.

Before anyone tries to argue that I’m not the right person to judge Vampires Suck because I’m not a member of the target demographic, I dragged my 16-year-old Twilight-loving niece along with me into this movie hell. She hated it so much it may have actually cured of her of her love for all things Twilight. I only heard her laugh once, and whenever I glanced over to gauge her reaction to the drivel we were watching, she appeared disgusted. Somewhere around the midpoint she leaned over to ask how much longer it would go on; from then on I noticed that she sat arms folded and stone-faced until the ordeal was finally over. Asking her what she thought afterwards, her one-sentence review muttered in a hushed yet very stern voice, “It was foul!” When I jokingly suggested we watch it again, she shot me such an icy stare that if looks could kill, this review would be my epitaph.

Zero Knives, Bitch!

Discuss Vampires Suck in our forums!

Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!

Reviews

Through the Cracks – Trick or Treat (1986) Review

Published

on

Starring Marc Price, Tony Fields, Lisa Orgolini, Glen Morgan, Gene Simmons, and Ozzy Osbourne

Directed by Charles Martin Smith


I have been a horror fan for more than half of my life at this point. Meaning I have seen most of the quality horror offerings under the sun. But that said, every once in awhile a classic sneaks past so we wanted to create this “Through the Cracks” review section for such films.

Case in point, I had never seen the Halloween horror flick Trick or Treat until last night. I know, right? How the hell did that happen? But these things do happen and so for everyone that has seen the flick a million times, this will be a review of the movie from a super horror fan that – at the age of 33 – is seeing Trick or Treat for the very first time.

Now let’s get to it.

First off you have to love the movie’s plot. Mixing horror and heavy metal seems like a given, yet preciously few films Frankenstein these two great tastes together.

Like many of you out there, I am a big metal fan as well as a big horror fan. The two seem to go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Or Jason and horny campers.

I dig bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and even those hair metal bands (Dokken forever!) and I’m well aware of the legends surrounding playing these records backward.

Off the top of my head, the only other flick that combines the two to this degree is the (relatively) recent horror-comedy Deathgasm. I say more horror-metal flicks! Or should we call it Metal-Horror? Yeah, that’s a much more metal title.

It only makes sense that someone, somewhere would take the idea of “What if Ozzy Osbourne really was evil and came back from the dead (you know, if he had passed away during his heyday) to torment a loner fan?” Great premise for a movie!

And Trick or Treat delivers on the promise of this premise in spades. Sammi Curr is an epic hybrid of the best of the best metal frontmen and his resurrection via speaker is one of the great horror birthing scenes I have seen in all my years.

Add to that the film feels like a lost entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. More specifically the film feels like it would fit snugly in between two of my favorite entries in that series, Dream Warriors and The Dream Master.

This movie is 80’s as all f*ck and I loved every minute of it.

And speaking of how this film brought other minor classics to the forefront of my brain, let’s talk about the film’s central villain, Sammi Curr. This guy looks like he could share an epic horror band with the likes of Mary Lou from Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II and the Drill Killer rocker from Slumber Party Massacre Part II.

Picture that band for a moment and tell me they aren’t currently playing the most epic set in Hell as we speak. I say let’s see an Avengers-style series of films based on these minor horror icons sharing the stage and touring the country’s high school proms!

In the end Trick or Treat has more than it’s fair share of issues. Sammi Curr doesn’t enter the film until much too late and is dispatched way too easily. Water? Really? That’s it?

That said, the film is still a blast as director Charles Martin Smith keeps the movie rocking like an 80’s music video with highlights being Sammi’s rock show massacre at the prom and his final assault on our hero teens in the family bathroom.

Rockstar lighting for days.

Even though the film has issues (zero blood, a rushed ending) none of that mattered much to this horror hound as the film was filled to the brim with striking horror/metal imagery and a killer soundtrack via Fastway and composer Christopher Young.

Plus you’ve got to love the cameos by Gene Simmons (boy, his character just dropped right out of the movie, huh?) and Ozzy Osbourne as a mad-as-hell Preacher that isn’t going to take any more of this devil music. P.S. Watch for the post-credits tag.

More than a few of my closest horror buddies have this film placed high on their annual Halloween must-watch lists. And after (finally) viewing the film for myself, I think I just may have to add the film to mine as well. Preferably on VHS.

Trick or Treat is an 80’s horror classic. If you dig films like Popcornand if you put the film off like I did, remedy that tonight and slap a copy in the old VHS/DVD player.

Just don’t play it backward… God knows what could happen.

All said and done, I enjoyed the hell out of my first viewing of Trick or Treat. But what do YOU think of the film? Make sure to hit us up and let us know below or on social media!

Now bring on Trick or Treat 2: The Prom Band from Hell, featuring Sammi Curr, Mary Lou Maloney, and Atanas Ilitch’s Driller Killer from Slumber Party Massacre Part II!

  • Trick or Treat (1986) 3.5
3.5

Summary

Charles Martin Smith’s Trick or Treat is a sure-fire Halloween treat for fans of 80’s horror flicks, as well as fans of heavy metal music.

Sending
User Rating 3.25 (12 votes)
Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Reviews

AHS: Cult Review – Clowns, Cults, Politics, and Peters

Published

on

Starring Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Billie Lourd, Cheyenne Jackson, Frances Conroy, Mare Winningham, and Allison Pill

Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk


** NO SPOILERS **

It’s here. We’ve reached the end. The newest season of “American Horror Story” has ended and now we are here to provide you guys with our season review of AHS: Cult.

Spoiler free.

To start things off let me say I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “American Horror Story”. It breaks down like this: I enjoyed the absolute hell out of the first season of the series (“Murder House”), couldn’t get through “Asylum” (I know, I know, I’ve tried), dug “Coven” for what it was, really enjoyed “Freak Show”, and again I couldn’t get into “Hotel” or “Roanoke”.

That’s the story of me and “American Horror Story”. Plain And simple. But what did I think of the new seventh season of the notorious horror anthology series? Let’s find out.

Back when the seventh season of AHS was first announced (then going by the title “AHS: Election”) I was immediately intrigued by the new season because I heard it would not include any supernatural elements. Like the fourth season, “Freak Show”.

Now I’m a fan of ghosts and weird creature-men with drills for d*cks, don’t get me wrong. But the series has thus far relied almost exclusively on horrors of the supernatural variety (other than “Freak Show”) so this major change of pace was again welcomed by this guy.

Instead of vampires, aliens, and witches this season relied on terrors of the mind. Psychological fears and anxieties. The horrors man does to man. Deep issues.

Oh, and clowns. Like a lot of clowns.

But just because this new season didn’t include anything supernatural, that doesn’t mean the 11-episode season wasn’t filled with twisted visuals and horrifically disturbing acts. No, sir. This season boasted some showstoppers including S&M, gimps, and a house of horrors that wouldn’t be out of place in a Rob Zombie flick. It was all good.

But let’s backtrack a bit here.

Allow me to rundown the season’s plot for those who may be unaware. “AHS: Cult” tells the tale of a world post-election night. The literal dawn of Trump’s America. In one corner we have Sarah Paulson’s soccer mom, trying to fight through life with a series of crippling phobias (including clowns, holes, blood, and being a good person).

And in the other corner, we have Evan Peter’s angry, white (blue-haired) male, looking to seize Trump’s new position of power to bring about the end of… Actually, I want this to be a spoiler-free season review, so I’m just going to say the dude’s got big plans.

Like Manson-size plans. Let’s leave it at that.

With these two characters established, the new season then proceeds to send them spiraling into a collision course of political sabotage, intrigue, and clown-based nope, nope, nope-ing that can only end with one – or both – of them dead as Dillinger.

Overall “AHS: Cult” belonged end-to-end to Mr. Evan Peters. The young actor has continued to show his striking range from season to season of Ryan Murphy’s horror show and this season was no different. Peters’ turn as not only Kai, the blue-haired leader of the titular cult, but as infamous leaders such as David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Charles Manson – to name a few – owed this season.

I can only hope he doesn’t pull a Jessica Lange and opt-out of more AHS next year.

Speaking of top performances, “AHS: Cult ” showcases some other chilling and memorable turns with Alison Pill’s strangely vulnerable, put-upon wife character being the best next to Peters in my eyes. This actress needs to be in more films/TV!

Along with Pill, actress Billie Lourd killed it time and time again. The “Scream Queens” breakout star and Carrie Fisher spawn was yet again a highlight in her second Ryan Murphy series. Bet she has the starring role in next season. Mark my words.

Add to that, the season also boasts a handful of fun cameos, including John Carroll Lynch’s return as Twisty the Clown, Emma Roberts as a bitchy reporter that will do anything to end up on top, and Lena Dunham as SCUM Manifesto writer Valerie Solanas. The cameo cast killed it and I wish they would have been present for more episodes. What are you gonna do?

On the sour side of the season, I didn’t dig Sarah Paulson’s character. At all. But I’m sure that was the point. Right? I’m still not sure. But, boy, I wouldn’t even want to be stuck in line behind her at a Starbucks for three minutes, let alone spend the better part of this season’s 11-hours with her and her whiny bullshite. Urgh.

That said, she pulled it out by the finale. That’s all I’ll say.

In the end, I enjoyed this season as much as – if not more – than any other of the series. “Murder House” will still no doubt go on as my favorite season of the series, but “AHS: Cult” will rank third after season one and “Freak Show”.

While I was on the fence about the season after three episodes, the show ended up ditching Paulson’s character (and/or shifting her arch) after a lull so the episodes picked up quickly. Whenever the season turned its focus back towards Peters (in whichever incarnation he was playing at the time) the show got better and better. Every time.

Not a bad way to spend my Tuesday night for the past 11 weeks.

Bring on season 12.

  • American Horror Story: Cult (2018)
3.5

Summary

The seventh season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story was Evan Peters’ show all the way through. The young actor pulled out all the stops time and time again to make what may have been a lackluster supernatural-free season a winner.

Sending
User Rating 4.08 (13 votes)
Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading

News

The Axiom Review – A Stylish and Clever Slice of Independent Horror

Published

on

By

Starring Hattie Smith, Zac Titus, Nicole Dambro

Directed by Nicholas Woods


The Axiom is an ambitious, well directed, impressively acted and stunningly shot independent horror film that has just a few, teensy little flaws holding it back from greatness (and therefore will have to settle for just being really, really good, instead).

The first thing you realize when watching The Axiom is that this is a beautiful film. Everything is framed and shot in a lush and stylish manner, but one which is always tonally appropriate for the scene.

The second thing you’ll notice, and keep noticing as the film plays out, is that the movie really struck gold with this cast. Not only is there a total lack of the sort of stilted and unnatural acting seen in countless other microbudget horror affairs, but the performances are genuinely fantastic across the board. The main characters are believably chill and relatably normal in the early scenes, and the acting remains just as impressive once things start getting a bit more… intense. It’s not often that an independent horror film has so many good performances that it makes it hard to pick the movie’s acting VIP, but that is undeniably the case here. Taylor Flowers delivers what is probably the showiest performance (and does it very well, indeed), but the entire cast really is quite good.

The central premise of the film is both interesting and original, and touches upon the real life fact (given some recent attention in the ‘Missing 411’ books and documentary) that a lot more people sure seem to go missing out in the woods than seems reasonable, while simultaneously weaving all sorts of folklore, fairy tales and urban legends into the mix. It’s also clever in the way that it very naturally reveals aspects to the relationships between characters that serve to later – or sometimes retroactively – explain some of the more questionable decisions they make or attitudes they display. While that may sound like screenwriting 101, it’s surprising how many films fail to do this. The Axiom rewards the viewer’s attention in other ways as well, with many aspects of the movie that initially feel odd or unnatural receiving reasonable explanations (within the context of the movie) by the end. It’s not quite as challenging (or as rewarding) in this regard as, say, something like Session 9, but it does add a nice layer of complexity to the storytelling.

The film’s score, by Leo Kaliski, is also quite good. There may be a moment here or there where the music hits an overly familiar beat, but overall it not only fits the movie’s tone, but does quite a bit to help set that tone as well.

The only thing that I don’t feel the movie quite pulls off – and I’m trying to be vague here, because I feel like the less you know going into this film, the better – is some of the makeup effects work. The gore stuff is very well executed, but some of the other stuff feels like it was crafted with the intention of shooting it in a more… stylized manner. Instead, filmed as it is here, the result is sometimes less than impressive and can fail to make the impact that the movie seems to be implying that it should. And while some of what the makeup effects lack in execution is made up for with the ingenuity and creativity of their design, it’s still a bit of a shame when they don’t quite pull them off because, aside from a few niggles that I have with the writing, the effects are the only aspect of the film that occasionally fails to live up to the high level of technical proficiency that The Axiom otherwise demonstrates.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:

  • Man, the acting in this movie is really good. The dialogue may stumble once or twice, but these actors always sell it anyway.
  • Give back Mia Sara’s DNA, Hattie Smith!
  • If you’re going to put your female lead in shorts this small, I hope you’re not sensitive to viewers unleashing a nonstop parade of “Has anyone seen my pants / OH GOD WHERE ARE MY PANTS!” jokes.
  • “You just pop this here ‘Blair Witch Stick Person / Anarchy sign’ sticker up on that there windshield of yours, and them park rangers? Well – heh heh – they won’t bother you none, no sir.” Hmmmmm…
  • The film really is shot amazingly well – better than a lot of mainstream releases. Cinematographer Sten Olson has a real future ahead of him.
  • As does writer / director Nicholas Woods, for that matter. Any director who can get this level of quality out of their cast and crew on their first ever film is someone to keep an eye on.
  • “I’ll make a run for it and get help,” says the female lead, and I’m like “Yeah, let her go – she has no pants to weigh her down.”
  • The gore effects in the movie are both realized and utilized very well.
  • Welcome back to horror movies, “I’ll be right back” dialogue spoken unironically by and/or to ill-fated characters.
  • The Axiom
4.0

Summary

In the end, The Axiom is a solid and entertaining flick that manages to wring a level of quality and originality out of the somewhat tired “Don’t Go in the Woods” horror subgenre not seen since 2012’s Cabin in the Woods. The cinematography and acting are hugely impressive, it features a nice, unnerving score, the premise is original and captivating, and the whole thing moves at a nice pace that helps keep the film’s flaws from dragging it down.

Sending
User Rating 4 (17 votes)
Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

From Around the Web

Trending