Vamp U (2013)
Directed by Matt Jespersen and Maclain Nelson
Before we get this review rolling, let's make one thing perfectly clear… there is not one horrific element in Vamp U (formerly titled Dr. Limptooth). However, that does not mean it's not an entertaining film. In fact, Vamp U is a fun, quirky movie containing one awkward situation after another that comes together and will get you laughing as it reimagines the original Dracula story.
And although it is a goofy horror-comedy, the Dracula tale can be found in Vamp U. To sum up the story, our lead vamp is a college professor named Wayne Gretzky…no relation. And they barely address the fact that the vamp is named Wayne Gretzky in the film. But the fact that the filmmakers chose that name, then barely addressed it, comes across as funny. Just one of the quirky things that works in this film. Gretzky accidentally killed the love of his life 300 years previously and has since been unable to extend his fangs. A classic case of vampire impotence as diagnosed by the school psychologist played by the hilarious Gary Cole. (You mayremember him as Bill Lumberg from Office Space.)
Suddenly a co-ed shows up at the college who looks exactly like Gretzky's long lost love, and guess what…yep, she's his vampire Viagra. Unfortunately, he gets a bit carried away again and…well, that's where the film gets really fun. Suffice to say vampire action picks up considerably.
The real strength of Vamp U is the writing. The script is very funny and delivered in a stellar fashion by the cast. Nothing is more humorous than seeing someone in a situation that makes them uncomfortable, and that happens over and over again in this film. Adam Johnson is great as Gretzky, who is trying to hide his vampirism throughout much of the film, leading to some big laughs. Julie Gonzalo provides chuckles and beauty as the professor's new/old love interest. But the biggest laughs come from veteran actor Gary Cole and the duo of Maclain Nelson and Matt Mattson as Tom and Fred, two buffoonish students who get caught in the middle of the whole vampire business. Mattson in particular makes the most of his supporting role, getting plenty of laughs with every on-screen appearance.
Vamp U tells a serviceable story with a nice twist at the end. There is very little by way of F/X to talk about, but the movie revolves around vampires so it does qualify as a horror-comedy. And although it's short on the horror side, it brings consistent sit-com-esque laughs throughout the hour and a half runtime. The movie is not going to blow your doors off with amazing F/X or fall on the floor laughs, but Vamp U definitely is entertaining. If you're looking for something lighthearted and fun, this is definitely a great choice. You'll fall in love with Wayne Gretzky just like Edmonton Oilers fans did in the 80's.
3 1/2 out of 5