After their cancerous 2008 effort, "Disaster Movie," I honestly thought that would be the end of filmmakers Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, two poisonously unfunny fellows who personally suffocated the parody genre with lethal features such as "Epic Movie," "Date Movie," and "Meet the Spartans." Because Hollywood is always on the hunt for a fast buck, the prankster pair has returned with "Vampires Suck," another unreasonably amateurish spoof film, only now their sights have been trained on the easiest target imaginable: the "Twilight" saga.
Arriving in the mysterious town of Sporks, Becca (Jenn Proske) has come to live with her father (Diedrich Bader), hoping to fit in amongst the rampant vampire population that has swallowed the community. Making friends at school, Becca soon falls under the spell of Edward Sullen (Matt Lanter), a bothered, pasty vampire who falls hopelessly in love with the shy teen, yet pushes her away due to his bloodsucking ways. Hoping to divert Becca's gaze is Jacob (Chris Riggi), a burgeoning werewolf who's madly in love, fighting off his half-dog impulses to impress his crush. With a trio of evil vampires on the hunt for Edward and fanged lords the Zolturi (including Ken "I'll do anything for a dollar" Jeong) approaching, Becca must battle to save her true love from destruction.
To dig up some pebbles of positivity here, "Vampires Suck" is truly the finest film Friedberg and Seltzer have dragged into view. The microscopic elevation in spirits is brought on by the filmmakers' hesitation in making the movie a pop culture free-for-all, with every possible Tiger Beat-approved reference thrown into a blender set to "suicide-inducingly unfunny." I'm not suggesting there's even a frame of this picture that's remotely humorous, but the restraint is perceptible. Sure, some throwaway bits with "Alice in Wonderland," Lady Gaga, and Tiger Woods are paraded around, but the primary focus for "Vampires Suck" is the unrelenting razzing of the blockbuster "Twilight" universe.
While I'm all tingly about their stripped down approach, "Vampires Suck" is still a ragingly contemptible comedy, deprived of even a morsel of creativity or basic goofball proficiency. Making fun of "Twilight" is like fishing with dynamite, leaving the pathetic passes at satire in this picture embarrassing to behold. Jacob's werewolf clan a pack of dancing homosexuals? The teen monster's canine tendencies? Becca's dad having an affair with a blow-up sex doll? It's all wholly unfunny and depressingly pedestrian, with the average outcast YouTube video wizard achieving more of a direct hit on what makes the Stephenie Meyer saga so utterly ludicrous. Heck, the "Twilight" movies themselves have a more fruitful self-referential yank than "Vampires Suck," and those things are most dour pictures around.
Also a grave disappointment is Proske's worthless performances as Becca. Offered a golden opportunity to rip open Kristen Stewart's tic-plastered, mope-encased acting range, and Proske blows it big time. Instead, the young actress simply attempts to simulate Stewart's wintry poise, not her overwhelming indication. It's an incredible letdown.
What we have with "Vampires Suck" is simply Friedberg and Seltzer doing what they always do: tanking every possible joke, cramming in as much blatant product placement as possible, and smashing the ensemble in the face. These guys adore their body trauma, which makes up 75% of the comedy in the movie. None of it registers as even remotely amusing, but the filmmakers don't really mind. To them, brutality equals instant laughs. I beg to differ.
"Vampires Suck" is present in two versions: a Theatrical Cut (82:01) and an Extended Unrated Cut (83:47). The differences are negligible, mostly contained to a team of Jell-O wrestlers Becca must navigate through in the opening and close of the picture. I recommend skipping both versions. Take a nap instead.
The AVC encoded image (1.85:1 aspect ratio) supports the comedic mood of the film with excellent clarity. Detail is effective with sight gags (especially the bloodier business), permitting the viewer a chance to inspect the finer points of the parody in play. Also easy to spot on the BD are the CG-enhanced special effects, which stand out during the presentation. Light grain lends the image fresh texture, which comes in handy for costuming and make-up particulars. Colors punch nicely, with yellow eyes and forest greens making a strong impact, while shadow detail is supportive, keeping information active during low-light sequences.
The 5.1 DTS-HD sound mix is vigorous for this cartoon feature, conveying the slapstick tone of the picture with a crisp, clean track. Low-end in engaged during soundtrack cuts and violent encounters, while dialogue is preserved competently, if thin at times, kept in a more frontal state to help solidify the verbal execution. Surrounds are employed for atmospherics, with grand crowd antics in place during the film's bookend battle sequences. Nothing here creates the greatest aural urgency, but the track stays in step with the visual elements, supporting the jokes with acceptably separated and arranged sound effects and dialogue exchanges. A French 5.1 mix is also included.
English SDH and Spanish subtitles are offered.
"Deleted Scenes" (12:34) showcases more gems from the filmmakers, including wacky school parking lot signage for Becca to observe, some frantic sleepwalking habits from the ingénue, a "Dear John" riff, an extended deliberation on the whereabouts of Mexican vampires, a herpes sight gag, and a bit more goofballery with David Foley and Ken Jeong.
"Gag Reel" (3:50) is a routine showcase of cast and crew mix-em-ups, showing off the clumsiness of the ensemble.
And a Theatrical Trailer is included.
I'd pass along that "Vampires Suck" is a waste of time and film, that it never comes close to a single laugh, spotlights humiliating performances, and generally goes out of its way to be one of the worst, most shamelessly slapdash films of 2010. But I'm sure you already knew that. If you have or know a teenager with a pocket full of BD spending money, please take the time to remind each and every one of them that there's so much other nonsense they could waste their coin on this holiday season.
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