I'm supposed to. I mean,
Anyway, Friedberg and Seltzer's tried-and-really-not-all-that-true tactic usually isn't parody so much as a pop culture blitzkrieg: y'know, whatever was getting riffed on The Soup seven months ago. I mean, Borat might show up in a mankini, say "very nice!", and walk off. They aren't jokes: they're references. The plots for Friedberg and Seltzer's flavor of dreck usually string together whatever's in the trailers for that summer's tentpole blockbuster types and awkwardly try to piece all of it together into a comedy. Vampires Suck, meanwhile, sticks to poking fun at the Twilight franchise. Twilight's pretty much a perfect target for parody, being so ridiculous and yet taking itself so seriously, plus it gives Friedberg and Seltzer more focus than they've ever really had before. Concentrating on one franchise inspires the two of 'em to be more clever than the rest of the Movie Movies, so instead of Mr. T showing up and saying "I pity the vampire fool", and then another character helpfully explains that this is indeed Mr. T from the 1980s NBC action series The A-Team, and then a buffalo falls on him, you actually get something resembling parody. Vampires Suck mocks the slo-mo longing glances from the first Twilight flick, f'r instance. Becca slaps on her headphones, cues up the "Teen Angst Mix" on her iPod, and a dead-on spoof of the mopey indie rock from the Twilight soundtracks kicks in. There's a "Sad Misunderstood New Student with Crappy Old Truck Parking Only" sign in the Sporks High parking lot. I'm not saying it's genius or anything, but a couple of them got a laugh, and it shows that Friedberg and Seltzer really are capable of actual parody when they put their minds to it.
Unlike the chintzy, cut-rate Disaster Movie, the look of Vampires Suck is pretty slick. A lot of care clearly went into crafting an angsty indie rock soundtrack that genuinely sounds like real songs. I'm also really impressed with the cast. Jenn Proske (playing almost-Bella), Matt Lanter (sparkly vampire Edward), and Chris Riggi (Jacob the dog-faced boy) strike an absolute perfect balance between the mopey angst of Twilight and the deliriously over-the-top cartooniness a parody like this demands. The three of 'em really throw themselves into this, and they grab hold of a lot of lackluster gags and elevate them into something better. It's also not hard to argue that they're prettier than the stars of the actual Twilight series, especially the ridiculously cute Jenn Proske.
So, yeah: I like the cast, I think the whole thing is surprisingly well-produced, and the writing's marginally
Vampires Suck may not be good in the sense of...well, anything, ever, but it somehow manages to be surprisingly watchable. Vampires Suck breezes along too quickly to ever get boring, so I didn't find myself checking my watch every twenty seconds the way I do with a lot of bloated, meandering comedies these days (look forward to more jabs at The Other Guys in a week or two!). It's kinda nice to see that someone has a sense of pace and remembers a time when comedies didn't need to run as long as Apocalypse Now. Again, I really dig the cast, the production values are shockingly high, and this is easily the best comedy that Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have helmed yet. Maybe that's like talking about the best type of hernia, so don't take that as an actual recommendation or anything, but...yeah. I don't hate Vampires Suck. That's a long, long way from "I like it!", but for someone who really loves or really can't stomach Twilight, I seriously might consider it as a rental. Rent It.
Trash the movie all you want, but Vampires Suck still looks kinda gorgeous in high-def. Fine detail and contrast are both first-rate, and the palette convincingly mimics Twilight's frigid blues and greens. The movie's faintly gritty texture gives Vampires Suck a nicely filmic look to it, and there's no sign of any heavy-handed digital noise reduction. I couldn't spot any edge enhancement, digital artifacting, speckling or wear...pretty much everything in the Blu-ray Reviewer Big Book of Things to Bitch About is pulled off really well this time around. No, the one flaw I came across a few times here is a little more exotic. There's some text that's splashed across the screen really early on that's strangely aliased, and a few patterns -- foliage in just about any wide shot as well as the straw blanketing the forest when Becca's stranded out that way -- are shimmering and unstable. That's enough to ding the overall score down by at least a half-star. Other than that, though, Vampires Suck looks pretty much perfect on Blu-ray.
Vampires Suck is served up on a dual layer Blu-ray platter. The image has been lightly letterboxed to an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and has been encoded with AVC. Fox has taken advantage of seamless branching to pile on these two different cuts of the movie rather than needlessly bothering with separate encodes for each.
Vampires Suck also sports a pretty solid 24-bit, six-channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. The movie's dialogue remains consistently clean and clear throughout, even when you kinda wish it wouldn't. All the punches, kicks, and cripple-rassling are reinforced by a meaty low-end. The angsty indie rock comes through sounding rich and full-bodied too. The surrounds aren't spastic but get a reasonable amount of use: mostly atmospheric rather than to punctuate the action, although there is some of that, like when...um, Becca farts which sends Edward tumbling out her bedroom window. It's a solid track for this sort of comedy, and I don't have any gripes.
A Dolby Digital 5.1 dub in French has also been crammed on here along with subtitles in English (SDH) and Spanish.
This Blu-ray disc piles on two cuts of Vampires Suck: the PG-13 theatrical cut and an unrated version. The difference in runtime is less than
Vampires Suck does have one other extra, but because Fox wants to pretend that anyone cares about BD Live, you have to download it online even though there's plenty of real estate free on the disc. "Who Makes a Better Lover? Vampires or Werewolves" spends two minutes alternating between one-liners from the cast and clips from the movie. It's a promotional piece, really.
The Final Word
I know I'm supposed to get all snarky and bitchy about Vampires Suck, and...yeah, it's pretty terrible. At the same time, at least it's never boring, and I laughed a couple of times, which is more than I can say for a lot of comedies. I'd rather watch this again than The Other Guys, and the kinda-sorta promise that Vampires Suck offers up is enough to make me think that Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer may hammer out a worthwhile parody one day after all. I'll give it a marginal "eh, I guess you might find it worth a rental" recommendation, so...sure! Rent It. Maybe.