By Clint Morris
About as pleasant as swiftly ripping a band-aid from a fresh wound, ”Vampires Suck” is the latest in an way-too-long line of soul-sucking time-wasters, shamelessly marketed as ‘comedies’, that don’t so much satire today’s commercial blockbusters as they do replicate complete scenes – right down to the backdrop and costumes. These films – ”Date Movie”, ”Epic Movie”, ”Meet the Spartans” etc – are, one assumes, supposed to be funny, but unfortunately proceedings only get about as rib tickling as Debra Winger’s death scene in ”Terms of Endearment”.
And no exception here, unfortunately.
”Vampires Suck” is, quite simply, an abomination. It’s not the least bit amusing nor inspired – it’s just a barefacedly languid, audience-insulting money- grabber that makes the film they’re purportedly satirizing – like, in this case, ”Twilight” – look much, much, much better than they are (You’ll swear ”Twilight” was directed by Wim Wenders after ”Vampires Suck” has its way with you).
Justin Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer spotlessly recreate, almost shot-for-shot (though shot in Louisiana, the production has even gone so far as to do some exterior shots in Canada – ”Twilight” country), most of the beloved vampire epic ”Twilight”.
The plot? Well, it’s the plot of ”Twilight” – only infused with ridiculous sight-gags and hammy humour.
Becca Crane (Jenn Proske; who I actually feel quite sorry for at times, she does quite a fine job of impersonating Twilight’s Kristen Stewart) is the stand-in for Bella Swann, big-haired pasty-faced Edward Sullen is the film’s Edward Cullen (played by ”Heroes”‘ Matt Lanter), and Chris Riggi channels Taylor Lautner’s Jacob Black as, of course, Jacob White.
Familiar faces like Diedrich Bader (of ”The Drew Carey Show”), Ken Jeong (from all the Judd Apatow flicks), and Dave Foley (TVs ”News Radio”) also appear. … as does, er, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. None of them can save it, not even ‘The Chosen One’.
It’s obvious why Seltzer and Friedberg have, after a couple of weeks off (many hoped they’d retired young), built an entire film around taking the Mickey out of ”Twilight” – as opposed to spoofing say, a dozen or so different films, as they’ve done in their previous films – but hopefully even those that’ll shell-out for anything Twilight-ish are smart enough to smell a turd here.
Long-running sketch series ”Saturday Night Live” is persistently criticized for not being funny. The main problem there is : the creative team spend way too much time on the production design or celebrity impersonation, in turn neglecting the jokes and plot of each skit. As a result, most skits on the show look great but play lousy.
Thing is, at least a couple of the sketches on your average episode of ”SNL” raise a smile, ”Vampires Suck” will have you raising nothing but a hand – trying to get the usher’s attention so he can direct you to the nearest exit.