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DVD Review: Vampires Suck

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RIP, Leslie Nielsen. With the passing of Leslie Nielsen, we mourn the death of one of the very best deadpan comedians—his movie parody (Airplane, Naked Gun) roles elevated him from an okay actor to a man in demand. Film parodies are pretty much hit-or-miss. When they are done well, they are done very, very well, when they are not…ugh. Nielsen could do them well.

Vampires Suck is the latest parody on DVD and it is full of surprises. The first surprise is that it is actually funny. As in laugh out loud. Although it is a take-off on Twilight and its evil offspring, anyone who is somewhat culturally literate can appreciate the gags and storyline of Vampires Suck.

Another area where hit-or-miss applies to well-made parodies is that they are bursting at the seams with jokes; if one fails, the next one comes so quickly you’ve forgotten the failure. And, let’s face it, people do enjoy groaners.

A constant barrage of cultural references (the Kardashians, the Jonas brothers, Jersey Shore, Lady GaGa,Taylor Swift, etc.) keeps the knowing audience awake, anticipating the next big laugh. In addition to the jokes, Vampires Suck is filled with sight-gags; don’t take your eyes from the screen or you’ll miss one.

Jenn Proske (Becca) infuses the new-girl-in-town role with enough angst to fill several films—her mannerisms and delivery are spot-on, which is important since she is in nearly every scene. Matt Lanter plays the brooding Edward Sullen, a study in sensitivity and repressed lust. Diedrich Bader is outstanding in the small role of Becca’s absolutely clueless father who happens to be the Sporksville sheriff, and Anneliese van der Pol is very funny as Becca’s animated best-friend-for-now. The entire cast of werewolves, vampires, and assorted other creatures (including people) play their roles “straight,” an interpretation that adds to the hilarity.

I had very low expectations of Vampires Suck. I make it a practice to avoid other reviews before I’ve seen a film, but I accidentally found myself reading a few and they were not good. In fact, I wasn’t even going to force FCE to watch it with me (I really don’t want to die), but we both found it immensely entertaining. Yes, some of the humor is goofy or stupid, but it works. I especially loved the fake squirrel—kudos for using such an obviously phony prop—it reinforced the spoofiness of the endeavor.

For the record: the Vampires Suck DVD includes both the theatrical and unrated versions of the film; we watched the theatrical version.

Bottom Line: Would I buy/rent/stream Vampires Suck? Rent or stream. I am not a fan or hater of the Twilight franchise, and I enjoyed Vampires Suck for its absolute silliness. It made me laugh many times, and that—in itself—is high praise.

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