Warning! This is not a review of the finished movie! This is a review of a work print, and may not reflect the finished product. It’s quite possible that the final cut is even worse.
I now know what it is like to die. We are all going to Hell, because only in a world ruled by Satan and devoid of a kind and loving God could a movie like Vampires Suck exist.
To put it another way, this is not a very good movie. It’s an utterly toothless satire of Twilight and New Moon, and if that pun made you laugh, then you’re in luck – a large majority of the jokes in the movie are puns ripped straight from the pages of a knock-knock joke book for third graders. This replaces the duo’s former tropes of lame Michael Jackson jokes and Brangelina adoption references. This movie actually shows Friedberg and Seltzer breaking some new comedy ground by exchanging some of their old bad habits for new habits that are bad in completely different ways. For example, there isn’t a single midget to be found, and only one character gets farted on. Also gone are the parade of endless pop-culture references and characters from random movie trailers. These have been replaced by… absolutely nothing. Vampires Suck may very well be the first comedy ever made that consists almost entirely of characters walking between set-pieces, and occasionally driving between them. Most of this is in slow-motion. Not all has changed, though – the movie contains the absolutely staggering amount of fight sequences and totally pointless dance-offs that Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer are known for. In fact, the last fifteen minutes are almost entirely made up of alternating dancing and fighting scenes.
Now, I know my usual thing with reviews of these kinds of movies is to go over every single joke, but I can’t bring myself to do that for this one. Not because the jokes are so excruciatingly bad, but because they’re so excruciatingly dull (also, because since the movie’s not out yet, I’m trying to keep my spoilage to the bare minimum as to not get sued.) At least Disaster Movie had the courtesy to be spectacularly atrocious. If anything, it exists as a time capsule of the very moment we, as a society, decided that having people dressed like pop culture figures walk onto the screen and state their name directly into the camera could constitute as an entire joke. Vampires Suck, however, is so unremittingly lame that mocking it seems almost cruel. For example, take the scene that parodies the part in New Moon where Bella drives a motorcycle really fast down a winding dirt road. In Vampires Suck, Bella drives a motorcycle really fast down a winding dirt road… while playing a guitar! Or, take the parody of with scene from Twilight where Edward watches Bella sleep. In Vampires Suck, Edward watches Bella sleep… while wearing curlers in his hair and applying Crest Whitestrips! How the fuck do you even make fun of something like that? It’s two minutes of setup apiece, and neither one ends in a complete punchline. It’s the cinematic equivalent of an editorial cartoon from Readers Digest. “Werewolf peeing on a fire hydrant” is ripped straight out of a Halloween-themed colouring book. “Vampires eat Count Chocula” is so lame it wouldn’t be printed on a box of Count Chocula.
Let’s try going over the very first scene in detail. The movie opens with Edward Sullen (if you’re already rolling your eyes, I highly recommend closing your browser window now) exposing himself to the Volturi at a Vampire-themed High School prom. Stripping naked in the sunlight, his body starts to glitter and his penis turns into a disco ball (this is the audience’s cue to march out of the theatre and demand a refund.) The Volturi stand around and apply sunblock while drinking True Blood out of 40oz malt liquor bottles. A swarm of women in Team Edward shirts, and another swarm of women in Team Jacob shirts, start duking it out with medieval weapons for no particular reason, except to introduce a running gag where Twilight is a series of books and movies that exists in a universe that’s identical to Twilight already, except with far more characters getting kicked in the groin. This gag later culminates into the cast going to the movies to watch Eclipse and spoiling the ending to the people waiting in line. It’s the kind of metahumor that Mel Brooks could pull off effortlessly in his prime. Vampires Suck, however, makes Dracula: Dead and Loving It seem like Young Frankenstein. It makes Stan Helsing seem like Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Anyway, Bella comes running to save him, leaping high into the air in slow motion, a gag that will be repeated approximately one hundred and eighty billion times by the end of the movie. A vampire with one giant middle tooth leaps in the air to stop Becca. The movie freeze-frames here, and it’s the last we’ll see of the Volturi again until this exact same scene happens again during the climax in slightly under an hour.
That’s less than two minutes of running time right there. By the 18 minute mark, there have already been two giant fight scenes, two incest jokes, a bowling ball getting dropped on a baby, the cast of The Jersey Shore showing up in a high school cafeteria for no reason whatsoever, and good look at a vampire’s Facebook profile (same as everyone’s, apparently). Twilight’s famous scene of a fan blowing Bella’s scent to Edward is parodied by having Edward put on a hazmat suit. A man gets his neck broken and screams in pain for a disturbing length of time. Bella farts in her sleep and blows Edward out the window. Edward shows he’s dangerous by shooting Alice and knocking her down the rabbit hole. Edward is attacked by a vampire squirrel. I’m not even skipping that much – the movie is really that devoid of jokes, and the ones that do exist really are that dire. The jokes that aren’t horribly disgusting are so juvenile they’d be rejected from a Saturday morning cartoon. Vampires put condiments on people, drink blood with a silly straws, wear false teeth, see the big picture by literally looking at a giant picture, and walk human-form werewolves on leashes. A vampire drinks someone’s blood by biting them on the INSERT FANGS HERE tattoo on their neck. The movie ends with Ken Jeong being made Prom King, a plot that was only introduced five minutes earlier, and Edward gets killed by a girl with a TEAM JACOB shirt. It’s even more boring to write about than it is to watch, and I can’t imagine reading it is any easier. And I haven’t even touched on the smaller gags, like how all the businesses in town of Sporks (yes, Sporks) are Vampire-themed.
There are exactly five punchlines that the movie recycles over and over again, and they are LOL VAMPIRES, LOL GROSS, LOL PUN, LOL GAY, and LOL BLACK. I’ve covered the first three in more than enough detail already, but the last two deserve a brief look. I’ve accused Friedberg and Seltzer of making movies that come across homophobic and racist in the past, and this movie isn’t any different. All of the buff, shirtless natives are flamingly gay and dance to “It’s Raining Men”, and the black vampire is perpetually stoned. The movie has exactly one black character, and he’s a stoner. In 2010. I honestly can’t remember a single black character from any Seltzerberg movie that wasn’t a massive pothead, or a single gay character that wasn’t flaming. I’m not sure how a script with a gay character yelling “Go get him, girls!” to a bunch of other gay men managed to get greenit in twenty fucking ten, but here it is!
The casting of this movie is just downright depressing. The head of the Volturi is played by Ken Jeong, who gets maybe five minutes of screen time, and manages to do absolutely nothing with it. His character is given no motivation or character definition, and his pasty white makeup ends up making him look like he has food poisoning. Dave Foley has even less screen time as the High School principal, and spends his few brief scenes on the verge of tears and with a look of utter self-loathing in his eyes. Diedrich Bader, who plays Bella’s father, gives the movie its single good performance, and occasionally manages to reel the movie in from “unwatchable” to just “bad”. The rest of the cast is passable, neither good or memorably bad. Everyone and everything is just so forgettable that I started hoping for a truly terrible performance just so something interesting would happen.
The movie simply putts along from scene to scene until at some point it decides to end. In case you’re curious what the movie’s actually about, the first half is Twilight, and the second half is New Moon. If you thought those movies were hard to sit through on their own, just wait until you get to sit through both! The movie edges over the line from bad to godawful right around the time the vampires eat finger sandwiches with actual fingers in them, and it just keeps getting worse and worse until it finally mercifully ends. Instead of an endless parade of pop culture crap, it’s just a straight retelling of the first two Twilight movies, except with vampires putting condiments on people, and the occasional racist slam against black people. Even the cast members don’t seem to be having any fun. It’s just a completely miserable and joyless experience, and I seriously doubt any amount of editing can change that. It’s only 75 minutes long, but it’s only surpassed by Nukie in “perceived length of movie vs. actual length” agony.
I seriously doubt there will be a worse movie released this year, or any year.
Rating: 0 out of 5 bats