Vampires Suck (2010)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Vampires Suck</strong> (2010)

(In theaters, August 2010) Given that Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have one of the most pitiful filmographies in cinema history, any savvy filmgoer willingly choosing to go see their fifth film has only themselves to blame if it ends up a terrible experience.  (Even if one’s excuse is, ahem, “I’m on a different continent, I want to see a movie and I’ve seen all of the others at the neighborhood theater.”)  Their concept of “spoof comedies” is closer to “dumb retelling”, and even if Vampires Suck takes on the much-deserving Twilight series as a target, it’s not necessarily any more interesting than its Epic Movie or Disaster Movie predecessors.  They simply re-create a few key sequences, add in more profanity, violence and pop-culture references and expect that the simple shock of recognition is enough to make audiences laugh.  There is little commentary on the source material: both times that Vampires Suck attempt to say something insightful about Twilight, it’s instantly followed by self-congratulatory “I’m so smart!” punch-lines that makes it feel dumber.  Otherwise, the film jerks from one familiar reference to another, occasionally scoring a smirk in the same way a thousand shots from a thousand shotguns will eventually hit something worthwhile.  (That the source material is so poor and so ripe for satire isn’t much of an advantage: I have seen several Livejournal posts from fans getting better laughs out of the series’ problems.)  What’s most striking, I suppose, is the poor quality of the humour and the imagination surrounding the parody: The actors do OK (Jenn Proske is particularly on-target spoofing Kristen Stewart-as-Bella) and the technical qualities of the film are good enough given its budget, but both the writing and direction aren’t anywhere near feature-film quality.  The good news, writing this review after weeks of therapy, is that Vampires Suck didn’t make all that much money: Reviewers can bark and growl impotently, but studio executives looking at financial statements can be far more effective in ensuring that we never see anything from Friedberg/Seltzer again.

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