It’s always dorkiest before the breaking dawn. Vampires Suck (2010)
I’m unapologetically fond of dumb spoof movies. I’m sorry, but that’s just how I am. Oh, I can embrace the abstract intellectualism of Jonathan Glazer or disdain the nihilistic art house pretension of Nicholas Winding Refn till the cows come home, but a little bit of me is forever the sniggering school kid who watched, wide-eyed, as “Airplane!” made an indelibly crass mark on his psyche. Now that’s not to say I love all parody movies unconditionally or uncritically, far from it. There are truly great ones: “Top Secret!”, “The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad” and even “The Kentucky Fried Movie” but there are also terrible ones like “A Haunted House 2” or “The Hungover Games”. Happily, if possibly controversially, I’m here to make the case for “Vampires Suck” as being closer to the former than the latter.
Mopey teen Becca (Jenn Proske) moves to Sporks to live with her dad and enrols at the local school where she falls under the spell of brooding Edward Sullen (Matt Lanter), oblivious to the affections of old family friend Jacob (Christopher N. Riggi). She soon comes to realise that Edward is, in fact, a vampire and that their romance is doomed.
From the rundown ramshackle barn which serves as the stable of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, “Vampires Suck” succeeds mostly because it remains focussed on a single main target, the “Twilight” series. Yes, it’s puerile, sophomoric and recklessly scattergun in its approach but the end result is no more absurd or offensive than the fact that the actual “Twilight” saga managed to entrap so many talented and fine actors in its tangled, turgid web. It may be my complete antipathy to Stephanie Meyers’ magnum opus than makes me predisposed to give “Vampires Suck” an easy ride, but it’s hard not to laugh when it’s landing punches on the very things you think are stupid about the original.
Jenn Proske mercilessly skewers Kristen Stewart’s moodily affected performance and Matt Lanter nails the comic contradictions of a 118-year-old teenager as they lampoon the utter ridiculousness of a love story based on a girl choosing between necrophilia and bestiality based in a high school. It’s not worthy, important cinema or trenchant social commentary but so what? You can dine on haute cuisine every day, but still sometimes yearn for a greasy kebab from the van after a few pints. In fact, have a couple more beers to wash down that kebab while you’re watching this and you might just have a bit of fun yourself.