Vampires Suck (2010)


Vampires Suck

No, it’s too easy. Just like the lame gags in this latest cinematic cesspool from no talent writer/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the title Vampires Suck will not be spun into some clever critical condemnation of this proposed comedy. Just like referencing Jersey Shore, Tiger Woods, and those moldering old slags from six months ago, the Kardashians, this latest entry in the duo’s dimwitted burlesque (including Meet the Spartans, Epic, Scary, Date, and Disaster Movie) fails to find anything remotely winning with its hunt and peck sense of humor. Taking on Twilight should be a no brainer, especially in a current pop culture climate that embraces such true blood takes on the genre. Sadly, while the subject provides ample opportunity for full on spoofing, Friedberg and Seltzer come up short — incredibly bad movie short.

Gloomy emo chick Becca (Jenn Proske) is forced to leave home by her adulterous mother, ending up with her ineffectual father in the neckbiter haven of Sporks. Yes, this equally dismal slice of pseudo Pacific Northwest is home to various and sundry Nosferatus, including the Sullen clan — incestuous creatures who’ve turned their thirst for blood into a decent place in the local social scene hierarchy. Edward (Matt Lanter) is perhaps the brood’s most hip, even if his mangled metrosexual looks suggests someone who should be rejected, not revered.

Of course, he is instantly smitten with Becca and her unusual aroma (as well as her raging hormones and lack of moral compass). This makes her former childhood friend Jacob (Chris Riggi) angrier than a muscular Native American shapeshifter in heat. When a trio of evil vampires show up looking to kill Becca, as well as undermine Edward with the ruling Zolturi (led by Ken Jeong), our love triangle will have to take time out from mentally undressing each other to battle the bad guys. The weapons of choice? Bad puns and even worse one-liners.  

If anyone deserves to be razzed up the wazoo, it’s Stephenie Meyer and that mediocre mimicry of Anne Rice known as Twilight. Like any other unnecessary phenomenon, it’s a crazed cult better endured than explained. To their sole credit, Friedberg and Seltzer get the inexplicably scattered nature of these narratives down cold. Just when you think a situation will resolve itself semi-logically, Vampires Suck copies the whiplash inducing plot shifts of Eclipse, or New Moon and we kinda giggle at the goofiness. On the downside, the duo do absolutely nothing with said opportunities. Instead, they toss out the Carrot Top level sight gags (a box of Count Chocula cereal?) and random shout outs to quasi-celebrities.

Even worse, Vampires Suck makes no attempt to truly mock the mannered acting work of Twilight throbs Kristen Stewart, Rob Pattinson, or Taylor Lautner. Anyone whose sat through the first three entries in this seemingly endless franchise will recognize this trio’s performance flaws, all of which are perfectly situated for such comedic disparagement (heck — a whole other film could be made out of Ms. Stewart’s dramatic pauses). Instead, Friedberg and Seltzer aim low…and then miss. Even the ridiculous levels of overdone angst in these arch adolescent Harlequin romances are referenced and then forgotten for more fart jokes. No one expected something smart or savvy from this pathetic pair, but did they have to leave so much untapped material listing limply in the breeze?

Oddly enough, 2010 marks the 30th anniversary of the satire that started the post-modern craze: the brilliant Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker riff Airplane! Three decades later, the artform has morphed into this numb-skulled nonsense. Vampires Suck should have been the final word on all things Team Edward and Jacob. Instead, it ends up being nothing more than Team Terrible.