A "Lucky Winner" Chimes In With Our First LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS Review!
While I wasn't terribly impressed with the teaser trailer for LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS, it's going to take more than fifty-two seconds of tepid marketing to completely sour me on a film called LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS. The film stars James Corden and Matthew Horne of the BBC's GAVIN & STACEY, and appears to be an attempt at replicating the comedy/horror crossover success of SHAUN OF THE DEAD. Does it succeed? Let's ask our "Lucky Winner"...
Last night I got to see the new UK comedy/horror ‘Lesbian Vampire Killers’. I haven't seen a review of it anywhere yet so thought that I'd send one in.
My girlfriend subscribed to the film's official website as she is a big ‘Gavin and Stacey’ fan (it has won lots of awards and stuff here in Great Britain) and we were lucky enough (if ’lucky’ is the word I should really use) to get a pair of tickets to attend an ‘exclusive’ Soho screening in London. The room was small, with only about 50 seats - which were all full. I think it must have been the film company's own private screening room? It was certainly nicer than any proper cinema I’ve ever been in before, though we couldn't buy any refreshments before we went in.
Before I start I must point out that I am not really a fan of the Gavin and Stacey TV show, just so people know where I’m coming from.
So, on to the film itself (or what I can remember of it)...
– spoiler alert –
It’s a mixed bag really. The film starts with a silly prologue that tells you the story of an ancient curse that has befallen a local town and we are treated to some green-screened special effects and a bit of humour which was entertaining enough.
Then we meet Jimmy and Flitch – 'Gavin and Stacey's' Matt Horne and James Corden, who are both having a very bad day. Flitch is fired from his job as a children’s clown for punching a child (he has anger management issues) and Jimmy is dumped by his annoying girlfriend, Judy.
They decide to go on holiday to cheer themselves up (like in 'Withanil and I') and, would you believe it, end up in a remote town (like in 'Withnail and I') that happens to be under attack from Lesbian Vampires (not like 'Withnail and I').
There’s an American Werewolf-type scene in a pub where they meet the locals – including an angry vicar (funnily enough, played by 'Withnail and I's' Paul McGann) whose daughter is about to succumb to the curse and from there they get sent to a local boarding house where they can stay for free – and where the landlord has just happened to have sent a coach-load of sexy foreign art students. From hereon in, things happen fast... there’s an attractive head vampire who is trying to resurrect her dead queen and it just so happens that Jimmy’s blood is the key – he is the great, great grandson of a man you see in the prologue – the man who originally slayed the Vampire Queen and he has a birthmark that gives that fact away.
It unfolds fairly as you would expect from here, with the various foreign students girls being vampirized and Jimmy and Flitch having to fight for their survival. Jimmy starts to fall for one of the students (who conveniently also happens to be a virgin) only for them both to be captured by the head vampire. That forces Flitch to join forces with the vicar to try and save them, which then involves them both digging up the grave of Jimmy’s ancestor and using his specially forged ‘power sword’ to kill the Vampire Queen - a sword that is supposed to have a handle shaped like a penis – something which Flitch finds very funny in the film, but looked just like an ordinary sword to my girlfriend and I?
Flitch is attacked by the vicars daughter, who has just turned 18 and been overtaken by the curse and he accidentally kills her, when she runs onto the power sword. Luckily the vicar doesn’t notice (and Flitch sure as heck doesn't tell him) and they head off to save Jimmy and the remaining foreign girl he has been kidnapped with.
This all builds to a big showdown, with the Lesbian Vampire Queen being resurrected and all hell set to break loose, but what follows is a somewhat lacklustre fight between the foreign girl and the head vampire and Jimmy using the sword to kill the Vampire queen, which all happens so fast it is all a bit anti-climactic.
Then, having saved the day, they drive off into the sunrise having decided to become the ‘Lesbian Vampire Killers’ of the title and we are treated to one final visual joke (that I wasn’t expecting) that actually made me laugh out loud. It is both silly and nonsensical, but I won’t spoil it for you (as I seem to have already spoiled everything else). And that's pretty much it.
The special effects are okay (assuming this was made on a low budget) and it is reasonably well filmed, but some of the scenes do feel a bit cheap, as though they might have ran out of money to dress the background and stuff and most of the action at the end takes place in the same fake-looking forrest setting.
Ultimately as a horror film it falls down on not being scary and the vampires aren’t really very sexy either – in fact you really don’t get to see enough of the vampires, which is a shame, especially as the title suggests you might see a truck load of them. That said, the film does seem to have been played for the laughs more than for the scares, but I did feel let down because of it, especially as I wasn’t scared at all and my girlfriend only properly jumped twice (and she is what I call a ‘jumper’).
The real saving graces are James Corden and Paul McGann, who play their parts very well – with special attention to James Corden, who I was not really a big fan of before, but as a result of seeing this, has earned enough good will from me to give ‘Gavin and Stacey’ another try (which has made my girlfriend very happy). He keeps the film alive, but when he isn’t on the screen, you really miss him, especially when Jimmy's girlfriend is one screen who is so bad it prompted my girlfriend to nudge me and tell me 'she's awful' ten minutes in to the film.
Ultimately it is a forgettable film that I’d only properly recommend to ‘Gavin and Stacey’ fans and it is not going to re-invent the British vampire film like ‘Shaun of the Dead’ did with Zombie flicks – in fact they couldn’t be more different as this feels more like an attempt to make an old Hammer-type film whereas I think Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright went for a George Romero-like horror film - but as long as you aren’t looking to be terrified or titillated it is quite funny in parts of it – again, my girlfriend was laughing at it a lot. But the director is certainly no Edgar Wright and doesn’t seem to know his genre well enough. He should go back to his DVD collection and re-watch ‘Spaced’, ‘Evil Dead’ and ‘Twins of Evil’ before he attempts to make anything else in this genre.
So there you go. It’s a 5 out of 10 score for the film for me, but if this helps as any kind of indication, there were two 16 year old boys there who thought it was ‘brilliant’. It’s really not... but then again, I’m 28!
If you use this, call me the ‘Lucky_Winner?’
The lesbian vampires "aren't really very sexy"? This is troubling. But I've a question for you, Lucky Winner: do you think Hilary Swank is hot?
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Jan. 23, 2009, 6:31 p.m. CST
First! (but does it matter on such an inconsequential post?)
Jan. 23, 2009, 6:41 p.m. CST
So this is what it feels like. Hmmph.
Jan. 23, 2009, 6:41 p.m. CST
to highlight clever remarks (they really are clever) (thank you).
Jan. 23, 2009, 6:42 p.m. CST
by James Westfall
This review fails--!
Jan. 23, 2009, 6:42 p.m. CST
Jan. 23, 2009, 6:42 p.m. CST
haha, sorry, just came off the top of my head.
Jan. 23, 2009, 6:45 p.m. CST
what's a vampire?
Jan. 23, 2009, 6:53 p.m. CST
I fucking bet she is... Personally I think Mat Horne is a crap actor and easily the worst thing in Gavin & Stacey (which IS a great show, one of the best comedies the UK has had in years, it has the guts to include the poignant moments that IMO all the best comedies need) but James Corden is good, if annoying in real life! It's a shame this doesn't sound as good as it should do, but I'm still gonna check it out. It was never gonna beat Edgar Wright's movies.
Jan. 23, 2009, 7:22 p.m. CST
That was tooooo easy and then they screwed it up.
Jan. 23, 2009, 7:25 p.m. CST
I smell crossover potential!
Jan. 23, 2009, 7:28 p.m. CST
like Stirba from The Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf. she was all kinds of hot, even the black lady too!!
Jan. 23, 2009, 7:40 p.m. CST
See you next month.
Jan. 23, 2009, 8:28 p.m. CST
It doesn't take a genius to see that this thing (which obviously wasn't made for a lot) is going to do well in the UK because of its connections to the Gavin And Stacy tv show which I've never seen(incidentally someone at work tried to push their dvd boxset on me recently and I backed slowly out of the door) and from teenagers who think the title is great.<p>It's a win-win situation for the makers whether critics like it or not.
Jan. 23, 2009, 8:30 p.m. CST
..or do the vampires only go after lesbians in the first place? I got the idea that there actually wasn't much lesbianism going on this movie from the review, which sort of defeats the whole purpose of the title.
Jan. 23, 2009, 8:34 p.m. CST
I barely made it through the review. I can't imagine devoting my time to the movie itself. I'd rather re-watch Andy Warhol's BLOOD FOR DRACULA, a truly frakkin' hilarious vampire flick.
Jan. 23, 2009, 8:47 p.m. CST
by Gungan Slayer
What can go wrong?
Jan. 23, 2009, 9:46 p.m. CST
This is our generation's Morons From Outer Space.
Jan. 23, 2009, 10 p.m. CST
by wampa 1
...that came up with this one?
Jan. 23, 2009, 11:08 p.m. CST
by frank cotton
it was about lesbians killing vampires
Jan. 23, 2009, 11:58 p.m. CST
this is basicaly a rip off of shaun of the dead.... no no not the movie the way these people have come about. basically gavin and stacy is like spaced and this will be their shaun of the dead. everyone i know likes gavin and stacy, i on the other hand have no time for its lack of humor. I perdice this will do well if the gavin and stacy fans get to hear about it, i know i won't like it.
Jan. 24, 2009, 1:47 a.m. CST
In what way, shape or form? The only thing the two have in common is they've both been broadcast on the telly.
Jan. 24, 2009, 3:33 a.m. CST
Are the vampire killers, themselves, lesbians, or do they only kill lesbian vampires? Are other vampires off limits and safe from these guys?
Jan. 24, 2009, 8:27 a.m. CST
by dr sauch
Why don't they shoot porn with the same film that they shoot movies with?
Jan. 24, 2009, 10:59 a.m. CST
by Dr Gregory House
Move over Paul Blart....
Jan. 24, 2009, 11:22 a.m. CST
shit review. Tell use about the effects, camera work, who the stand outs were. If I want dike action, youporn works fine.
Jan. 24, 2009, 11:40 a.m. CST
Jan. 24, 2009, 11:48 a.m. CST
...for people who were bullied at school for being boring, bland and conformist rather than geeky, culturally hip and funny. It is Spaced for girls that read supermarket tabloid mags about who's lost how much weight or guys who strive to be mainstream and never quite reach while sneering at full blooded geeks, rather than people who read comic books, watch movies and champion geekdom. Fuck Gavin and Stacy. The sort of overrated shit that weighs network drones against a "new Spaced" and in favour of a "new Gavin and Stacy".
Jan. 24, 2009, 2:08 p.m. CST
Maybe that's why he doesn't like Gavin & Stacey or this movie. Maybe some of the English humor tends to go over his head. Only Americans make the mistake of saying "funnily enough" when what they mean to say is "funny enough".
Jan. 24, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST
... I won't be watching this shit. They're the UK version of Seth Rogen and Michael Cera - annoying, overrated twats!
Jan. 24, 2009, 3 p.m. CST
LOL. Couldn't of said it better myself, mate.
Jan. 24, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST
... the death of the British sitcom. Over the years there has been countless truly great sitcoms like ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES, STEPTOE AND SON, THE ROYLE FAMILY, BOTTOM, THE OFFICE, RISING DAMP, TILL DEATH DO US APART, RAB C. NESBITT, FAWLTY TOWERS, PORRIDGE, THE YOUNG ONES... and many others. But now we have to put up with shit like CARRIE AND BARRY, MY FAMILY, NOT GOING OUT, AFTER YOU'VE GONE and so many others. I think this is why GAVIN & STACEY is 'successful' - it's the best out of a bad bunch. Very bad, in fact.
Jan. 24, 2009, 3:37 p.m. CST
by Stuntcock Mike
Jan. 24, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST
Are you a fucking retard???? Gavin and the slag is barely a fucking tv show let alone 'the best comedy the UK has had' you thick fuck. What about The Office, Extras, The Royale Family dick suck? This film bomb and will never be mentioned again due to it shit premise and so called 'clever' marketing - will UK film ever fucking learn!!!!
Jan. 25, 2009, 6:20 a.m. CST
Sounds like a must see to me.
Jan. 25, 2009, 7:42 a.m. CST
...bit like 'Gavin & Stacey' itself from the couple of episodes I've seen.<p>Mrs. Dickus loves the series though, so perhaps it's just me...
Jan. 25, 2009, 7:49 a.m. CST
...you forgot 'Father Ted'. Otherwise, you're spot on. <p>However 'Gavin & Stacey' isn't quite as depressing as 'My Family' because the waste of talent isn't as great. Seeing Zoe Wanamaker and Robert Lindsay (Wolfie Smith, for fuck's sake!) plough through this dreary, unfunny bollocks week after week brings a tear to my eye...
Jan. 25, 2009, 8:51 a.m. CST
I've been British all my life and I always say 'funnily enough'. Maybe the humour went over the reviewer's head simply because the humour of Gavin and Stacey is non-existent. Everything on BBC3 - especially the 'comedy' - is total shit and a waste of licence payer's money. But that's just my opinion.
Jan. 25, 2009, 8:58 a.m. CST
Nope - not just your opinion, mate!<p>Still, the Guardian readers who run the BBC (and the country) like it, so we'll all keep paying our TV Poll Tax and they'll keep making shit and telling us it's funny...
Jan. 25, 2009, 10:04 a.m. CST
i tried to watch it, but didnt laugh and had to change the channel. maybe i'll give it another try on youtube. <p> how come no one mentions the IT crowd? its great british comedy! but i cant stand the office (both versions).
Jan. 25, 2009, 12:05 p.m. CST
THAT'S TOTAL BOLLOCKS TOO.
Jan. 25, 2009, 4:50 p.m. CST
No reason to spend my hard earned credit-crunch cash on this trash. I'll wait for it to appear on TV next year. Either way it sounds pretty lame and the teaser was insipid.
Jan. 26, 2009, 4:15 a.m. CST
by Mr Gorilla
Thank you reviewer for mentioning this FANTASTIC and totally entertaining Hammer entry. I saw it a while go at a special screening with some of the cast in attendance, it totally KICKED ASS. Now I've not seen LESBIAN whatever, so I may well be wrong about this, but it seems to have played everything for a joke, which unless done totally well is a bit insulting to the audience. What was great about TWINS was the Peter Cushing was giving a performance as if this was the greatest horror film ever. No winking to camera. (Likewise, the very silly FROM DUSK TIL DAWN was really helped by Harvey Keitel's very straight, rather sad performance.)
Jan. 26, 2009, 8:42 a.m. CST
by Lost Jarv
as shite as Gavin and Stacey etc are, nothing plumbs the depths of unfunny like 2 pints of lager and a packet of crisps.
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