If there is one positive thing to say about Vampires Suck
, it's that it's not nearly the comedic holocaust that the bulk of Jason Friedberg
and Aaron Seltzer's
other films have been. These are, of course, the chuckleheads who, after cutting their teeth writing the Scary Movie
flicks, went on to write, produce and direct a slew of parodic abortions, including Epic Movie
, Disaster Movie
, and Meet the Spartans
. So why is Vampires Suck
not nearly the soul-draining experience of those other anti-comedies? For one, it's the first time these attention deficit disordered hacks have actually made the concerted effort to target one specific film franchise, toning down (if only by a small measure) their tendency to dart around endlessly, pulling gags out of a million different genre pictures and pieces of pop-culture detritus, turning it all into something that resembles cultural vomit.
Here, Friedberg and Seltzer set their extremely limited sights on the Twilight
franchise, a film series that is already dangerously close to self-parody at this point, anyway, so fuck it, why not just crank out a bunch of easy and obvious jokes about Twilight's more risible elements, and then just throw in some fart jokes and Kardashian references for good measure? Well, I can think of a million reasons why not, but that doesn't change the fact that this movie exists, and that it's pretty god-awful.
Vampires Suck wrangles up the basic plots of the first two Twilight films into one kooky bit of wackiness about a young, brooding girl named Becca ( Jenn Proske
) who goes to live with her father in the overcast Washington town of Sporks (do you get it?). There she meets a bunch of hyperactive, overacting versions of Anna Kendrick
and the rest of the high school bunch from the Twilight films, and eventually, Edward Sullen ( Matt Lanter
), the impossibly pale, impossibly handsome, impossibly unfunny vampire boy. Then stuff happens.
If you know Twilight
, you know more or less what that stuff is, and likely what would be getting mocked here. Team Edward vs. Team Jacob jokes (which largely come in the form of teenage girls murdering each other with bats and swords)? Check. Constant references to how Becca's wildly uninteresting and moody personality makes her inexplicably irresistible to hot boys? Check. Endless sight gags about the sheer obviousness of the vampires and werewolves populating the town that average people are woefully oblivious to? Check. Absurd caricatures of the haughty Volturi vampire sect (including an absolutely unhinged Ken Jeong
as their leader)? Check and mate.
On some level, I might have been kind of okay with all of that, had things stuck strictly to the Twilight
stupidity. The movie is not particularly clever about any of the above (and, I think, even manages to steal a few visual gags from the likes of Dracula: Dead and Loving It
), but at the very least it feels like it knows the material and what is laughable about all of it. Additionally, while neither Proske or Lanter show much in the way of real comedic chops, the two do shockingly solid jobs of affecting the ludicrous mannerisms and facial expressions that have made Kristen Stewart
and Robert Pattinson
their mint in these flicks.
But then, just when you think you might get something close to a coherent, if not terribly funny parody movie, Friedberg and Seltzer revert back to their old standbys, cranking in as many labored, out-of-nowhere, barely-a-joke pop-culture references as they can to try and pad the length of this thing. Hey, remember how there was an Alice in Wonderland
movie this year? Wouldn't it be hilarious if she showed up in this movie for no reason at all except to get hit in the head with something? And you know what else would be great? If someone just decided to start running down the names of the Jersey Shore
cast, while lookalikes stand around posing just long enough for everyone to not laugh. Even better, let's make all the cops in town think that the violent, blood draining, corpse mangling murders around town are the result of a visit from...the Kardashians!
It's stuff like this that creates such an oceanic divide between Friedberg and Seltzer and the masters of movie parody they're trying so, so desperately to mimic. Mel Brooks
, Jim Abrahams
, the Zucker Brothers
, these are the guys who understood how to write a funny parody flick, and while they would occasionally touch on pop culture bits from their time, you can go back and watch movies like Airplane
, Hot Shots
, Blazing Saddles
, Robin Hood: Men in Tights
and the like and glean a timeless quality from them. Everything Friedberg and Seltzer makes feels like it comes with an expiration date...from three months before it even hit theaters.
The real tragedy of all of these guys' enfeebled efforts is that they occasionally rope good, legitimately funny people into their web of misery. Jeong, who I have liked in many movies, looks like he's been drinking since he got into the makeup chair here, not so much making jokes as just shrieking and running around like a fucking lunatic every time he gets an iota of screen time. And Dave Foley
, poor, poor Dave Foley, makes a brief, jokeless appearance as a high school principal, and vaguely looks like he's being held hostage, glancing around desperately for someone to come and save him from having to be in this dreck. Only Diedrich Bader
, a veteran of many a terrible comedy, manages to wring a few laughs out of some pretty terrible material in his role as Becca's sheriff father.
I've already gone on for way too long talking about this nonsense. Vampires Suck
is a crappy comedy in pretty much the exact way all of Friedberg and Seltzer's previous endeavors were. Despite their seemingly earnest attempts at an honest-to-god focus this time around, these guys are still operating on a sub- Loaded Weapon 1
level, and that's really saying something.