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Vampires Suck (2010)

A 2010 movie directed by Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg.

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Boy, Do They Ever

  • Aug 18, 2010
It's commonplace these days to hate Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer on general principles. One of the reasons I hate them is that their parodies have virtually no angle of approach. This makes it next to impossible for me to find something about their films worth reviewing. There's nothing there - no themes, no visual techniques, no symbolism, no clever dialogue, no nuanced performances, no item of discussion. There's just unadulterated goofiness, a series of comedic vignettes that don't really go anywhere and aren't connected by a plot. The question is: Can we watch a disjointed mess and still laugh at it? There was a time when I could have answered yes; I remain to this day a fan of the "Hot Shots!" films and the "Naked Gun" trilogy, all silly and transparent and inconsequential, but also undeniably funny.

But the days of Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker have long gone. Now we have Friedberg and Seltzer, men most critics would like nothing more than to watch burn at the stake, their scripts serving as kindling. I understand their feelings. They're not funny. They're not talented. They know how to make movies in the strictest sense - making use of cameras, actors, sets, special effects, costumes, and makeup - but they have absolutely no idea how to tell a story. They reached a new low with "Disaster Movie," quite possibly one of the worst movies ever made. The only film of theirs I've given a pass to is "Meet the Spartans," which, to this day, I'm still getting flak for. You'll forgive me if I have no control over what I think is funny. Yes, "Meet the Spartans" made me laugh. Get over it.

Having said all that, I now find myself in the position of reviewing their newest film, "Vampires Suck," a spoof of the "Twilight" saga. The second word of the title is fitting. It would be much easier, and would take up far less time, to describe what doesn't suck about this film, and even then I'm acting out of desperation since the jokes really aren't all that funny. There are two moments that stick out in my mind. One is when the female lead gets her first look at the Edward Cullen parody and describes him as having "pale skin, really big hair, and a constipated look on his face." The other is when the Jacob Black parody removes his shirt without provocation and then holds up his contract, which states that he has to appear shirtless every ten minutes of screen time. He then repeatedly sprays his chest and abs to make them glisten.

There's no need to describe the plot, regardless of how intimately familiar you are with the real "Twilight" films or the books that inspired them. The film stars Jenn Proske as Becca Crane. Get it? It's Becca instead of Bella, and her surname is Crane instead of Swan, like the birds! Matt Lanter plays her vampire boyfriend, Edward Sullen. Get it? His character always acts sullenly, and Sullen rhymes with Cullen! Chris Riggi plays a werewolf named Jacob White. Get it? His name is a color, and it's now the opposite of Black! Three evil vampires eventually appear, one girl and two guys; when they pose, a fisherman mistakes them for the Black Eyed Peas. Bookending the film are references to a rivalry between those on Team Jacob and those on Team Edward. One girl, and I forget which side she's on, outdoes her opponent by whacking her across the face with a shovel.

I think I deluded myself into believing I would like this movie. After all, I've thus far been very unimpressed by the "Twilight" saga; if I can't enjoy them as serious films, I figured, maybe I can enjoy watching someone else make fun of them. No such luck. As it turns out, I would rather watch all three "Twilight" films back to back than have to sit through "Vampires Suck" again. This is a desperately unfunny movie - unfunny and unfocused, Friedberg and Seltzer lacking the conviction to develop their jokes properly. Some are dragged out to the point of monotony, such as Becca's inability to deduce that her new hometown is rife with vampires, even when shops signs and banners make it abundantly clear. Others aren't followed through, such as when Edward throws a rock and randomly hits a girl looking very much like Alice from Tim Burton's latest film. Others still are just plain odd, like references to the Kardashians and, of all people, the Canadians.

The more I see parodies like "Vampires Suck," the sadder I get, for it seems that inane escapism has given way to complacency. Neither "Hot Shots!" nor "The Naked Gun" can be considered art, but at least an effort was being made with its humor. Now, it's as if no one is even trying. How much thought do you think went into the scene of Edward juggling an apple, a bowling ball, and a baby, all of which just happened to roll out of Becca's backpack? How about when Jacob's shirtless pack arrives, at which point they spank themselves and dance lewdly to the Weather Girls' "It's Raining Men"? It's useless to complain; all five of Friedberg and Seltzer's movies have made money, despite none of them reaching the 10% mark on the Rotten Tomatoes scale. Clearly, they know something I don't. Either that, or audiences' perceptions of what is and isn't funny has drastically changed. Either way, it depresses me.

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August 29, 2010
I generally like vamp stories of all kinds, Chris, but I loooooooove weres even better. And I like satires very much... Since you point out that this doesn't offer much in either category, I'll pass on this one. Too many good ones out there that I want to see. This is an excellent review, well-written and -formatted. Thx.
August 25, 2010
The entire problem with this concept is that the source material they are attempting to spoof is so mainstream and so poorly conceived of to begin with, there's little they can do to make it funnier. The "Twilight" series is ripe for parody and jokes, but the real humor can be found in the banality and kitsch of the series, not in any satire of it. I feel that making a "Twilight" parody is somewhat akin to pointing to an elephant and accusing it of being overweight. It's painfully obvious and ultimately redundant.
August 24, 2010
Oh man, I have a thing for these parody movies! And even though it's pretty much a given that this is going to be a bad movie, I think I still need to see it. Thanks for reviewing, Chris!
August 24, 2010
The last parody I somewhat enjoyed was the first two SCARY MOVIE films. After that, they all sucked. I didn't like the National Lampoon rendition either--thanks for the review!
August 25, 2010
I do miss Mel Brooks.
August 24, 2010
Chris -- Thanks for taking one for the team and reviewing this movie so other wouldn't have to see it. Perhaps my list, "You might be a Stephenie Meyer Vampire if...." will bring you something positive from the Twilight/Vampire films.
August 24, 2010
Thanks for the comment. Your list was hilarious! I too was stunned that vampires would be even remotely interested in Baseball.
More Vampires Suck reviews
review by . August 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Albert Einstein once famously observed that time was relative and that its passage changed depending upon circumstances. One well-known consequence of this is that the faster you travel, the slower time goes. If someone is on a spacecraft traveling at near light-speed for a few months and then returns to Earth, she will find that several years have passed. You can see this in action in Planet of the Apes. Time also passes differently depending on your relationship to a large gravitational source, …
Quick Tip by . September 12, 2011
I have to say, I had second thoughts in seeing this film. I mean, “Vampires Suck” does suck, but how do you knock it for spoofing one of the overrated, below average movies of the last few years such as the “Twilight” franchise. I would have made a movie that made fun of that saga, so I guess in a way you may say that I am a supporter of the motivations behind such a film.      It takes certain elements from the first two “Twilight” …
Quick Tip by . December 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie wasnt as bad as id expected it to be. Some of parts where outright funny because the acting in the spoof was better than the actual twilight movies! The part where edward breaks up with becca and she has her little flip out in the woods was way more realistic than the onscreen version presented in New Moon! I love the twilight books and like the movies but that didnt stop me from laughing at this one.
review by . September 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   Let's face it, the creators of Date Movie, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans are absolutely awful parody writers. The only reason they have spawned any success is that there are people out there, like me, who love parody movies, and they just happen to be the only one's throwing them out right now.      All of their previous work aside, this one was actually a little better than most. I attribute this to two things. First, 95% of their source …
About the reviewer
Chris Pandolfi ()
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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If any pop-culture phenomenon ever deserved a send-up, surely it's theTwilightworld, with its overheated vampire love and shirtless teenage werewolves. The moment is seized byVampires Suck, yet another movie parody from the team of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the boys behindDisaster MovieandMeet the Spartans. As in their previous spoofs, Friedberg and Seltzer string together some jokes around the plot, a few topical references, and a barrage of irrelevant pop-culture allusions (unless you can figure out how Tiger Woods, the Kardashians, and Lady Gaga are relevant to the proceedings). The first couple ofTwilightpictures are rapidly condensed, with heroine Becca (Jenn Proske) moving to a rainy town in Washington and meeting the unnaturally pale Edward Sullen (Matt Lanter), whose vampire clan can hardly keep from draining Becca's blood on the spot. Of course there's also wolf-boy Jacob (Chris Riggi), who reminds Becca that he is contractually obligated to take his shirt off and expose his bare chest (his torso here is more elaborate than in the realTwilightmovies) every 10 minutes. That joke is an example of how farVampires Suckis behind its own audience; the movie hits the obvious points, with plenty of dead air in between. A few gags pay off, including Jacob's werewolf clan (shirtless, natch) breaking out into a dance routine to "It's Raining Men." And Jenn Proske, in her film debut, does a lights-out impersonation of Kristen Stewart's ...
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Genre: Comedy
Release Date: August 18, 2010
Screen Writer: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
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"Boy, Do They Ever"
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