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Lesbian Vampire Killers
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Jay Seaver

"Delivers what it promises, and fairly well, too."
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2009 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: As you might expect, the title came first with "Lesbian Vampire Killers". Unlike a lot of high-concept movies, it delivers on that title, both literally - there are vampires, they are lesbians, and our heroes are going to have to put them down - and by being as much tacky fun as that title implies.

The history is laid down in a prologue: Hundreds of years ago, vampire queen Carmilla (Silvia Colloca) terrorized a village, and as she and the local baron fought to the death, she laid down a curse that all the village's women would become lesbian vampires on their eighteenth birthday. Flash forward to the present. Jimmy (Hathew Horne) has just been dumped by his girlfriend Judy (Lucy Gaskell), again, and his best mate Fletch (James Corden) has just been fired from his job as a children's clown. They opt to go hiking in this village for a holiday. Fletch doesn't think much of the idea until he sees a vanload of hot German tourists - Lotte (MyAnna Buring), Trudi (Ashley Mulheron), Anke (Louise Dylan), and Eva (Vera Filatova). Of course, they doesn't know about the curse. The local vicar (Paul McGann) does, and it's rather important to him that something be done about it, as his daughter Rebecca (Emer Kenny) has her 18th birthday tomorrow. But all hope may not be lost - he believes Jimmy may be the prophesied last descendant of the baron, able to put an end to the curse once and for all!

Lesbian Vampire Slayers is gleefully exploitative - the ladies are all beautiful and busty, and becoming vampires often seems to also change their clothing to something even wispier and more revealing. Kind of unfair for the ladies in the audience, as Corden and Horne aren't exactly equivalent slices of beefcake, although Paul McGann's vicar compensates with a rugged masculinity. There's plenty of vampire attacks and vampire-slaying, as well, although not a whole lot of the red stuff; dead vampires tend to explode into sticky white foam. Read anything you want into that.

Here's the thing, though - for all the film enjoys the ogling and throwing fluids around, writers Paul Hupfield and Stewart Williams do give it a story that has a reasonable amount of internal logic even while managing not to take itself completely seriously. Characters will call out the seemingly contradictory magic in the last act, but not so that it becomes a total winking-at-the-audience, this-makes-no-sense-but-we-know-you-don't-care situation. Director Phil Claydon keeps things moving at a fast enough pace that the audience doesn't ever get bored, and does a nice job of leaning on the comedy side of action-comedy: The action scenes are not dazzlingly choreographed, but they're not complete anti-climactic jokes, either, even though they are played for laughs.

A large part of the movie's success comes from giving a good cast a solid script and staying out of the way. Horne and Corden have been working together on the sitcom Gavin & Stacey for a couple of series, and they've got an easy, practiced chemistry together: Horne is the uptight, kind of sad-sack one, Corden is the crude, overweight, but basically well-meaning one, and they work as that. Their opposite numbers are fun too, with Buring being kind of adorable as the slightly nerdy but not uptight virgin and Mulheron a little crude but not in a masculine way as Trudi. Lucy Gaskell is amusingly horrible as the ex. Paul McGann actually makes for a badass man of the cloth, and actually plays off Corden quite well. I'd maybe like Silvia Colloca to be a more distinctive villain as Carmilla, but we only see her at the ends of the film anyway.

The filmmakers fire their jokes off in enjoyably rapid succession, and choose their spots well, finding the best moments for a big payoff and the right ones to keep the chuckles coming. They never try to do too much and fall flat on their faces, but neither do they ever seem to be killing time to get some exposition in or pad a relatively thin concept out to feature length. It's occasionally funny enough that the laughter at one joke will cover the next, and I tend to think that it will hold up: It's not just a string of pop culture references or parodies, but an enjoyable movie done by funny people.

"Lesbian Vampire Slayers" is undoubtedly a lad's movie, but it's a pretty good one. It ends with the obvious bit of set-up for sequels and tie-ins, and I certainly wouldn't mind seeing a bit more of it if that happens.

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originally posted: 07/12/09 03:23:46
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2009 South By Southwest Film Festival For more in the 2009 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2009 Fantasia Festival For more in the 2009 Fantasia International Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

7/18/09 MoovieMac Lame obvious concept and excecution. Like a Troma film taking itself seriously. 1 stars
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  DVD: 29-Dec-2009


  DVD: 29-Dec-2009

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