10/3/13

VAMP - REVIEW


Well that was a bizarre experience.

I didn't know what to expect when finally sitting down to watch Vamp but I gotta say that Grace Jones in full white make-up, with a Bozo The Clown haircut stripping and fondling a chair before revealing a cheap Princess Leia outfit was pretty low on my list of things I thought this movie would include.

Yes, that happens and, as ridiculous as it is, it both lost me and made the movie for me.

I'll elaborate.

The film sees two dudes going out into the bad part of town with a Ken Jeong-style comic-relief geek in order to find a stripper so they can finally be part of some fraternity. They find the "After Dark Club" and, in true From Dusk Till Dawn fashion, they soon realise that the place is infested with really unfriendly vampires. Vamp opens really well by breaking the tension of a potentially dark scene with some good jokes before seemingly settling on goofy teen comedy and eventually, post-Grace Jones stripping, taking itself somewhat seriously. The idea that Jones' show is SO sexy that these guys would want her for the fraternity is so unbelievable that you just don't buy it. I mean, the guys there would make fun of them if they showed up with that show! Don't get me wrong, Grace Jones was pretty hot back in the day but that Stephen King's It costume really isn't her finest hour. It's actually unintentionally pretty hilarious (see video below). So the fact that the film decides to take itself kinda seriously after that is a little surprising and a bit off-putting. Tonally, Vamp is completely inconsistent and it's like they changed their minds about what film they wanted to make about halfway through.

That said, I'd be lying if I said I disliked this movie.

It's not all that well made and, like I said, it's pretty messy but it's certainly memorable. Jones' antics, from the stripping scene to the chest-licking scene, to the funny hats and the over-the-top ending (great make-up effects, by the way), she makes an otherwise "meh" vampire movie hugely entertaining. Dedee Pfeiffer (yes, Michelle's sister) also helps make this movie likeable by being simply adorable throughout. The two dudes in the movie aren't all that interesting but the dynamic between the main guy and Pfeiffer's character is actually surprisingly cute and worth sticking around for. They also throw in some fun ideas like a little girl vampire, a creepy gang of thugs who you assume are vampires because of how they look but in fact are just dodgy and that guy with the astronaut pen from Seinfeld as a vampire. It's a shame the film isn't wackier and, by extension, funnier. It seemed like they had the right idea tone-wise early on but then things quickly get a bit random and not all that humorous, maybe a sharper script with more happening in it could have solved those issues. Oh, and the comic-relief guy is pretty annoying from start to finish: not useful to have him be there at all.

Overall, Vamp is hardly a must-watch and isn't exactly an unavoidable vampire movie but it's not terrible either. Parts of it are funny and enjoyable, plus Grace Jones is a total blast. It's actually worth checking out the movie just for her OTT performance, to be honest.

So-so.

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