Vampires Suck (or Hero Goes To See Bad Movie, Does Not Smile)

You know, I talk a lot of shit.  For a few years, Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, the idiots behind Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet The Spartans, and Disaster Movie, have been the subject of a lot of my scorn and mockery.  Despite having never endured any of the aforementioned, I was certain that I was correct in dismissing them all as silent killers of modern comedy.  As the films that came to the only theater in Morris instead of The Social Network became sillier and sillier (just about a week ago there was that one owl movie that not even a kid could find fascinating), I found myself looking at their website.  Not only was the week’s lineup missing the film that just might win this year’s Academy Award for Best Picture, but it included Vampires Suck, the latest abortion in the Friedberg/Seltzer school of failure.  To deepen my hatred, Vampires Suck thrived in the box office while Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World proved to be the biggest financial flop of the year.  The teens who should have been seeing the latest Edgar Wright masterpiece instead dedicated their time to Friedberg/Seltzer, and why?  The movie made fun of Twilight, so it must be cool.  Unfortunately, that was their shallow plan all along, and you tits fell for it.

Of course, on Tuesday night, I joined that lot.  I shelled out good money to see what was definitely a bad film.  I biked in frightening wind conditions to watch something that essentially zero critics enjoyed.  I had heard that Vampires Suck, while bad, was not as bad as its predecessors.  If that has any amount of truth to it, then I am afraid for humankind.  If a joke worked on any level whatsoever (as a father realizes that his girl is growing up, he remarks upon her expanding chest with startling vulgarity), I found it highly refreshing, because Friedberg and Seltzer do not understand how comedy works.  Stating Twilight’s cheesy story progression flatly or making a pop culture reference appear out of nowhere does not make for good comedy.  Imagine that Family Guy’s worst gags came to this film to die.  They suffer even more in the live action format.  Comic timing is impossible for these men to perfect, and even when they perfect it by making the cast of Jersey Shore appear onscreen exactly when they need to, the joke their success is being spent on is dreadful.

Vampires Suck is actually potentially good satire.  Though I have read a lot of criticism on these films and know that these values do not apply to the previous Friedberg/Seltzer movies, Vampires Suck seems to make an effort to live in the object of its parody.  The environments seem to be well replicated, the angst-ridden score is mimicked, and the soundtrack, which mocks the first film’s use of Muse’s “Supermassive Black Hole,” is utilized well.  Hell, whoever plays the lead does a good Kristen Stewart impression (though all you have to do is do your best imitation of a wet towel biting its lip). All of these qualities just make the failure of Vampires Suck more impressive.  The closest that it comes to exploring the shortcomings of the Twilight films is some very forced dialogue explicitly stating the series’ manipulative formula, but those moments of actual satirical takedown are insubstantial and uncommon.  If it were not for the title, I would say that this seems more like a celebration of Twilight than a stab at it.  Twilight is a series in which abstinent vampires sparkle and typical teenage girls attempt to commit suicide so that they might see visions of their Mr. Right, who dangerously left them in the woods.   Vampires Suck has no problem replicating these situations, but it seems almost afraid to confront them.

To put things in context, I never once laughed.  I never once smiled, either.  The rest of the audience seemed to enjoy themselves, and that served to further infuriate me.  The most damning moment of the movie is when it comments on Twilight’s cheesy and predictable directing.  Earlier in the same scene, the main character takes a shot at the cast of Jersey Shore.  A lot of horrible shit is made fun of in Vampires Suck.  I hate Twilight.  I hate the cast of Jersey Shore, I hate The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, and I hate The Black Eyed Peas.  Vampires Suck earns none of these attempted pop cultural jabs largely because it is worse than every single one of them.  Friedberg and Seltzer have, in the past, made fun of mostly good films.  When you found yourself rooting for its subjects that was of little surprise.  Now the duo has accidentally explicitly shown that their movies are worse than the Twilight movies, and, goddamn, that is saying something.  Think of it as someone trying to beat up a cripple to show how tough they are and losing.  That is how bad and embarrassing Vampires Suck is.

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Published in: on October 28, 2010 at 2:11 PM  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. good stuff, joe. I like the rip on Ga’hoole. Why did i take the time to write it properly I don’t know. Jackass 3D seems like a better movie than both those combined. I might watch Scott Pilgrim since my deep hatred of Michael Cera has been surpassed by deep seated hatred for Shia LeBouf, cause we all need someone to hate.

  2. Nicely written Joey!


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