Friedberg and Seltzer are wanted for crimes against cinema. A quick glance at their Rotten Tomatoes profile reveals that across five films, they have a total, (a total!) of 18% fresh. Having inflicted the equivalent of a cinematic flesh eating virus upon the general populace with such films as Epic Movie and Meet The Spartans, it’s no surprise that Vampires Suck lives up to its name.
It’s almost a scene by scene parody of the first Twilight movie with parts of the second stapled on for good measure, so unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ll be familiar with the general premise. And if you haven’t seen Twilight, then you have no business watching this film anyway as it’ll go way over your head (or rather, pass far underneath it like an inner-city sewer system).
Becca (Jenn Proske) moves to a small town only to find that it’s infested with vampires but develops a powerful crush on bloodsucker Edward Sullen (ha, see what they did there “Sullen” not “Cullen” – that’s about the level of the thigh-slapping humour on offer here).
Vampires Suck isn’t remotely funny. It’s reliant on slapstick, clumsy pratfalls and irrelevant pop-culture references and sight gags which are all completely devoid of wit, imagination and crucially, laughs. Friedberg and Seltzer seem convinced that throwing in pop culture references (The Kardashians, Tiger Woods, Buffy, Lady Gaga) and having to announce and explain them is a recipe for good humour. It’s not.
One of the keys to a successful spoof lies in understanding your subject matter (see 1980’s Aiplane! and this year’s Black Dynamite) and while Twilight is hardly the Ulysses of its time, there’s enough material that’s ripe for a good ribbing and as such it feels like a wasted opportunity.
On the positive side, Jenn Proske playing Bella does a very credible Kristen Stewart impression and occasional observations – the self-consciously whiny soundtrack and occasional acknowledgement of Twilight plot conventions make you hope briefly that Vampires Suck is more self-aware than it actually is, but that’s like saying that tuberculosis is preferable to smallpox – neither are things you want to catch and hopefully will be wiped out by vaccination in the near future.
It’s not a film that will provoke incoherent rage; it’s merely bad, lazy and a pointless waste of 90 minutes. These vampires do indeed suck – more than a black hole-powered vacuum cleaner.