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Vampires Suck

Vampires Suck is the latest in a long line of cheaply produced, minimum effort parody movies. In fact it’s the fifth just directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. In recent years the Hollywood mockery machine has tackled horror movies, superhero movies, teen movies, romance movies, and they’ve even parodied vampire movies before too. But this one, it’s the best of the bunch. Not because it’s good, but because it’s only unbelievably boring while all the others have been unbearably irritating.

Working in Vampires Suck’s favor is that unlike almost all the other terrible parody movies we’ve seen shoved down our throats this one actually parodies something in particular. If you’ve seen any of those other would-be comedic mockeries you know that no matter what they title them, the never actually end up being about anything in particular. The Scary Movie franchise for instance, long ago stopped making fun of horror movies and now generally goes the easier route of just making fun of whatever happens to be easiest to make fun of, regardless of whether it fits into the movie’s stated purpose. Vampires Suck on the other hand really is a comedy making fun of vampire movies. Or rather a vampire movie. See what they’ve done is simply steal the plot of Twilight and condense it. They turn some of it into vampire-based jokes, go for the occasional Gossip Girl aside, but mostly they just rehash the plot of Twilight in a shortened, and utterly inferior form. Stephenie Meyer should probably sue.

And that’s really the problem here. The jokes are too few and far between and the movie is one you’ve already seen before, and while the Twilight movies weren’t particularly good the first time around; they’ve managed to make them even worse in redoing them. It makes you appreciate just what the Twilight movies accomplished I suppose. No matter how bad you might think they were, Vampires Suck proves they could have been a lot worse. They even manage to make Ken Jeong unfunny, when he shows up late in the movie as a Volturi. Dave Foley is in this movie, and you’d think if you bother to hire Dave Foley you might at least give him a joke or two. But nope, he just stands there and does nothing. At least the less talented members of the cast try. Jenn Proske does a fairly decent Kristen Stewart impression as Becca (our stand-in for Bella) and Matt Lanter probably deserves some respect for doing a decent job of standing around and brooding his way to a passable Edward. If only they’d been given something funny to do with those impressions.

Of course even when the movie attempts a joke, a lot of the time they don’t make any sense. For instance one of the Sullens (Cullens, get it?) goes crazy when Becca cuts herself and starts bleeding. The joke is that he’s so hungry, he envisions her head as a Big Mac. Except that’s unfunny and generally illogical since he’s a vampire, and so a Big Mac wouldn’t be very appealing to him. Vampires don’t eat Big Macs, they don’t like them. That’s what makes them vampires. When Looney Tunes pulled off that gag thirty years ago, Elmer Fudd envisioned Daffy Duck as a roast duck, because he liked roast duck and that seemed like a pretty tasty idea. The Looney Tunes equivalent would be Elmer Fudd envisioning Daffy Duck as a bag of blood, and that just doesn’t make any sense at all.

That’s about the level most of the movie’s all too few jokes work on. Jacob turns into a Chihuahua. The wolf pack is gay and dances to "It's Raining Men". There’s an almost funny sequence when the fisherman who gets murdered in the actual Twilight movie, this time turns out to be a hairy, fat MMA fighter who rips off his shirt and lays the smack down on one of the pasty, pale vampires who tries to take a bit out of him. But there’s just not enough of that. Actually the movie should have been all about that.

Here’s a running gag they could have used but didn’t take any further. Think about the inherent contradiction of these Twilight vampires. Pale, pasty, weak looking creatures who are somehow able to take down grown men? Since this is a parody, turn all of the would be vampire attacks into a beat down where the victims kick the vampire’s ass. Start with the MMA guy and keep making the victims progressively weaker, but still ultimately victorious over their vampire attackers. The weaker the victims get, the funnier the gag gets. See? Easy.

But nobody involved in Vampires Suck thought of that. They’re not clever enough. They’re too tied to doing some sort of plot by plot remake of the last three Twilight movies when they should have been more focused on creating a biting satire of the Twilight universe by doing something both insightful and funny. I guess they were trying to make fun of Twilight while also servicing its fans. Actually make fun of the franchise and they'll get mad. And by servicing its fans I mean simply showing them the movies they already like all over again. Or maybe they just didn't feel like putting much time into it. Why bother? I mean, that might be hard.