Some franchises don’t die
Some franchises don’t die
I thought we were done with these “Movie” movies for a while, and I was thankful for it. Sure we had Superhero Movie and Dance Flick, but those movies weren’t done by the anti-comedy duo of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, who hadn’t made one since 2008’s Disaster Movie. With the relative box office slump that movie encountered, I figured it signaled the end of their careers. Two years went by, and they were off the radar. Now, I’m a dedicated movie industry follower, so I scour a lot of various film websites searching for any news on upcoming movies. If Friedberg and Seltzer had been working on something, it never came to my attention. Which is why I slumped in my chair and cried on the inside when I saw the advertisements for their new slapstick parody opus, Vampires Suck. How do these movies make money when they look like the dumbest form of lowest common denominator comedy out there? Which made me even more displeased when I learned that this movie snagged the number two slot at the box office, while the campy and highly entertaining Piranha 3D didn’t even crack the top five.
Plot Synopsis: When Becca Crane’s free spirit mother leaves Arizona to go on a road trip, she moves in with her father up in Sporks, Washington. She is typically a loner and is now the new girl in town, so she is picked on by most of the unwelcoming students at school. Becca takes notice of the Sullen family, who are mysterious to the other students. She takes a particular interest in Edward, who strangely looks interested in her but also constantly avoids her. But when Edward miraculously stops a car from running over Becca, she becomes suspicious of his humanity. Eventually, she figures out that he is a vampire but still pursues him. Despite the hunger he feels around her (the vampire kind), Edward relents and the two begin dating.
In case you didn’t realize, I basically just copied and pasted my Twilight synopsis and made some tweaks and requisite name changes. The best thing I can say about Vampires Suck is that it seems to at least be following an outline of a plot (albeit a very thin one at that), which is a minor step up from the more random patchworks of Friedberg and Seltzer’s previous movies such as Date Movie and Epic Movie. Its main targets are Twilight and New Moon, and most of the jokes are centered on them. That’s as far as I’ll go though, because as par for the course, none of it is very funny at all. I can only say I laughed out loud once during the movie, and it came from a throwaway line within the first 15 minutes or so. Every gag or joke involves the same old repetitive slapstick and bodily fluids that are strewn all throughout this movie and previous ones by the two directors. Their one joke is to hit someone in the face or the balls, and then repeat the same thing for 80 minutes. All right, another positive thing I can say is that all of these movies have been mercifully short, even when they’re torturing our intelligence.
And despite the many opportunities to riff on the acting in the original Twilight movies, I can unsurprisingly say that the actors here are just as bad. Jenn Proske does a decent Kristen Stewart impression for the first half, but then seems to drop the act after a point. The two guys playing Edward and Jacob, Matt Lanter and Chris Riggi, do nothing to standout at all. And I feel sad to see Ken Jeong in the kind of lowbrow tripe like this; especially when I know he can deliver the funny as he does in Role Models and The Hangover. Unfortunately, he and everyone else is given nothing to work with except a paycheck. Frequently, the random “flavor of the month” pop culture references (Jersey Shore? Lady Gaga?) begin occurring again, reminding us just how lazy the makers behind this movie are. They don’t write comedy, they just make references.
And the thing about Twilight is that there is plenty of comedy to be gold-mined from its existence. There’s certainly a lot of potentially hilarious riffing that could have gone on here, but instead you’ll just get mostly body punishment and fart jokes. I think I realize that most of the Twilight haters out there will want to see this movie because they think it makes fun of the franchise and therefore will get some form of entertainment from anything that does that. The thing is, Friedberg and Seltzer don’t try at all. There’s nothing in here that already hasn’t been beaten like a dead horse in the past (such as Jacob’s shirtless nature), or is even mildly amusing. You might as well watch the original movies, because I’m sure they will provide you with more enjoyment and funny moments than this supposed parody, no matter how unintentional they are.