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DVD Review: Vampire Killers
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Vampire Killers DVDVampire Killers
Directed by Phil Claydon
Starring Mathew Horne, James Corden, MyAnna Buring, Paul McGann, Silvia Colloca
Weinstein Company
Release date: December 29, 2009

Hundreds of years ago vampires descended on the small hamlet of Cragwich. The Head Vampire, Carmilla (Silvia Colloca), placed a curse on Cragwich so that all its women-folk would turn into vampires (more than that, lesbian vampires) on their 18th birthday. Holidaying friends Jimmy (Mathew Horne) and Fletch (James Corden) have entered a world of trouble. And babes.

I will not even try and pretend that I had any kind of creative or cultural curiosities about this movie going in to it; it’s about sexy vampires. However, I can claim that it featured one of my favourite comedy duos of recent years. Here in the UK, Mathew Horne (The Catherine Tate Show) and James Corden (History Boys and the upcoming Gulliver’s Travels) have just wrapped up the hugely popular — and very funny — but sadly short lived sitcom, Gavin and Stacey. Horne stars as Gavin, a sensible, softly spoken, hopeless romantic who lives with his parents. Corden (who also serves as co-writer) backs him up as his overweight but always eating, loyal, fun best friend, Smithy, the real star of the show. Horne is straight-laced, cautious, dependable. Corden is loud, carefree and crude. This buddy act they continued in their sketch comedy show, Horne and Corden, and they reprise those roles again in British comedy horror, Vampire Killers.

Corden plays Fletch, a children’s clown who has just been fired for beating up a member of his audience — a 7-year old boy. He is miserable and needs a break from his horrible life. So too does his best friend Jimmy McClaren who has been dumped (yet again) by his girlfriend who promises it is for real this time. At a drinking session in the pub, Fletch and Jimmy agree to get away but with no money options are limited. Leaving their holiday destination to the hands of fate, Jimmy throws a dart at a map of the UK — wherever the dart lands will be their holiday destination. The dart lands in the very uncool region of East Anglia, on the small hamlet of Cragwich.

They arrive to the sight of Lotte (MyAnna Buring) and her hot friends who are on a Folklore and Superstition field trip. These girls have come to England to find out about the legend of Carmilla but they are more interested in partying at the mysterious Olde Mircalla Cottage than research. The vicar of Cragwich (Paul McGann, an ex Dr Who) is desperately trying to end the curse before his daughter turns 18 but none of the local men will help. When the McClaren bloodline returns, Jimmy, Lotte and Fletch are forced to help him before all hell breaks loose.

The story is nonsense; there is some unnecessarily complicated backstory about the vampire queen cursing Jimmy’s bloodline forever. The only man who could defeat Carmilla and stop her turning all the women of Cragwich into lesbian vampires was a Baron, a descendent of Jimmy. His bloodline was cursed by Carmilla and his daughters and his daughters’ daughters will not rest until his bloodline is ended. The end of the bloodline is Jimmy and when his blood is mixed with that of a virgin Carmilla will rise again, which makes him the chosen one. But as Fletch points out: ‘Jimmy’s not the Messiah; he can barely wipe his own arse.’

This is a comedy/horror with the focus definitely on comedy: the jokes range from seriously crude dialogue (Lotte: ‘Why are they taking so long?’ Fletch: ‘She’s probably just having a massive shit’) to a Laurel and Hardy style physical gag: Fletch puts an axe into a vampire’s head, she turns around and the axe handle whacks Fletch in the head knocking him to the floor. He gets up and it happens again. The jokes come fast and I found them very funny. This is thanks hugely to Corden who keeps the movie flowing at a fast pace; he is extremely likeable and can be incredibly funny. With Horne, I can’t imagine any other actors playing these two parts. Maybe a younger Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, which is not surprising considering director Phil Claydon’s likeness to Spaced and Shaun of the Dead era Edgar Wright. Where Shaun of the Dead deals in some genuinely terrifying horror, the horror here is far more low-key – it is far more aware of itself (outside the US it’s called Lesbian Vampire Killers for goodness sake!) and I didn’t find any of it truly scary.

It feels like a modern B-Movie and one of the better vampire/comedy horrors that have flooded the market of late. There are some cheap scares, lots of half naked women and plenty of laughs; just what the doctor ordered on these cold winter nights.

The extras do little to enhance the disc. A Theatrical Trailer and Teaser Trailer I don’t even consider extra features. The Fletch Meister and Whores of F**king Hades are among the worst and most pointless extras I have ever seen: the first is a collection of clips of Fletch swearing. The latter is a collection of clips of the whole cast swearing. What is the point? Webisodes and Resurrection: Bringing LVK To Life are the only two that give any insight into the making of the film, although not much. A director’s commentary and VV Brown music video tie up the rest.

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