It started out as “the weekend of terror”, turned into the “Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival” and now in its 25th year there is again a new name: “Imagine”. What doesn’t change is that it’s the best cult film festival of the Netherlands. Another thing that doesn’t change is that I, Peter Cornelissen, will bring you up-to-date on the best and worst of the fest. But from now on I’m part of the team.
Yesterday the festival showed its annual surprise preview, and to everyone's delight it turned out to be... "Lesbian Vampire Killers"!
Now we've had plenty of news about this title on our site, but no review for it yet.
So without further ado: here is my first official ScreenAnarchy review!
(Well... after the break!)
It doesn’t start out well for Jimmy and Fletch. Jimmy just got dumped, again, by his bitchy girlfriend and Fletch got fired from his clown job because he just hates kids. They need to get out, find some adventure, some girls… some money would be nice too. And so the two start out on a hiking trip to the middle of nowhere, guided by fate, straight into the hands of those damned “lesbian vampires”. According to horndog Fletch that’s just one of God’s little jokes on him, what will be next?!?.
With a premise like that, this sure is one hell of a crowd pleaser. With a lot of torturing horror and serious scifi going on at the festival this year, the screening of this baby got the first of those collective laughs that makes me love this festival so much. And the heartfelt applause when the bitchy girlfriend finally gets it, just beautiful. The script really celebrates the fact that there is little more to the story than the title suggests. This is however both a strength and a weakness. Without a crowd to back you up this movie is in great danger of falling flat as a pancake.
The loser buddy couple covers familiar juvenile comedy ground. The pair is played by James Corden and Mathew Horne, who you might known from tv-series Gavin and Stacey. They give it that special British sitcom flavor, although the dynamic never gets up to the level of, say, the Men Behaving Badly or Spaced lads. The horror elements are played for laughs too. With a gung ho priest leading the band of lesbian vampire killers the inspiration seems to be Peter Jackson’s Braindead, but again the execution falls a bit short. The ‘death by frying pan’ might be the weakest moment (just how easy do they think a head can be chopped off?) although that did remind me of another classic in British sitcom history. I would have really liked the vampires to have a bit more of a bite besides all the charming glossy gothic goodness they bring.
So how to approach this movie is first, look at the title and ask yourself “do I want to see that?” (of course you do!) and second, find a crowd of likeminded folk and enjoy the hell out of its 88 minutes! Replay value at home will be low, there is nothing in there that turns the fun concept into a classic horror comedy.