Monday 10 August 2009

Review: Lesbian Vampire Killers

Year: 2009
Director: Phil Claydon
Screenplay: Stewart Williams and Paul Hupfield
Starring: James Corden, Matthew Horne

In 2003 Stewart Williams and Paul Hupfield (both MTV producers at the time) were challenged to think up of the dumbest and yet most commercial film title they could think of before going off and writing the script. Lesbian Vampire Killers is what they came up with. Intended to be a straight to DVD B movie with Williams intended to play one of the parts, six years on it becomes an upcoming vehicle for a comic double act (soon to be vilified due to overexposure) who have been gaining rave reviews for their BBC Three sitcom. The film is released to a shed load of piss poor critical reviews and pretty much bombing at the box office.

I feel my little history lesson helps show the wealth of problems Lesbian Vampire Killers has before I even try tackling the movie. Think of a stupid commercial title first before any sort of real idea, a straight to DVD B movie given a theatrical release because Horne and Corden are in it. MTV PRODUCERS WRITING A SCREENPLAY OF ANY KIND. The film was almost pretty much doomed to fail before it started.

Obviously, the film is clearly tongue in cheek, a spoof of the old school hammer horror/B movies that people hold dear. However, LVK fails because it seems that the filmmakers haven't even watched the films that they are trying to take the piss out of. Death Proof has it's fair share of distractors but you can't say that Tarantino doesn't love the movies he's homaging. The same goes for Planet Terror which revels in it's exploitative nature. LVK plays it safe throughout as if the BBFC had bulked on the films name and did it's best to clamp down any extreme elements during filming. A film like this should be cheeky not sanitised, however LVK does little to truly cash in on it's name. It's not very gory, nor is it that sexy and that's bad enough. It doesn't help that it's not very funny either.

Director Phil Claydon does his best to fill the large cracks by making the film visually interesting. While he should stay away from gimmicky effects, the film looks good. In fact it looks better than it should. It's a shame the script can't match up to the director's eye. The screenplay is shoddy work, with no real humor to speak of. In fact the only real reason any of the film is amusing is due to the hard work James Corden puts in. Corden gets all the "best lines" and is clearly comfortable in the film atmosphere. Matthew Horne however, clearly shows he's not ready to carry a film with a performance as awkward as it is bland. Paul McGann is roped in to give "British cinema a hand" while all the female parts are not worth talking about. Reason? They're are only here to look good. But when a film called Lesbian Vampire Killers has hardly any sex in it...what's the point?

Lesbian Vampire Killers is one of the weakest entries into the film cannon I've seen this year. A feminist view of the film would be disastrous as the film is littered with casual misogyny. Fans of the genre will be disappointed due to the films lack of spine and casual viewers may get nothing out of it either. All in all a waste of time for all involved.