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Vampires and piranhas both suck

By Staff | Aug 25, 2010

Prepare for biting but limited spurting.

“Vampires Suck” opts for a narrow, often scene-for-scene parody of the first “Twilight” move, which introduces Bella, Eddie and Jacob.

You likely have to be a FEMALE “Tri-hard” fan to love this film. It seldom steps away from the mega movie itself. That’s a hint by this critic for broadening the scope of the vampire spoof earlier than its occurrence, which induces a bit of Harry Potter, Carrie and The Exorcist in the mix.

If you’re head over heels in lust or admiration of Edward (now played by Matt Lanter) or Jacob White (Chris Riggi subs for him) of the “Twilight” series, this spoof will have the corpuscles flowing.

The parody initially sticks with frame-by-frame recollections from the first and second films in the series, before wisely broadening its scope to a limited number of teen angst films that revolved around high school, boys and prom. 

Jenn Proske, the young actress mocking “Bella” (known as Becca in the spoof), must have watched “Twilight” hundreds of times. She’s got Kristen Stewart’s traits (hair tucking, lip biting, downward gazes) on target, not to mention her manipulative narcissism and knack for ending up in the forest alone and vulnerable.

What about the dudes in the couple? Call it a date night where the couple splits up at different auditoriums and have an awesome time. The men will prefer getting wet with 3D glasses watching “Piranhas” chase nubile representatives of the female gender in bright bikinis. With shredder fish on the loose in the bay, this “Jaws” parody will have more satisfying bloodlusts than the sucking vampires.

Though “Piranha 3D” stresses visuals, “Vampires Suck” director/screenwriters Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer stress rapid spitting one-liners of popular culture and the ridiculous and insider pokes at “Twilight” which spurt like a cut vein and often bring squeals from the audience.

The best sketches are a seafood addicts wobbling kiss, meeting Edward’s parents, and an unstoppable paper cut.  The shirt-off jokes generally bring a grin and the furious competition between Edward and Jacob (who occasionally chases cats) are also welcome.

These parodies (“Epic Movie,” “Scary Movie”) seldom score a grand slam; however, this one had the potential. That’s why it’s a little disappointing that it’s often subtle, tame and overplays the ridiculous (i.e. Becca’s dad as a very dirty ole man, the Tiger Woods and Lady GaGa send ups). 

The vampire versus werewolf would be lovers have good interplay (the repeated shirt off in the contract and the falling boys from the sky wear thin), so does Becca’s wilderness vulnerabilities always being saved at the last moment by Edward.

 And, the piranhas have a touch of refreshment since it’s been awhile since the constant, ‘we can’t close the fill in the blank (beach, hotel, theme park) and lose all the holiday money’ excuses’ became a clue of large body count coming.

When the ’80s reigned so did excessive consumption. Gordon Gekko represented the greediest of the Wall Street barons. He opted for the glitziest condo, the most expensive watch and the custom sports car. He went to prison.

During his time in the slammer, along came a deep, deep recession almost equaling the Great Depression. Now, Gekko (Michael Douglas) has been paroled and he’s headed back to the street looking to amass another fortune and convert a few young people to the absolute pleasure and benefits of excessive consumption.

The Oliver Stone sequel, “Wall Street Money Never Sleeps” (unpreviewed) has gained favorable reviews at the Cannes fest. In fact, Stone boldly predicts that the global financial system could have a “heart attack” before the production opens in mid-September. Stone called the Sept. 23 release date as “just when the market’s most volatile” for an eruption.

If the market dramatically falls near the opening of this film, you’ll wonder whether it’s a promotional gimmick. Not likely, just look up “China Syndrome.” That is the ultimate fictional calamity predicting nuclear meltdown and meltdown happens in time for the nervous refugees to pack the theatre to understand what’s happening in their backyard.

Contact Tony at trutherford@graffitiwv.com