Vampires Suck: Bloody awful

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VAMPIRES SUCK

By Matt Brunson

VAMPIRES SUCK

*

DIRECTED BY Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer

STARS Jenn Proske, Matt Lanter

Go to the Internet Movie Database (www.IMDb.com) and you'll find a section that lists the 100 worst movies ever made according to the site's visitors. The writer-director team of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer is noteworthy in that three of their first four pictures — Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans and Disaster Movie — have all managed to place on that list (only Date Movie missed the cut). Having never seen any of these spoofs — none have been screened for critics, and other things in life held more interest than catching up with them — I initially took the online film community's unshakable faith of awfulness with a grain of salt, since these folks are the same people who have voted The Shawshank Redemption the greatest movie of all time (in Internet vernacular, my response to that delusional claim is LOLOL! ROFL!). In regards to the Friedberg-Seltzer tag team, though, sitting through Vampires Suck makes me believe that these filmgoers may have a point, and I imagine this latest turkey will shortly be giving the pair four titles in that Bottom 100.

Despite that blanket title, don't expect any digs at Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee or Anne Rice, and True Blood and The Vampire Diaries are dismissed with one blink-and-you'll-miss-it sight gag apiece. No, this is strictly all-Twilight-all-the-time, with the focus squarely on Stephenie Meyer's franchise phenomenon. Thus, in the town of Sporks, we find Becca Crane (Jenn Proske, the best thing in the movie) falling for the sparkly vampire Edward Sullen (Matt Lanter), with wolfboy Jacob White (Chris Riggi) sniffing at her heels with a bad case of puppy love.

VAMPIRES SUCK

While I've already seen worse movies than Vampires Suck this year, it's doubtful I'll see another as lazily constructed as this one — even a homemade YouTube video simply capturing a dog chasing its own tail displays more effort and imagination than what passes for entertainment here. Because this is an obvious ploy to con money out of all the Twilight haters out there, Friedberg and Seltzer don't even try to come up with clever ways to mock the material in the biting manner of, say, MAD magazine or early Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker. Instead, they merely plop down some sequence practically lifted wholesale from Twilight or The Twilight Saga: New Moon, add a gross-out gag, a piece of knockabout humor or a pop culture reference that will seem hopelessly dated in just a few years, and leave it at that.

A couple of lines manage to tickle the brain but don't quite reach the corners of the mouth (needless to say, nothing here will elicit an actual belly laugh), leaving us with desperate humor along the lines of Becca's father (Diedrich Bader) passing his blowup sex doll off as his daughter's new mom, or Jacob lifting his leg to urinate on a fire hydrant, or Lady Gaga/Kardashian/Jersey Shore shout-outs that add nothing but more embarrassment for all concerned.

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