The title is grammatically ambiguous. Is this a film about vampire killers who happen to be lesbians, or killers of lesbian vampires? The former might have given the film some nicely subversive potential, but the latter is the case. Our heroes are the gormless pair of the serially dumped Jimmy (James Corden) and the piggish Fletch (Mathew Horne) – basically Shaun and Ed from Shaun of the Dead, minus the wit. Heading out to a randomly picked village in rural England for a low-budget vacation, the duo happen upon a VW bus filled with women who, based on the available evidence, have just finished a gig as background dancers for a hip-hop video. The group arrives at a decrepit mansion and proceed to party, unaware that the area is cursed by the lesbian vampire queen Carmilla. Seeking to resurrect their matriarch, her minions proceed to vamp all but one of the women, and the stage is set for a supernatural battle of the sexes.
There have been many horror comedies in the wake of Shaun of the Dead‘s well-deserved success, and while there have been some worthy entries, there have also been plenty of reminders that just calling something a comedy and having characters bug out their eyes and run around screaming doesn’t mean the film is funny. And here we have a case in point. The production design is handsome, and echoes the Hammer flicks of yore, but the witless dialogue, clumsy action choreography, and vacant characters will soon have you wishing you were watching an actual Hammer film (or even Carry on Screaming). Then there’s the premise. The filmmakers apparently never though it the least bit problematic that they were serving up repeated scenes of women being impaled and decapitated (and then exploding in a splash of white, milky fluid) for laughs. The results would be even more offensive if the viewer weren’t numbed by the tedium – the 83 minutes feel twice that long.
Oh, and if you’re wondering how steamy the movie is, let me simply state that there is a higher erotic content to Redemption Video’s logo.
Most of the joys that this tiresome piece offer are at the technical level. I mentioned the Hammer-like production design, and the sets are complemented by a rich colour palette and a handsome 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect. Deep blacks, strong reds and a general high density of eye candy are the order of the day. Terence Fisher and Mario Bava would feel at home here. So at this level, then, the product is excellent.
Just as the movie practically screams in the viewer’s face that IT IS UNBELIEVEABLY HILARIOUS, much of that pointless energy comes from the hyperactive sound effects (another tactic cribbed form Edgar Wright, but without the understanding of when to use them, when to not). At any rate, the surround elements are nothing less than thunderous. Perhaps too much so, but they give one plenty to listen to.
Commentary Track: Director Phil Claydon is a very engaging storyteller, to the point that I wished I liked his movie better. He’s full of great anecdotes about the making of the film, a standout being how his car was bombed by Hitler (I’ll say no more, but the tale is almost worth the price of admission on its own.
Res-Erection: Bringing LVK to Life: (14:41) A promotional making-of featurette, but a pretty funny one at that.
Whores of f***King Hades: (2.02) A montage of swearing. Pointless, anyone?
Fletch-Meister: (5:41) An even more puzzlingly pointless montage, consisting of a series of moments with Horne, and very little in common between them.
Webisodes: (8:06) Four behind-the-scenes pieces.
Music Video: (2:48) “Crying Blood” by DD Brown.
A comedy that is much, much too pleased with itself. Its fondness for the horror genre is simply not enough, unfortunately. One last thing to note: it seems that the US release of the DVD has dropped the word “Lesbian” from the title.