Love or hate them, it was hard to navigate the late 2000s without hearing about the Twilight Saga, The trendy books struck gold rediscovering the popular potential of vampire romance, at the derision of those who enjoyed the vampire’s more violent qualities. In 2010, with the franchise still in the minds of many either awaiting or dreading the next instalment, Friedberg and Seltzer returned. Willing to gleefully poke their tongues at the series and sink their teeth into the pulse of pop culture in their cleverly named film parody, cleverly called Vampires Suck.
When Becca Crane moves to the remote coastal town of Sporks, due to her embarrassing father becoming the new sheriff, she has a hard time adjusting. That is until Becca meets Edward Sullen. He is an aloof and distant student, warped in mystery and intrigue, and after saving her life, the two form an attraction. She also discovers he is a vampire, though one who limits himself to non-human blood. Teenage dating is hard enough, doubly so when the family of your boyfriend wants to drain your flesh and blood. Can they make their relationship work out? Or will the other teenage boy that Becca met (who happens to be a werewolf) steal her heart?
As you might surmise from the plot description, this story seems somewhat like Twilight. You would be right, shots are taken at controversial details such as Vampires sparkling in the sunlight, among other elements of the Twilight Saga. As its own thing, Vampire’s Suck starts tarts strong, with a sequence that shows off the picturesque, yet sombre (and full of obvious signs of Vampire activity). This segment is underscored with a Muse/Kasabian knock off track, called My Panties by Magicwandos that perfectly encapsulates the teenage angst that Friedberg and Seltzer are going for. Kudos should go to the cast, Jenn Proske makes her film debut as Becca, and you would not tell this was her first time on the big screen, to say she was a natural as Becca is an understatement. From emulating Kristen Stewart’s slightest mannerism down to subverting them when called upon. Disaster Movie survivor Matt Lanter also well cast with his distant glare even down to the distinct hairstyle. Heavy hitters such as Ken Jeong and Diedrich Bader help round out the cast, willing to get goofy as the situation demands it.
Like Meet the Spartans, Friedberg and Seltzer focus more on the angst-laden prose of the Twilight franchise and extracts many laughs from recounting the franchise’s story. However, if you have not seen the films nor read the books, they have got you covered. Jokes about Chinese cuisine, and continuing references to Lady Gaga are just further manifestations of Friedberg and Seltzer’s humour. Even with an almost meta-examination of the rivalry between Edward and Jacob, and the subsequent real-world Zealotry that surrounded this argument is also a topic of comedy, reflecting on the real-life appeal of the Twilight franchise. For those who prefer their vampires non-Twilighty, there is even some Buffy the Vampire Slayer references to keep you sated.
Vampire Sucks is a happy medium between the wacky jokes of its target and the wider lampoons that have become their calling card. It might be because Vampiric literature is more recognisable, and the prevalence of Twilight might be an easier target to spoof. But everybody here gives their all in successfully poking fun at the toothy teen heartthrobs. For another instalment of Friedberg and Seltzer’s brand of parody, you will find that Vampires may indeed suck, but this film does not.
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