At this point the spoof movies from the duo of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer usually come with the precondition that it will suck. From Meet the Spartans to Disaster Movie they’re over-the-top use of pop culture with the thinnest of stories has made them the subject of ridicule and it’s reflected in their box office of late. This time around they decide to take aim at the legions of Twilight fans, possibly to gain some more money who knows, with their latest spoof Vampires Suck. The good thing is that the duo have dropped a lot of the unnecessary movie references, unfortunately they squander a genre rife for spoofing with lame, obvious gags and a rehashing of Twilight that makes Stephanie Meyers opus look like Casablanca.
In the town of Sporks, Washington, newcomer Becca Crane (Jenn Proske) falls for vampire Edward Sullen (Matt Lanter). As the two deal with their growing vampire/human relationship Becca enters into a friendship with the werewolf Jacob White (Chris Riggi) and supposedly hilarity ensues.
Vampires Suck definitely gets the best jabs when it’s making fun of the Twilight franchise. While not going full-tilt into making fun of the growing vampire genre, the movie definitely gets in some solid hits about the juggernaut that is Twilight include the over-the-top abstaining from sex and ridiculous wolf pack. The movie gets the majority of its laughs from these moments and a few aimed at the unnecessary human friends Becca has in the movie. Another improvement, and a shocking one considering how heavily it was used in past installments, was the absence of popular culture unrelated to the theme of the film. The movie still boasts a few jokes about Alice in Wonderland, Chris Brown and Lady Gaga but compared to previous efforts when 90% of the film was populated with references to every movie out that year, this is an improvement.
Unfortunately the movie is still a bargain basement spoof of Twilight and that’s not nearly enough to keep audiences interested, thankfully it’s not that long of a film. Instead of lampooning all the vampire films and shows out there the movie is 100% about Twilight, which is fine if they didn’t insist on shoe-horning in weak references to every other vamp show/film out there (taking the place of the pop culture apparently). Yes there are characters reading Vampire Diaries and drinking Tru Blood but that’s it. One would think the movie would be better lampooning all the vampires out there both past and present, instead the movie is a simple rehash of Twilight and New Moon, so if you hated those movies you won’t enjoy this at all. The movie also has to beat the audience over the head with gags to the point of stating the obvious for fear the audience won’t understand. A scene with Jacob turning into a Chihuahua loses all sense of humor when Becca has to state out loud what he is, as if the audience can’t see. At a scant 80 minutes the movie doesn’t have pacing issues, but it really condenses the two stories giving strong actors like Arielle Kebbel playing Rachel (Victoria in the series) short shrift when the few jokes were derived from that character.
The acting is also a scattered mess of talents with thankfully no one person dominating. All things considered newcomer Jenn Proske is great at capturing Kristen Stewart. Everything down to her mannerisms and delivery are pitch perfect with the star and I’m unsure if that shows a sign of Proske’s acting ability or Stewarts inability, either way it was a highlight. Other actors like the aforementioned Kebbel, Diedrich Bader as Becca’s dad and Charlie Weber as Jack also have a slew of jokes but don’t get nearly enough screen time. Matt Lanter and Chris Riggi are probably the worst as the two male leads with Lanter looking like he’s in drag and Riggi merely doing the exact same thing as Taylor Launter, rock a movie without a shirt. Again one is unable to deduce if their poor performances have to do with weak writing or bad acting, possibly a combo of both. Also Ken Jeong is becoming the most overexposed actor, in this playing the character of Daro that was simply his character from the Hangover with long hair.
In 80 minutes I can remember exactly how many times I laughed, twice and those were more chuckles than laughs. It’s great that Seltzer and Friedberg are moving away from throwing in jokes about every movie and news event out there, but they’re need to beat audiences with lame puns and gags mixed with a rehash of Twilight isn’t enough. A poor movie with some bright spots, but nothing you can’t catch on Comedy Central in a few months.