‘Vampires’ spoof is aptly titled
Last summer, an enterprising YouTube artist cut together clips from the classic TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer’’ and the first “Twilight’’ film to create a relationship between Edward Cullen and Buffy. There’s far more creativity in that six-minute video than in all 88 minutes of “Vampires Suck.’’
It was only a matter of time until Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the writing-directing duo responsible for a parade of genre film parodies from “Date Movie’’ to “Meet the Spartans,’’ turned their attention to the “Twilight’’ franchise. With “Vampires Suck,’’ the film is just as guilty as the vampires.
The plot is more like a series of sketches, loosely based on scenes from the first two “Twilight’’ films, which lend themselves to pratfalls, jokes about Canadians, and awkward dance numbers. We follow Becca (Jenn Proske) as she moves to Sporks, Wash., with her single father (Diedrich Bader), and there meets sparkly vampire Edward Sullen (“90210’’ hunk Matt Lanter) and sweet, shirtless werewolf Jacob (Chris Riggi). Her time is spent fending off ravenous bloodsuckers and one-dimensional classmates in a quest to find a date to her vampire-themed prom.
Most of the jokes involve people getting punched in the face, or dated pop-culture references (does anyone care about the Kardashians any more?). The most clever visual gag is a giant cactus that Becca brings to Sporks (“Twilight’’ heroine Bella is from Phoenix). And despite constant jabs at the pro-abstinence theme of the original series, “Vampires Suck’’ is just as buttoned-up. Only one character gets naked — presumably to maintain the PG-13 rating necessary to attract the “Twilight’’ crowd.
Proske pulls off an amusingly accurate impression of Kristen Stewart’s somnambulant Bella, complete with flat voiceover and bad posture, but she’s handicapped by her ability to demonstrate more than one facial expression. Lanter fares better as Edward — his main responsibilities involve staring and keeping his hair in place. The most fun comes from Ken Jeong, who appears near the end. But even in a scarlet cape and ridiculous wig he can’t salvage the preceding 80 minutes.
The film provides enough recognizable references that Twi-hards with a sense of humor should feel included in the jokes, or inspired to make up their own. Non-“Twilight’’ fans would be better off surfing YouTube.
Natalie Southwick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.