Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lesbian Vampire Killers (2009)

Directed by Phil Claydon
Starring Matthew Horne, James Corden, Myanna Buring
Rated R

"So, you are dumping me?"
"No. But in a sense, yes."

The title of this film is very open-ended. Are they lesbians, who are also vampires, who kill people? Or people who kill lesbian vampires? Or lesbians who kill vampires? There's a lot of possibilities here. Written by two MTV producers and clearly inspired by Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead, Lesbian Vampire Killers is a whiplash-paced British horror-com, modern in execution but thoroughly entrenched in the old-world horrors of Hammer.

The opening is a CGI-drenched prologue that looks like a parody of the Underworld films. Some time long, long ago, in the enchanted village of Craigwich, wicked, sapphic girl-demon Camilla (Silvia Colloca) steals away Nobleman McLaren's true love. Vowing revenge, he forges a mystical sword to slay her, and they do battle. He deals the death-blow, but before she is sucked into the abyss, Camilla curses the man and the wretched town he lives in: until the last of his bloodline returns, all the women of Craigwich will turn into lesbians vampires upon their 18th birthday. And then she melts.

Fast forward to the present day, where we meet shlubby nice-guy Jimmy (Matthew Horne). He is, in fact, the last of the cursed McLaren line, but he does not know this yet. All he knows is that he cannot catch a break. Judy (Lucy Gaskell), his on-again-off-again girlfriend, has just informed him that they are off again. Depressed, he hits the pub with his chubby funster bud Fletch (James Corden). Fletch has just been sacked from his party clown gig for punching a seven year old in the face.

So he's not having a great day either. Nine beers later, the two friends come to the conclusion that they should take a vacation. Jimmy hurls a wobbly dart at a map on the wall and decides that wherever it lands, they'll go. It hits a tiny town called Craigwich. Neither of them have heard of it, but what the hell.

They decide that hiking is the proper theme for this trip, so they assemble enough gear to make it look official, and head out. A train drops them off at their rural destination, and as they clomp down a muddy road to town, Jimmy gets a call on his cell phone from his tormentor Judy. Since her last stab at true love just blew up in her face, she decides to take Jimmy back - for the 8th time. Fletch is having none of it, and he gleefully smashes Jimmy's phone. This, by the way, is one of the more clever ways I've seen recently to get rid of a cell phone in a horror flick. Beats the old 'no bars' gag.

Fletch is already grousing about their choice of vacation spot, loudly complaining that there's no way there'll be any girls in this town. As if on cue, a gaggle of super-hot, alabaster-skinned lovelies pour out of a stone cottage in sexy slo-mo while Wolfmother's "Woman" (again with this song?) blares away on the soundtrack. They jump into a beat-up old VW bus and zoom off.

It may be the single greatest hot-chicks-in-slow-motion segment I've ever seen.

The fellas head into the local pub expecting to see more buxom young ladies but are greeted instead by a roomful of grizzled old depressives. They accept a free pint and gulp it down in silence.
"I'm a bit afraid that I'm going to get raped," notes Jimmy.

Suddenly, the town's half-mad vicar (Paul McGann) bursts through the door, his beautiful 17 year daughter Rebecca (Emer Kenny) in tow. He attempts to rile the old bastards in the bar up, to convince them an insurgence of some stripe is in order - his daughter will be 18 soon, and so cursed with the lesbo disease - but the locals are having none of it. Then the vicar eyes Jimmy, and lunges at him, accusing him of some sort of devilry. The barkeep pulls him off the panicked tourist and sends the vicar on his way. Then he informs the boys that there's a rooming house down the road where they'll be able to stay the night, free of charge.
"It might be a tight squeeze though," he says. "I sent some beautiful young girls down there a few nights ago."
Jimmy is, of course, ready to bail, but Fletch wants a crack at the van full of teenage fanny, so they decided to stay the night.

They trudge down the road and are lucky enough to run into the vanload of nubiles. There's Lotte (Myanna Buring), the smart and possibly Swedish one, Anke (Louise Dylan), the, umm, red-headed one, Heidi (Tiffany Mulheron), the one-who's-always-sucking-on-a-lollipop, and Trudy (Ashley Mulheron, Tiffany's sister), the perpetually stoned, big-breasted one. Since they're all headed to the same place, the girls invite the fellas to ride along, and they drink beer, smoke weed, and make merry as they wind their way to the cottage.

Meanwhile, Judy shows up at the pub. She's determined, it seems, to get Jimmy back. The barkeep points her in the direction of the cottage, and she storms off. It's a busy night in Craigwich.

Once they get to the cottage, a dance party breaks out. Lotte chats with Jimmy about the ominous portrait of Camilla on the wall. She tells him that's why they've come to Craigwich - they're all history majors studying the myth of Camilla, and what better place than the tiny village that's supposedly cursed by the vampire queen?

At some point, Heidi announces that she has to pee, and heads to the outhouse with Anke and a flashlight. They disappear soon after. Then Trudy excuses herself to take a shower, and is unceremoniously sucked through the bathroom window by some mysterious force.
Lotte and Jimmy head outside to find out what's going on. Fletch would rather have some tea.
"Look, I know something terrible is going on," he whines, "But is there any way we can just ignore it?"

Lotte finds her friends in the woods, making bloody vampire love. Anke attacks Fletch and Lotte stakes her with a gnarled tree branch, causing her to melt into a pile of mucus. The still-breathing members of the party make a run for it.

Heidi cuts them off before they can make it into the cottage, but Fletch manages to knock her head off with a frying pan and they run inside, bolting the door behind them. Lotte starts gathering stake-like hunks of wood to finish off the remaining vamps, but things suddenly get more complicated when a sexed-up, lingerie-clad Judy shows up at the door.

Jimmy lets her in, of course. Not only does this piss Lotte off - she's a virgin, waiting for the right guy, and she's just decided said guy was Jimmy - but, you know, it's never a good idea to invite people in when vampires are about. That's the only way they can get into your house!

So, they've got that to deal with. And then Jimmy accidentally lets the rest of the lesbo-vamps in, as well. Lotte and Jim fall under the vampires' spell and are whisked away to god-knows-where.

Meanwhile, Fletch is in the bathroom jerking off when the vicar bursts in. The two of them fight off the Trudy vamp. When it's all over, all that's left are her breasts implants. The vicar explains to Fletch that they were all sent by the barkeep as food for the vampires, but what the locals did not know is that Jimmy is the last of the cursed bloodline, and that he holds the key to lifting the curse and saving the vicar's daughter before she vamps out at midnight.

Turns out that Jimmy's blood, mixed with a virgin's - i.e. Lotte - will somehow bring back Camilla, and the vicar knows where the ancient sword that can kill her once and for all is buried. Fletch really just wants to go the fuck home, but the vic is insistent, so they bust open the tomb, and Fletch fetches the penis-shaped sword.

Takes him awhile, though, and by the time he's got it, it's already midnight. Sweet little Rebecca ain't sweet no more. So he's got that to deal with.

As you would imagine, Camilla is resurrected, and the ultimate battle between good and evil - or at least an erotically charged, semi-significant regional battle between good and evil - begins. Will Lotte and Jimmy survive, and find true love and happiness together, or will Camilla kill everybody, and rule an empire of gorgeous, wicked, blood-sucking lesbians? Personally, I'd be into the latter, but you know how these kinda movies usually go.

Fast-paced, witty, and with a seemingly endless well of gorgeous women, Lesbian Vampire Killers is sure to become a cult hit. Of course, it does have its problems. For one thing, it shamelessly dips into the Shaun of the Dead well for inspiration. Jimmy and Fletch are carbon copies of Shaun and Ed, and the spastic editing is pure Edgar Wright. Also, for a movie called Lesbian Vampire Killers, there is surprisingly little girl-on-girl action involved. Clearly, the filmmakers were influenced by seminal Sapphic 70's horrors like Vampyros Lesbos and Vampyres, and those films were pretty wall-to-wall in the lesbo love-making department, so why skimp on the skin when you've gone this far?

Still, despite the dearth of softcore sleaze, this is an easy recommendation. Boners will be popped, and funny bones will be tickled. The ending sets things up for a sequel, so let's hope this is not the last we'll see of Shaun...err, Jimmy and company. Lesbian vampires never get old, man. No pun intended.

Link: Official website
Clip: Official trailer!

- Ken McIntyre

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