Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Vamps?  Is this what I went to go see?  I thought I was going to go see 'Twilight Vamps', the Fred Olen Ray softcore spoof starring Brandin Rackley of 'The Hills Have Thighs' and 'Cleavagefield' fame, but nope… I went to see a brightly lit bubbly romantic comedy directed by Amy Heckerling of Clueless and Fast Times fame, starring Alicia Silverstone and centered around vampires trying to find love in New York City.  How could I have so badly misstepped? 

Goody (Silverstone) and Stacy (Krysten Ritter) are couple of high flying hip vampires making their way through the tough streets of New York City, though New York City through the camera of Amy Heckerling looks just slightly less oppressive than Mayberry R.F.D.  Anyway, Stacy has been a vampire for about twenty or so years, but Goody has been a vamp since like 1842, but to make Stacy more comfortable Stacy thinks they are about the same age.  Goody and Stacy are also pacifist so they don't go around draining humans, just the rats they catch from their pest control operation.  These young ladies go to clubs, they attend night class and live just like everybody else except they sleep in coffins, can't go in the daylight and avoid video chat like the plague since casting a reflection is a bit of an issue.

In this little vampire reality, only a 'stem' can change a human to a vampire with Goody and Stacy's stem being the completely off her rocker Cisserus (Sigourney Weaver) who has no such qualms about eating people.  Like the pizza guy (Taylor Negron), the same guy who was delivering pizza to Spicoli and them back in 1982.  We probably should've been horrified that Cisserus eviscerated this poor guy, but he has been a pizza delivery boy for thirty years so she probably put him out of his misery when you think about it. 
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Complications arise when Stacy meets and falls in love with the dashing Englishman Joey Van Helsing (Dan Stevens), the complication being that Joey's old man is legendary vampire hunter and ex MI6 agent Dr. Van Helsing as played by Wallace Shawn who had absolutely no interest in faking a British accent for this movie.  That would've been funny to hear.  Things get complicated further when Goody reconnects with Danny (Richard Lewis) her old love from the radical 60's who is caring for his dying wife in between being a stinking liberal ACLU lawyer fighting for people's rights and other nonsense.   He's a little surprised to see his ex-girlfriend looking exactly the same some 40 years later, but she does stay out of the sun which we hear is good for the skin.

So what's the bottom line?  What's the rub?  What's the deal?  Cisserus is eating New York City and has to be stopped, Van Helsing wants to kill his son's girlfriend and has to persuaded not to do this completely logical thing, this girlfriend is pregnant (?), but if Cisserus dies all of the years accumulate on her vamp progeny.  Not so bad for Stacy, not so good for Goody.  Love will show the way.  And as we have said many times before when watching romantic comedies… just kill me now.

Not to be gross or anything, and of course vampires aren't real, but considering vampires are dead and cold, wouldn't sex with a vampire be… like… not so good?  Being that one of the better things about sex, I've heard, is warmth?  I'm just contemplating is all, asking the hard questions. 

So am I the right person to be passing judgment on a light hearted, breezy, romantic comedy about urban vampires trying to find love in safe and friendly New York City?  Probably not, but yet here we are.

To that end I can say that we here at the FCU did not dislike 'Vamps'.  I mean it is Amy Heckerling directing who has been doing this for going on four decades now, directing just this type of movie, so clearly the woman knows what she's doing when it comes to this type of movie.  'Vamps' is silly, it's irreverent, it's inconsequential, it's lightweight and ultimately it's pretty harmless entertainment.  And dare I say even somewhat enjoyable?

Somewhat.  Krysten Ritter is charming and adorable, which is diametrically opposed to the types of roles we're used to seeing the tall raven haired beauty in.  I guess that's why they call it acting.  We did observe her paramour excited in his attempt to look down her shirt in one particular scene, which did have us curious as to what he was trying to see since I don't believe there's anything down her shirt to actually see, but I guess that's why they call it acting.  The overall cast is a very good one, Alicia Silverstone looks like she might be getting a little long in the tooth for these kinds of roles but her RomCom chops are still pretty sharp , and the movie is funny at moments.  Excruciating at other moments, but we kind of expected that for this kind of film.

I think the movie even delves into more complex issues such as sexism and discrimination and class inequity, if you're looking for that kind of thing in your bubbly vampire themed Romantic Comedy.  Which you probably aren't, but it is there simmering underneath the narrative if you're interested.

'Vamps' is probably the closest I'm willing to get to a 'Twilight' movie and for a light romantic comedy with vampires, it didn't make me throw up in my mouth.  That's a compliment.
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