Do you miss the 80s, back when vampire movies were goofy, silly, and a bit sweet? Are you fan of Once Bitten, Fright Night, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Then be sure and check your local listings for the limited theatrical release of Amy Heckerling's Vamps, this Friday (Nov 2).
Heckerling had her heyday some decades ago with Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless, and continues to work in TV with episodes of The Office and Gossip Girl on her resume. She never strays far from her formula so if you like what she does, you're bound to enjoy Vamps. While it did feel more like an extended sitcom to me than an actual film, I must say I found it fun. The movie is shot and acted like a TV comedy — definitely not very cinematic, but cuteness abounds and Vamps is fit for teens and their parents alike.
Much of the fun is due to Heckerling's smart casting: Alicia Silverstone (from Clueless) and Krysten Ritter (currently starring in Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23) are great together as a couple of kooky, quirky and cute living dead girls trying to, er, survive in New York. It's like Sex & the City meets Nosferatu. Here's an indication of what you're in for, when you read the tagline, "Dating Sucks!"
If you haven't had enough of Malcolm McDowell yet (I swear, the guy must have a huge house payment… in the past few months alone I have seen him on Psych, CSI: Miami, The Mentalist, and in Excision, Silent Hill 2: Revelations, and Antiviral!), then he's fun as the addiction counselor in the V.A. (vampires anonymous) meetings the girls attend. Other small roles go to Justin Kirk (most famous as a series regular on Weeds), Wallace Shawn ("Inconceivable!" from The Princess Bride, and the other guy in My Dinner with Andre), and Sigourney Weaver (as a vamp who craves pizza… guys. It's actually Taylor Negron, who delivered the pizza to Spicoli in FTaRH!).
If you miss the flick in theaters, rest in peace… I mean, rest assured: it's out on DVD and Blu-ray on November 13, 2012.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson