Vampires Suck Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer

Vampires Suck Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
We spend so much time trying to predict which movies will "stand the test of time" that the films of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (including Date Movie, Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans) are a shock to the senses. Of all the major American filmmakers with distinctive styles working today (and, yes, their style is distinctive), they are the most proudly ephemeral, with their films always taking the form of a gag-driven genre spoof, but digressing frequently to include jokes about whatever is popular at the moment. I'm not entirely sure what it would be like to watch Epic Movie (2007) today, but I hazily recall that it included spoofs of Punk'd, Snakes on a Plane and the SNL "Lazy Sunday" sketch, so I assume it's incomprehensible. Friedberg and Seltzer's many detractors argue that their films earn laughs not through actual humour, but simply through the shock of recognition: in Vampires Suck, a high school girl is reading a letter from her muscle-bound boyfriend, who is stationed in Iraq, whose name is John… hey, wait a sec, this is a reference to Dear John, isn't it? But it's not simply the recognition that fuels this scene ― it's the incongruity of seeing a reference to a very recent movie within another very recent movie, knowing what we know about how long it takes to get most movies made. It should also be noted that Friedberg and Seltzer have created peculiar film rules that are completely unique to their body of work: in their movies, actions lack ramifications, injuries are miraculously healed between cuts, characters' personalities change instantaneously and anyone can produce any prop out of thin air if it will benefit a gag. Maybe it's wrong to think of Friedberg and Seltzer's work as "movies" when they're really something else entirely. "InstaFlicks," perhaps: quick, cheap entertainment presented in movie-like conditions, to be consumed and forgotten like a McDonald's Junior Chicken sandwich. Approached from more traditional standards, Vampires Suck ranks as a high-range Friedberg/Seltzer effort, for whatever that's worth ― the chilly colour palette and exaggeratedly sombre tone indicate that the guys have at least seen the films they're spoofing, for once. Also, I liked Jenn Proske, who does a pretty good Kristen Stewart impression as "Becca Crane," all mumbles, sneers and hair-tosses. Otherwise, this is pretty turgid stuff. Sample joke: Jacob's short-shorts-wearing werewolf brothers dance suggestively to "It's Raining Men." Suffice to say, this is the ideal Twilight spoof for eighth-grade Twilight fans, who can giggle at the sexual innuendo, recognize beloved scenes being gently sent-up and not have to deal with the emotional strain of actually seeing their favourite movies criticized through genuine satire. The DVD includes both theatrical and unrated cuts, which will save all you hardcore Vampire Sucks completists from having to buy two discs. Extras are limited to a trailer, gag reel and a handful of deleted scenes. (Fox)