“Staying young is getting old.”
Vamps is a welcome reunion for director Amy Heckerling and Alicia Silverstone. The results may not put much of a new spin on the vampire genre but it does have enough heart to keep it from getting a stake to it.Goody (Alicia Silverstone) is a vampire who doesn’t feed on humans. Her loneliness has been tempered by her friendship with fellow vampire Stacy (Krysten Ritter). Their stem, or vampire who turned them, is Ciccerus (Sigourney Weaver) who summons them to be her clothing models since she can’t see herself in the mirror.
Our girls take night classes and club to keep eternity less boring and Stacy catches the eye of Joey (Dan Stevens). They also go to group therapy with Vlad (Malcolm McDowell) who also doesn’t impale anymore. Of course, he’s Joey Van Helsing son of Dr. Van Helsing (Wallace Shawn) who doesn’t exactly see eye to eye with the undead.
Meanwhile Goody has run into Danny (Richard Lewis), a former boyfriend from the 1960s who she convinces that she is the daughter of his former gal instead of being an undead, ageless bloodsucker. Danny’s wife is dying of cancer. That is if anyone could tear their eyes away from their electronic devices that might notice the oddness around them.
Amy Heckerling scored big with Fast Times at Ridgemont High and with Alicia Silverstone in Clueless. She’s been away from the director’s chair for a time but joins up with Silverstone once again for this vampire fantasy. The vampire aspect probably has been done enough that many of those gags feel very familiar.
They can’t see themselves in the mirror so they use others to model their clothes, etc. The not wanting to kill humans and having a self-help group also has a familiarity. Heckerling perhaps scores better when she’s commenting on technology, although with a vampire twist.
Everyone has their faces in their phones or pads and never really knows that is going on around them. Even college work has everyone texting and not watching the film in film studies. Only the vampires, who have all the time in the world as long as they stay out of the sun, seem to actually care about what is going on around them.
The cast is certainly having fun and the finale with a live fine even if you’re undead code has some lessons in it. All doesn’t come off though. There are plot points that had me asking questions. Is Van Helsing the force that was trying to bring the vampires to light and how exactly is Danny’s new relationship with his wife going to work out?
Vamps is presented in a 1080p transfer (1.78:1). Special features equal nothing. I feel so drained.
Vamps has surprising heart but maybe it was just me. It takes your standard vampire tale a puts in commentary on our obsession with our gadgets. There are some cute bits of comedy, but the vampire ones are long in the tooth [insert groan here]. It’s a fun return to form for Heckerling, but it’s not exactly a classic either.
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