The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

April Fools Week: The Un-Epic Battle of Vampires vs. Zombies

Written by: Chad Jarrah, Special to CC2K

ImageAs a new writer joining the site I was excited at my chance to become part of the Cin City team. Movies, books, TV…I could review whatever my pop culture obsessed heart desired. The possibilities were limitless. As it turned out I joined up just in time to take part in this year’s April Fools Week – watch and review a bad movie; force someone to review one of my picks – I was totally in. My outlook for this first assignment was upbeat and I loaded up the Vampires vs. Zombies DVD with a clear goal in mind and a positive outlook.

Then the movie started. 

Vampires vs. Zombies was about…well, you see…there’s this girl…no, wait…it’s just…they gotta kill them, right? With each passing minute of this film, the clear idea I had set out for my review was quickly vanishing. After ten minutes there was only one thing I was sure about: Vampires vs. Zombies was officially my new ‘What the Fuck?’ movie of the year.

Trying to explain the plot of this movie is a little like trying to comprehend this sentence: The opening squirrel follows the main Squidward’s attempt to define his roast beef with au jus sauce in a cinco where there is no 867-5309. No rhyme or reason. It was like putting together a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle full of pieces from other puzzles – confusing and irritating. Despite my confusion, I will try my best.

Vampires vs. Zombies follows Travis and Jenna Fontaine (who is sometimes called Beth), a father-daughter team of vampire and zombie killers out on a mission to do something at some place with a Kenny Rogers look-alike named ‘The General.’ Jenna is haunted by nightmares of a vampire attack and her impending loss of sanity. Now take this piece of information and forget it. The film never takes the time to explain these dream sequences, so neither will I. Accompanying Jenna and her emaciated father is Carmilla. I don’t quite understand Carmilla’s role either – she is a vampire; ‘The General’ wants to kill Carmilla, as do Jenna and her father, but they are still friends with her. Travis wants to protect his daughter from vampires, especially Carmilla, but every chance he gets, he leaves Jenna alone with the vampiress.

Aside from the lack of plot, bad actors, unappealing storyline and shoddy camerawork, the movie’s biggest problems are the disjointed scenes. You’ll be watching Jenna and her father exchange some excruciatingly painful dialogue and then all of a sudden the scene will cut to ‘The General’ making a phone call. He is upset, hangs up, throws out a few random curses and the scene gets cut back to Jenna and Camilla making out with each other. I didn’t know (or really care) why ‘The General’ was upset, why Jenna and Camilla were making out, or why I was even able to find this piece of shit in a reputable video store like Blockbuster.

The disjointed scenes problem brings me to another point. When all was said and done and the team behind Vampires vs. Zombies figured they were finished confusing anyone who took the time to watch it, where was the editing process to at clean up at least some of the basic loose ends? Sound effects were often late in being heard – at one point, we hear Travis slam down the hood of his car about ten seconds after we see him close it. The sound effects were also sometimes unnecessary – a falcon is heard randomly screeching or one of the vampires makes a ‘cat attack’ noise when it tries to bite ‘The General.’ And I can’t even count how many times in the movie boring footage was taped – I had to sit through one-way phone conversations, staring at the outside of a building, and countless minutes of complete darkness.

Despite all the problems, there was one twist that I never saw coming. The tagline for Vampires vs. Zombies is ‘The battle between the living dead and the undead has begun!’ For most of the film I assumed that eventually some vampires and zombies would actually fight each other. I mean, they had to, right? That was the name of the movie; wasn’t that the whole point? Gotcha! There are no battles, no confrontations and not even any semi-enthralling attacks. There were a total of four to six vampires and seven to nine zombies in the whole movie…even if they were going to have a battle, there wouldn’t have been enough participants.

For anyone who dares to sit through this movie, here’s a heads up to what you will encounter:

–       Kenny Rogers beating up a few girls

–       Travis Fontaine’s extra small t-shirt

–       Jenna squatting over a rock to pass her period

–       Random lesbian sex scenes that find a way to be unappealing

–       A bathtub full of blood…I mean motor oil

–       Perpetual confusion

There was only one saving grace to this travesty to the cinematic experience. In some instances a movie is so bad – it breaks so many rules and makes such little sense – that it somehow becomes good. Vampires vs. Zombies definitely falls into that category. Anyone who has ever enjoyed Mystery Science Theater 3000 could appreciate this movie, but should do so only while heavily drugged and/or intoxicated and in the company of a room full of like-minded friends.