Lesbian Vampire Killers

Little and large comedy duo James Corden and Matthew Horne made their names with sit-com Gavin & Stacey but nothing of that series’ warmth and good humour transfers in their big-screen debut, the shrill and puerile Lesbian Vampire Killers. Sapphic-themed bloodsucker movies are a genre to themselves, from 1936s Dracula’s Daughter to Jess Franco’s enduring psychedelic cult classic Vampyros Lesbos, but director Phil Claydon is only interested in spoofing the already self-aware 1970s Hammer horror The Vampire Lovers, and evidently not all that interested even in that.

Corden and Horne play Fletch and Jimmy, a pair of listless Londoners who escape their tedious troubles by taking a holiday in a remote village in Norfolk. Upon arrival, they are invited to stay in an even-more-isolated cottage, free of charge, by a local pub landlord. But the kindly tavern owner has a nefarious ulterior motive: he is sending the boys as a sacrifice to the vampire queen who has enslaved the young women of the region in a lesbian death cult. To fill out the quotient of female flesh required of the Nuts and Zoo-reading audience, the boys meet up with a gaggle of sexy foreign exchange students, who run around in their knickers until the story demands they transform into lesbians. Somewhere in the middle of all this, Paul McGann pops up as a vicar who believes Horne is the descendant of a long-dead vampire slayer.

For a movie that boils down to ninety minutes of gags about being fat, LVK is surprisingly lean when it comes to laughs. Corden, the big-boned one, delights in his own corpulence, wobbling his belly and slobbering his jowls when given the chance, but his antics never once raise a genuine laugh. Corden takes the vast majority of the starchy dialogue and delivers every line in the same wheedling bark, like a queasy child that has recently eaten a hippopotamus, despite being told not to. Beside him, or more often behind him, slender straight man Horne is reduced to raised eyebrows and slapped cheeks in a succession of reaction shots and double-takes. This he does, but not well. The rest of it is clumsy slapstick and boobies.

A joyless visual style, cheap visual effects and arthritic gags combine in a wretched film, pitched at the level of the schoolyard and missing even that broad target by miles. Tittering homage isn’t nearly enough to satisfy a paying audience, comedy needs to be funny. Lesbian Vampire Killers isn’t funny; it’s cynical and lazy and stupid.

1 comment:

Alatar said...

But there's boobies right? ;)