Right, let’s talk Exploitation Cinema. Dodgy special effects, girls in short shorts, wafer thin plots, gratuitous everything, possible undead attacks, plenty of corny jokes, at least one “name actor” slumming it and having fun doing so, lots of implied (or outright in your face) sexy fun, low budget awesome Exploitation Cinema. A good piece of Exploitation Cinema can check off every one of those – and today’s film, while not coming directly from the ‘golden age’ of Exploitation Cinema, definitely wears those influences on its sleeve. Coming from the recent slew of post Grindhouse Exploitation Throwbacks, is today’s film – Lesbian Vampire Killers.
Harking back, not only to Exploitation Cinema, but also the classic Hammer Horror films of the 50’s and 60’s (and here’s where I link to Dracula Has Risen From The Grave) and owing more than a passing debt of gratitude to Shaun Of The Dead (to the point where one of the main stars flat out calls the film “Shaun of The Dead with tits”), Lesbian Vampire Killers is the story of two hapless 20-somethings, Jimmy and Fletch (TV’s Matthew Horne and James Corden), who, upon Jimmy being dumped by his shrew of a girlfriend and Fletch being fired from his job as a children’s clown (for punching out a 7 year old), head off to the British countryside on a camping trip. Once they get to the tiny hamlet of Cragwich, the duo end up tangled up in an age old curse, set upon the town by an insane vampire queen. Teaming up with a vicar (Paul McGann at his sweary best) and the only survivor (the others having been pretty quickly turned into vampires) of a busload of Scandinavian anthropology students (MyAnna Buring), the lads become unwitting defenders of humanity and have to stop the vampire queen, Carmilla (Silvia Colloca) from resurrecting and thus destroying the world.
Everything in this film has been done with a ridiculous over the top charm, from the awesome opening credits sequence (harkening back to awesome grindhouse movie posters) to the vampires themselves (picture a whole mess of Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Amilyn, only instead of being played by Pee Wee Herman, they are played by a series of eye-candylicious women, hired only because they look good in tiny pants and can scream awesomely and Carmilla, who is all overdone makeup, crazy hair and OTT movements) to the two central lads (who are the Home Brand Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, for sure) and the historical artefact they need to find. Right from minute one of the film, you know what you are getting into – there is nothing at all subtle about the ride you are going to go on, and if you are not prepared to go on it, you are watching the wrong movie.
This is not a film that takes itself in ANY way seriously, and neither should you (or you’ll leave as disappointed and as angry as if you went in expecting it to be a wall to wall lesbian fest, there is more girl on girl action on an episode of Neighbours – the writers were challenged to come up with the dumbest, yet most commercial, movie title they could, and go from there). Everyone involved with the making of this film knew what they were making and just had fun with it, and it shows. Now, this could say something about the kind of people I mix with, but every person who has seen this film has just had fun with it, as they knew exactly what to expect – I mean, the film IS called Lesbian Vampire Killers; you are not going to get a deep, philosophical Oscar winner that will change your life, people.
This film is just pure, over the top, ridiculous cheeseball fun.