I Kissed A Vampire – Film Review
The ghosts of High School Musicals past come out to grasp to their last shreds of relevance.
They’re all gone, boys.
Ashley Tisdale made sure of that. Believe me.
TL;DR Awkward, pointless and bland, I Kissed A Vampire is what I imagine a Glee/Twilight hybrid would be. If all the songs were made much more unimpressive, the budget was gimped, and Robert “Footface” Pattinson was replaced with Lucas “Ratface” Grabeel. But I think I Kissed A Vampire is pretty aware of its own awfulness. 2 out of 5 stars.
I refused to believe that anyone during production of this thought it was anything other than bizarre trash. And that’s good.
The plot is some shit about vampires. Lucas is Dylan, a dude with absolutely no personality or attributes, who is turning into a vampire. Drew Seeley (Zac Efron’s voice double from HSM 1, and pre-mega fame Selena Gomez’s love interest from Another Cinderella Story) is a hip vampire, named Trey (fuckin’ hip as, bro), who tries to mentor him. Trey then sets his fangs on Dylan’s girlfriend (?) Sara. Sara and Dylan then embark on a quest to defeat Trey/restore their humanity/go steady. I think?
The major problem with I Kissed A Vampire isn’t hard to identify: it’s underwhelming in every single way.
The plot is boring and empty. There is nothing at stake. The characters never act rationally. There is absolutely no scope outside of these 2 random kids who somehow run into vampires.
But worst of all is the songs. They’re so forgettable. Maybe a couple of them stuck around in my head for a few minutes, but writing this now, only a few hours after watching the movie, I honestly can’t remember any of them.
The lyrics are vague, pop nonsense with the occasional allusion to blood or biting. And they have no bass or rhythm. They’re really just so unimpressive.
Fantastic songs were what raised Reefer Madness from the made-for-TV mess it was.
But hey, on the plus side, at least I Kissed A Vampire wasn’t as unbearable as Rock of Ages. That’s gotta be worth something.
Why I hate this movie:
Still harping on the songs, there is no opening number. Like, what the actual fuck? Is this not a fucking musical? The opening is some confusing dream that Dylan has. We have to wait several (boring) minutes until the first full song arrives. And it’s a ballady, Sara soliloquy about how she’s “not a forbidden planet” or something. What the hell? Reefer Madness took a few minutes to get to its opening number, but damn, it was worth it. Not so here, baby.
Take a look at how it’s described on the official website. Even the official fucking synopsis has to lie to cover up how vacant this movie is. The “exchange student” appears in a 2 second flashback and is never seen again. The dentist was in one fucking scene (obvious attempt to remind people of a much better musical with a demented dentist). The para-psychologist doesn’t do anything and barely even functions as a framing device wherein Dylan tells the tale of some of the stuff that happens. Absurd.
Another major problem is how “stage-y” the whole thing looks. It’s so artificial. Reefer Madness (my musical reference pool isn’t great, and I Kissed A Vampire does have a similar look) had the same issue, but at least the sets had, like, props and shit. Most of the sets here are just bare boxes with a couch and a cheap, fake window. Jesus.
The homoeroticism card is not played between Trey and Dylan. It starts off promisingly, but is quickly abandoned. Could have been much more camp-fabulous, you guys.
Sara, in her desparation to get a kiss from Dylan, is blasé about his cold sore (which he doesn’t actually have, but that’s not important). Bitch, that shit is permanent.
The vampire costumes and makeup are painfully unoriginal. Heavy eyeliner, goth rocker attire, stupid coloured hair extensions for the ladies, crucifixes. At least Twilight tried to add something new. Even if sparkling in sunlight was monumentally ridiculous.
Near the end, when Sara and Dylan are hanging with Trey so they can get some of his blood to make a cure, things get stupid(er). The final showdown, where Trey wipes Sara’s mind so he can keep her, only occurs because Sara gets all pissy when she sees Dylan in a “this isn’t what it looks like” situation with a slutty vampire. Bitch, there’s more important things to worry about (like saving your goddamn humanity) than if your boyfriend was sexually assaulted by an obvious ho. God.
Oh, and the ending tops this. Trey realises that Dylan has some very impressive vampire teleportation power thing. This entails Dylan rage-trasnporting them to limbo for, like, 5 seconds, and then returning to the castle. This is apparently enough for Trey to be like “Oh, cool. I’ll be off then.” What?
Reasons to watch:
I found myself on several occasions being reluctantly pulled into this abomination. The Go For The Throat number is a good example. It’s so endearingly lame. There’s a sincerity to I Kissed A Vampire that I respect.
And, like I said in the TL;DR, I think there’s some level of self-awareness of how crappy it is.
Drew Seeley does a decent job as the smooth, evil-ish Trey. Villains are always cooler.
Lucas Grabeel’s character isn’t obviously gay this time. That must have been a nice change of pace for him.
The girl who plays Sara is probably the star. She’s got a good look (not overly stick-thin and vapid), and a decent set of lungs. Although singing better than Lucas Grabeel and Drew Seeley isn’t much of a feat, is it?
There’s a shocking restraint with regards to autotune. The only time it kicked in was during the mind control number, and it made sense in context. And that only came about halfway through. If it was in any of the other songs, then it was very subtle. Cool.
Amy Paffrath (who is apparently Drew Seeley’s IRL wife) plays Trey’s top groupie. It was weird seeing that chick who hosted the later Jersey Shore reunion shows in something so different. But good weird.
Best line goes to Dr Dan Helsing (oh, pun), who breaks the 4th wall:
Sara: “How are we gonna find him (Trey)?”
Dan: “Didn’t I just sit through a whole song about this, or what? You’re connected telepathically.”
There’s a bit of amusing 4th wall breakage, actually.
Trey is runner up with his flippant attitude towards Amy getting jealous of Sara: “What’s she gonna do? Kill herself?” I lol’d.
Oh, and at least I finished it. See, Les Miserables. If you had been under 90 minutes, I would have stuck it out with you, too.
Holy shit, this is mediocre. Only true HSM-tards should even consider bothering. 2 out of 5 stars.