In the realm of cash-in movies, Vampires Suck is one that is made for two reasons. Firstly, as is always the case with cash-in films, it was made to make money. The second reason is to make fun of something. In this case, that something is the Twilight series of films and books, themselves, (especially in the case of the movies), made primarily just to make money.
Vampires Suck loosely tells the story of the first two Twilight films, Twilight and New Moon. It mostly just uses the biggest and most memorable moments from those two movies though, because with a runtime of around 80 minutes, there’s no way that you’re going to be able to show the majority of the scenes. It actually doesn’t do a terrible job of conveying the main story, although it will anger some die-hard Twilight fans by switching events and places around. (For example, the climax of the first movie takes place in a forest here, and lasts for maybe 40 seconds).
What’s odd about the way the story is told is that some scenes actually end up lasting much longer than they did in the source material. This leads me to question if even the writing/directing duo of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer had trouble coming up with enough ideas to fill a feature-length film. And the scenes that have this happen, they end up being really boring. You’ll realize during them that they will rely on the same gag over and over again, and when it usually isn’t funny the first time, seeing it 3 or 4 additional times will leave you feeling like you should turn the film off.
Here is the most easily recognizable way that Vampires Suck “spoofs” Twilight: The characters’ names are all changed in one way or another. Bella Swan becomes “Becca Crane” (Jenn Proske), while Edward Cullen becomes “Edward Sullen” (Matt Lanter). Apparently “Edward” wasn’t a name that was easy to change. What, was “Deadwood” too much of a stretch? The Volturi are now called the Zolturi, and the town they live in is now named Sporks instead of Forks. That’s about as deep as the spoofing gets.
For those unaware, the Twilight story, or at least, the way this film portrays it, goes something like this. Becca Crane is new in town, and ends up falling in love with a vampire named Edward. That’s about it, as any of the subplots are done away with in Vampires Suck. It’s an incredibly basic story, although some of it probably won’t make all that much sense if you haven’t already read or seen the first entries into the Twilight series.
Most of the jokes from the film come from one of two places. Either the characters will tell us, and the other characters, exactly what they are feeling, or at least, what the character in Twilight looks like they are feeling, or there will be a pop culture reference thrown in. The former is funny at times, even if by the end of the film you’ll be tired of it, while the latter is rarely funny, and will end up becoming less humorous as the movie ages.
That’s the problem with using pop culture gags in your film: In 20, or maybe even 10 years time, they won’t make sense. Do you really think that the Jonas Brothers or the Black Eyed Peas will still be important in that time? The Jonas Brothers are already fading quickly, and once they disappear completely, one of the bigger jokes in the film won’t make sense. The same can be said for almost every other pop culture reference made throughout, and while they can be funny right now, they won’t be in the future.
With that said, I highly doubt anyone who made Vampires Suck will care if it remains funny over the course of time. As I mentioned to begin this review, it was primarily made to generate revenue. Simple as that. If their purpose was to make an intelligent parody of the Twilight films, then they failed easily. I highly doubt that was their goal though, as none of the humor is intelligent, and few jokes are doing more than mentioning something that we already could get from watching the source material. Yes, the films are melodramatic and yes, some of the situations are ridiculous. We get it.
If there’s one strength of Vampires Suck, it’s Jenn Proske as Becca Crane. Not playing an original character, all she had to do was mimic Kristen Stewart’s Bella Swan. She does this well, from the lip-biting to brushing her hair back at the opportune moment. She almost perfectly captures how Stewart portrayed this character, which is an accomplishment worth mentioning.
In short, Vampires Suck is a film that isn’t worth watching, but is sometimes funny. Definitely not humorous enough to give you incentive to watch it, but it’s not a terrible waste of time. However, if you are going to give it a look, do so as soon as you can, because the jokes and pop culture references will end up making less sense as time ticks on. In terms of movies made in just to cash-in on another one’s popularity, well, you could definitely do worse.