Sunday, April 17, 2011

Another Reason the Rest of the World Hates Americans: "American Vampire" (1997)



A disclaimer: the following plot summary is completely accurate and not enhanced on my part. This film is really this bad.

Frankie's parents leave for Europe for the summer, and he gets the run of the giant L.A. home. His friend, the nerdy Bogie, sees this as the perfect opportunity to "party hardy," a term I have not heard used since 1984. Frankie wants to get closer to his rail thin girlfriend Dee Dee. One night, Frankie and Bogie meet Moondoggie. Remember, I am not making this up. Moondoggie invites himself to Frankie's house, dropping in with Bruno, Sulka, and Katrina. Bruno begins kidnapping local pets and frying them up for breakfast. Sulka and Katrina keep trying to suck Frankie dry, bloodwise. Hey, these houseguests are vampires! Like a bad episode of "Step by Step" or "Family Matters," Frankie cannot get the vampires out of his house, and his girlfriend eventually leaves him for Moondoggie. Enter the reliably awful Adam West as The Big Kahuna Van Helsingmeister, vampire killer. You can guess the rest as the vampires are vanquished, Frankie and Dee Dee are reunited, and this reviewer sobbed tears of joy as the end credits rolled.

The film is awful. The special effects mostly consist of Video Toaster-like cheap computer animation. The actors are terrible, taking what was once a horror comedy very seriously. Nothing worse than a horror comedy that provides no laughs in addition to its lack of scares. Carmen Electra, the only person left on earth who cares about Dennis Rodman's antics, is in a purely supporting role here as Sulka, despite her prominence on the video box- wearing makeup and sporting fangs that are not featured in this film.

Asking yourself stupid questions like why Frankie lets the vampires stay, or why doesn't he just kill them, is futile because the writer and director set out to make a mindless film and succeeded. Do not be fooled by the "unrated" version of this, its gore and sex never rise above (PG13) level.

"American Vampire" is not just bad, it is painfully bad. I have seen funnier footage on "America's Funniest Home Video." Even in reruns, Bob Saget has nothing to worry about. "American Vampire" does indeed suck. (*) out of five stars. Get this movie now!: American Vampire [Slim Case]