Being unsatisfied is a sign of ambition
A few days ago I reviewed a film called Suburban Gothic and called it one of the most bizarre films I’ve ever watched, but now I have found one that is quite possibly even weirder, but in a very, very, very good way. I’m not going to lie, looking at the poster/DVD cover, I was not even slightly convinced that I would like this film, but I did like that it mocked it’s own main character so openingly, so I decided to give it a chance.
I’ve reviewed various types of film on this site including zombies, monsters, ghosts, dinosaurs and various others, but I never thought to myself that I would watching a film about a socially awkward, sex obsessed man who turns into a vampire. Vampire films, a lot like zombie films, vampire films tend to be hit and miss, you’ve got the brilliant Interview with a Vampire, the reasonable, if slightly average Daybreakers, and the less said about the Twilight franchise, the better.
I’m not even entirely sure how to write this review because it’s a film that just breaks into so many new aspects of characters in films that I have never seen before and that is what I love. I love seeing something new. There are too many similar style films these days, highlighted by my recent review for Hollows Grove, so it’s nice to see something unique for a change.
Jody (Hollyman) proposes to the socially awkward Erik (Tukel) but he says no as he has no interest in getting married. Jody subsequently dumps him and gets with literally the first man that comes along. Erik starts dating again straight away but alienates the three women with his off-colour humour and views of the world. Feeling down his luck, Erik goes on a sorrowed walk before being approached by a stranger and after a brief discussion, Erik reveals that he wishes to die. The man suddenly lunges at Erik and bites him.
Erik wakes up bloodied at work and is quickly fired for not attending a meeting, but he soon finds a new lease of life and re-dates the three women from before, each successfully and he appears to have turned his life around. He soon realises that he is now a vampire and doesn’t fight his urges, regularly biting strangers and acting on his sexual desires, including having a four-some with the aforementioned dates.
Despite his increased success in love and sex, Erik is still obsessed with Jody and will do everything to get back with her, but can he win her back with his new sense of bloodlust?
I’m going to start this with the only negative the I can think of from the film and that is that is starts on a ridiculous premise and quite possibly one of the biggest clichés in cinema, and in life in general, a woman no longer wanting to be with a man who doesn’t want to get married. I can appreciate the fact she doesn’t want to stay with him after he always says he doesn’t want kids, but it was already a deal breaker for her when he advised that he doesn’t want to get married. The reason for this is that it is kind of ridiculous and clichéd that a woman thinks that the only way to prove your love to someone is to get married to them.
The fact that Jody splits up with him simply because he doesn’t want to get married is ridiculous. It is a massive cliché that marriage is the be-all and end-all of relationships as far as women are concerned. As one of Erik’s early dates sex, marriage isn’t for everyone but that comes after they’ve already introduced the cliché of a woman who thinks the only way to show that you love someone is to marry them, and literally breaks up with him within three minutes of him saying that he doesn’t want to marry her.
He doesn’t want to break up with her, he makes it clear that he still wants to be with her but she just isn’t interested and it made me hate her as a character, and within the first few minutes this wasn’t a good thing. She shows throughout the entire movie that she just isn’t a likeable person at all and her immaturity after they break up is beyond tedious.
Erik is very odd, I’m not entirely sure how to sum him up properly because he just…..*exhales breath in an exasperated fashion*, I really don’t know. He’s a middle aged man and yet doesn’t have a single social skill. In a way it’s quite enjoyable to watch, whilst almost making you want to face-palm throughout, which funnily enough is the reaction that he induces in most characters.
I thought I was socially awkward Erik makes me look amateur. Soon after he splits up with Jody, he goes on a date and within the first two minutes is suggesting to his date that an Asian gentleman is hiding a bomb in his background on no basis other than the fact the gentleman is Asian. Understandably this brings a negative reaction from the date , he also later tries to have sex with her after calling her a dumbass. He also asks a black lady if she has ever dated a black man after admitting to her that he hates Tyler Perry’s films without having ever actually seeing one.
Tukel does an amazing as the socially awkward man. I’d never personally heard of Tukel before this and yet found him to be very engaging and warming as a character. Despite all of his social awkwardness, inability to act like a normal human being or even not try and sexual harass his female co-workers, he is actually a remarkable character. Tukel plays him really well
The early dates are amazing to watch, they are smooth, transition exceptionally well and feel real. Erik also does the “Groundhog Day” feel of how he uses what his previous dates have said in other to try and secure sex on the subsequent dates. Infact, almost like Groundhog Day you are just waiting for him to somehow mess it up with what he says or does, and typically on the one that does prove successful in terms of him getting sex, he fails to perform to her liking and that’s it for that relationship. Another cliché right there.
So onto the rest of the film. When Erik is turned into a vampire, I love that the only thing that you can hear is Erik’s heartbeat and how it slows down until he collapses on a nearby staircase. The early part of his transformation is also fascinating to watch as he completely changes his personality to be very aggressive at work, leading to his firing, and his subsequent first victim, whom he bizarrely starts a conversation about his education with, whilst at the same time trying to drain the kid of his blood.
The casual conversations through feeding on humans continue when he recounters the vampire that turned him and they discuss the pollution in the water whilst feeding off an unsuspecting victim. Despite the situation, it’s a remarkably warming scene where you see that Erik is no longer socially awkward and has found a sense of belonging, and I love that. It’s great to see the character developing over time. As the film goes on he actually finds some happiness and that is comforting because despite his quirks and awkwardness, Erik is actually very likeable.
Before watching this, I was desperate to find a film that I actually enjoy and that’s exactly what I got from this. There are one or two moments that were tedious and the first five or so minutes were exceptionally frustrating, but after that I thoroughly enjoyed this.
This is definitely more of a realistic vampire film than the Twilight franchise, but has the fun factor that a lot of the other vampire based films, afterall, there is a conversation between Erik and a character called Penelope compare Jesus Chris to Jiminy Cricket (the character from Pinocchio, you wouldn’t get that in any other film of any variety, and I love the random aspects of this film.
If you’ve got a spare 86 minutes, I’d definitely recommend this.