Monday, October 28, 2013

My Stepbrother is a Vampire!?! – review

Director: David DeCoteau

Release date: 2013

Contains spoilers

And when I say spoilers I mean a massive one as I feel it necessary to spoil the one burning question in the film, which is “Is Victor (Jud Birza) – the stepbrother of the title – a vampire?” Stay tuned for that one, my friends.

But before that we have to consider the bizarre fact that David DeCoteau has directed a family movie… I’ll let you cogitate over that for a moment. So, is the fact that there is no room for his normal lingering on underpants wearing young men with washboard stomachs enough to improve this above his normal output? Not really.

Dee Wallace narrates the cat
We start with Nancy (Shae Landers) rushing home as her story is narrated by the cat Tabitha (Dee Wallace). Nancy is a normal girl who writes feminist fantasy literature but she is distracted. As she rings her best friend, Lucy (Lauren Greg), we discover it is because she believes her stepbrother to be a vampire. The story cuts back in time…

love is in the air
Lucy gently ribs Nancy for not realising that friend Jimmy (Nick Galarza) fancies her, but Nancy has no place in her life for romance. Her mother, Denise (Tracy Nelson), is a therapist for troubled youths and has not really dated since Nancy’s father died. However that day she had a dental appointment and the dentist Gordon (William McNamara, the Bleeding) has asked her out on a date. Soon they are married.

Jud Birza as Victor
Nancy is a little suspicious of how her life will change now that she has a stepfather, stepbrother and cat in the house. She also thinks something is odd about Victor. He wears very high factor sunblock and seemed to arrange his room in miraculous time. He also seems to be able to communicate with the cat – though Tabitha never appears to listen to his commands. He transfers to her school and soon he is hanging with friends Jimmy and Mitch (Joseph Rich), whilst Lucy clearly has the hots for him.

The V Club
Actually, he wears the sunblock as he has sensitive skin, a condition inherited from his mom. Jimmy and Mitch have asked how to be cool like Victor and he has suggested that he acts all mysterious because mysterious and pale = vampire, especially since Twilight, and the girls go for that. So the film builds an “is he, isn’t he” mystery, with Nancy convinced, the boys dressing uncool in capes and fake fangs and Lucy simply hot for the guy. Nancy meets a patient of her mom's called Renny Helsing (Seth Austin), clearly nuts (yes, Renny is short for Renfield) but on her side.

putting pics up
There were odd bits – Nancy covers her room with apotropaic items, including what looks like pages from the bible mixed with sketches of fangs and anime style vampire sketches – how they would help her is beyond my ken. Nancy also researches the “original” vampire in the form of the novel Dracula and yet seems to think that Dracula burnt in the sun (yes, I know that has been added in many of the movies but they clearly reference the novel) and that Victor will want Lucy because of her name. Ultimately it comes out that he is a dhampir on his mom's side, friendly and puts great stock in family.

fangs appear once
The acting is basic in the main, with that kid’s TV juvenile edge to behaviour and dialogue. There really aren’t any effects to mention. The soundtrack had a comedic edge to it. There is a moment with a TA (Twilight Anonymous) group that is mildly amusing (but shooting fish in a barrel) and we get the observation that vampires were made to sparkle so hot guys would remove their shirts.

The problem is, it tries to be knowing but the knowing aspect is lost against the juvenile air and in the fact that it doesn’t know half as much as it lets on. 2 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Alex. G said...

Wow, these kinda titles are still being used? So we got best friends, girlfriends, wives, grandfathers, babysitters and now step-brothers who are vampires? Are they gonna keep going till every kind of relative and profession have been covered by these "My .... is a vampire" movies?
Probably just a question of time before we see My mother-in law is a vampire? Or My milkman is a vampire?

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi Alex, Happy Halloween.

Absolutely, there seems to be no end to it but I like the sound of My Milkman is a Vampire, I even have a Benny Hill-esque vision floating through my mind at the meer suggestion ;)

Alex. G said...

Thanks old chum, hope you had a happy Halloween to.