Saturday, November 29, 2014

Vampire Camp – review

Director: Ray Nomoto Robison

Release date: 2012

Contains spoilers

This is a film that I had seen floating around the google play store and, one slow night, decided to rent. As I sat down to watch it, I actually wondered whether it would even flicker as a decent film. Well, let me first say that the intro nearly confirmed my fears.

Paul and Ringo
The film opens with the characters Paul (Sig Dekany) and Ringo (David J. Rowley) talking about the feature we are about to watch. Named after the Beetles, indeed Paul’s name alternates between that and John, there was the singularly worst Scouse accent (in a Ringo style) that I have ever heard. They tell us that the film is filled with naked breasts and then admit it isn’t and I got the feel of Conrad Brooks. In short I wondered what I had let myself in for!

 Cat Gould as Camelia Bumbescu
The film starts proper in a cellar with Camelia Bumbescu (Cat Gould) suggesting that *he* thinks himself safe but he’ll be shown. The he referred to is Professor Bartholomew Dubbs (Scott Ford), when we first see him he is creeping around a store room with a cross that has been Cushing’d together. Later in the film we discover that Dubbs’ ancestor, Gunter, killed Camelia’s vampire lover and she wants revenge by killing Dubbs on the blood moon.

Dubbs and his Cushing’d cross
We see Dubbs leaving his office, as he looks to travel to the seminar he is hosting – Vampire Camp. The Camp is part of his plan to create an army of vampire slayers. He is approached by Samantha (Danielle Kelly) who wishes to apply to be his assistant. He poo-poos this and so she asks if she can attend the Camp, which he says is full. She is left on the street – her face black with exhaust soot. Later she infiltrates the Camp by posing as the new chef, putting her hair up and wearing glasses being the extent of her (successful) disguise. Her reason for wanting to be at the Camp is a profound belief that vampires will try and kill Dubbs – she isn’t wrong.

A zombie
The seminar is half filled with vampires – who kill the other attendees before the thing even properly starts. Dubbs spends the film oblivious, his other two assistants become believers and the use of a garden spray that will bring the dead back as zombies does come into play at the end of the film. The first attempt on Dubbs (I assume to seduce him as Camelia wants him to die on the blood moon) is with a vampire character named Jailbait (Brittany Granstrom) . This fails as she forgets to wear her sunscreen and he takes her parasol from her – oblivious to her death in the sun.

Despite some annoying comic sounds (I’m generally wary of films that add in deliberately comic sound effects, especially as many lower budget films do this but then don’t use them consistently) this was genuinely amusing in places and certainly managed to hold my attention – though it wasn’t laugh out loud funny. The focus of my amusement was Dubbs who was portrayed very well indeed, with the right level of bumbling – well done to Scott Ford. The film kept to an absurdist level, Including some silly singalong moments, which works for it. All in all 5.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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