Thursday, May 07, 2015

Vamp or Not? Knights of Badassdom

This was a 2013 movie directed by Joe Lynch, though I understand that the final cut might have been somewhat out of the director’s control. It was mentioned to me by Everlost as having definite ‘Vamp or Not?’ potential.

It starts with a prologue voiceover that suggests that Dr John Dee created a way to summon angels but got, instead, demons. He tried to destroy the tome of spells he created but failed – however the tome has been lost through the centuries…

spell tattooed on face
Out in the woods a group of robed figures indulge in what appears to be a sacrifice – except they are quickly revealed to be live action role players (LARPers). Their in-game-argument comes to an abrupt end when they are attacked by a group of guys with paintball guns and chased out of the woods. One of the LARPers, Eric (Steve Zahn) drops the (online bought) book he was going to us as a prop. The paintballers find it but can’t tear it open and then it suddenly opens of its own volition and affixes itself to one of their faces. By the time it drops (and vanishes to reappear in the LARPers van) it has tattooed the paintballer’s face with Enochian symbols (Enochian being the language John Dee claimed was the language of the angels).

Ryan Kwanten as Joe
Joe (Ryan Kwanten, True Blood) is singing along to a doom metal song (of his creation) in the garage where he works. He’s written it for his girlfriend, Beth (Margarita Levieva), however she has different plans for their relationship. Given his lack of (should we say) corporate ambition she’s leaving him. He returns home to the castle shaped house owned by Eric, where his friends Eric and Hung (Peter Dinklage) realise that something is amiss due to the fact that they catch him playing a power ballad. They get him wasted.

Eric and Hung
Joe awakens wearing armour. He had never been part of the LARP scene, though he had been a legendary Dungeons and Dragons player. He isn’t too happy about the kidnapping but eventually decides to go along with things – especially having caught sight of LARPer Gwen (Summer Glau, Angel). The Gamesmaster, Ronnie (Jimmi Simpson, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter), insists a “summoning spell” must be performed to bring him into the game. Eric does this, complete with pentagram, from the book and (unbeknown to them) summons a demon.

flesh eating
This is the source of our ‘Vamp or Not?’ The demon takes the form of Beth (as Joe had a picture of them at prom with him in the pentagram) and is later identified as a succubus. As you’ll know there is much crossover between succubae and vampires. However she doesn’t seem to do too much that would be deemed atypically succubaen behaviour. We see her go down on one guy – and then rip his jaw off, and kiss passionately with a girl whilst killing her. We get the impression that she eats part of the victims – we see little of this but she has constant gore around her mouth. She does get accused of being a vampire LARPer.

demon form
Later we are told that she eats souls – though this may only be in the form she takes when Eric tries to banish her with a passage from the book and manages to actually transform her into a more powerful (and monstrous) form. The Battle of Evermore (the climax of the LARP weekend) is described as a buffet for her but she does only seem to slaughter. However, if she is eating the souls (and an indication of that would have been nice) then I guess she is a soul eating energy vampire as well as a demon succubus.

I’m going to give this one a pass, on the basis of the dialogue. The film itself is ok but could have been so much better. The imdb page is here.

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