Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Vampie – review

Directors: Melissa Tracy & Markus Innocenti

Release date: 2014

Contains spoilers

Vampie – a vampire pie… ish, sort of. Actually the vampie in this comedy film, written by and starring Ming Ballard, is a conduit for energy vampirism – but I’ll get to that in a second.

What we have, film wise, is a self-contained little film that uses its comedy knowingly and has some neat little moments. It isn’t uproariously hysterical but it is certainly amusing. It also eschews any form of sentimentality and sticks to the matter at hand.

Grace, Tippy and Azure
The film opens with quite a detailed scrolling intertitle, which for the most part is read out. It suggests that LA is teeming with vampires but then concentrates on Azure St. Clair (Ming Ballard) a vampire allergic to blood and thus a laughing stock within the vampire community. However she, along with mortal assistants Grace (Maya Merker) and Tippy (Eric Strong), runs the bakery the Pie Hole Unlimited and Soul Exchange – where she makes sustaining “vampies” that she can actually consume.

eating pie
The secret to these is a small mystical jewel called the vampie. She makes a mortal eat it, it absorbs their energy and they cough it up and the essence is baked into the pie, which she then eats. It is non-lethal (the one victim (Bud Galloway) we see is a drunk guy who is deposited in a yard, in his underpants with his nails painted – thinking he has had a wild, and forgotten, night). However all is not looking rosy for Azure, despite her low key baking life.

Ray Trickitt as Mammon
Firstly, evil vampire Mammon (Ray Trickitt, Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric) a member (perhaps leader) of the order of Lillitu wants to get the vampie for himself. He knows that he can rule the world with it – as it can be used to control humans and create zombies. Also, the first American Pontiff, Pope Theodore III (Dennis James Anderson), has got wind of the Order’s plan and sends Vatican assassin Father Jack (Tom Patrick) to retrieve the vampie and dispose of Azure.

Messy Eaters
Before Jack gets there, Grace forgets to close the vampire proof safe that is used to house the vampie and the Order gets it. Things become more complicated when Jack witnesses Azure heal a homeless woman, Wanda (Mickey Faerch), and then – captured by the vampire – discovers that she saved his life when he was a child (Evan Tan) and an evil priest (David Polk) was going to sacrifice him. For her part Azure decides that, even though she has a spare vampie, she will risk all to get the original back from Mammon.

philosophising pooch
And so it goes. I liked some of the side bits – like the order feasting on a seraphim (Lara Wickman McCarthy), with her wings cut off, and subsequently incinerating her body to create “angel dust” that they then sniff in lines. Father jack has a Chihuahua called Van Helsing who, unbeknown to Jack (but revealed to us in subtitles) quotes Nietzsche at the priest. Wacky characters, zombies, a ghost and Enochian daggers (which can kill a vampire slowly or quickly with a heart strike) are the order of the day. Vampire-wise the only additional lore is the fact that they go in sunlight due to spf1000 sun cream.

The film isn’t perfect but it is a pleasant enough distraction. The cast are clearly having fun – especially Eric Strong as transgendered Tippy and Ming Ballard. 5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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