Lesbian Vampire Killers
dir Phil Claydon
scr Paul Hupfield, Stewart Williams
with James Corden, Mathew Horne, Paul McGann, MyAnna Buring, Silvia Colloca, Lucy Gaskell, Emer Kenny, Ashley Mulheron, Louise Dylan, Vera Filatova, John Pierce Jones, Emma Clifford
release UK 20.Mar.09
09/UK 1h28
Lesbian Vampire Killers
Boys vs girls: Horne, Corden and McGann (above); Buring and Colloca (below)
Lesbian Vampire Killers

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Lesbian Vampire Killers While it's clearly aiming for the Shaun of the Dead audience, this film simply isn't smart or funny enough be a cult classic. But it's lively enough to keep us watching, and silly enough to generate some laughter.

After his girlfriend (Gaskell) dumps him again, Jimmy (Horne) and his pal Fletch (Corden) randomly decide to take a holiday in rural Britain. But it's no accident when they stumble into a hidden village where all girls are transformed into lesbian vampires on their 18th birthdays. It turns out that Jimmy is the last in the family line that can conquer vampire queen Carmilla (Colloca). So they team up with a visiting hottie (Buring) and a local vicar (McGann), whose daughter (Kenny) turns 18 in hours, to break the curse.

The sheer absurdity of the premise is good for a few laughs, and Corden and Horne adeptly transfer their comical chemistry from Gavin & Stacey to the big screen, even if they never attempt to play actual movie characters. Much of the dialog features throwaway one-liners and corny, over-the-top mythology, and the whole film has a freewheeling structure that lets it feel vaguely out of control as these hapless goofballs are propelled through this adventure.

So it's a bit frustrating that it's not sharper than this. Much of the comedy comes through muttered asides or subversions of the vampire genre. But the plot is achingly thin, as the writers are more concerned with stringing together verbal gags than actually writing a funny script. The central joke seems to merely consist of beautiful women in skimpy, billowing outfits lurking in the woods. Essentially, it's an amusing title without a plot.

In addition, none of the women has even a whiff of personality, besides Gaskell's relentlessly manipulative ex. Even Buring's romantic/action lead barely registers on screen. Everything centres around Corden and Horne, who rely on their well-honed comedy double act. It's an oddly clunky mess, but at least it comes with some energy, never pauses for breath and continually surprises us with the next corny gag. It's a huge disappointment on virtually every level, but might work as a late-night outing with a gang of inebriated mates.

cert 15 themes, language, violence, innuendo 4.Mar.09

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