20 Lamest Movie Vampires

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992)

The Vamp: Amilyn (Paul Reubens), the undead manslave to head vamp Lothos (Rutger Hauer).

The Lame: This guy just doesn’t know when to croak. Even when Buffy’s staked him, he hangs around like a crap punchline that can’t find a decent place to die. Lothos is not much better – a cape-wearing preener whose bark is worse than his bite.

How To Make Him Cool: Have David Boreanaz play him.

My you’ve changed…

A couple of new images from the Fright Night reboot have just been released online, and what a sight they are. The first in particular (top right) shows a gothed-up David Tennant as Las Vegas stage magician Peter Vincent, who ends up helping Anton Yelchin’s teen battle Colin Farrell’s malicious neck-chewer.

It’s quite a wardrobe change from the Vincent we know and love from the original 1987 Fright Night. Whereas the ’87 version (top left) starred Roddy McDowall as a fuddy old vamp slaying horror icon, Tennant here sort of resembles Russell Brand meeting Sirius Black by way of The Crow.

Will it work? Tennant definitely has an ability to make larger than life characters sing (as any Dr Who fan will tell you), but this new Fright seems like such a massive departure from the ’80s film that you wonder why they even bothered using the same title. Apart from the fact that it’s a great title, of course.

The second new image shows off Toni Collette as Yelchin’s mum, with the Aussie native rounding out a seriously impressive cast (not forgetting Imogen Poots and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, of course). To be honest, the most this reboot seems to have going for it is the names involved, with that stellar cast reading from a script by Buffy screenwriter Marti Noxon. If anything, then, we should get some snappy lines read by a snappy cast – but who’d rather just watch the original film? I know I would.

Speaking of, here’s why I love Fright Night ’87

Buffy Season Eight, Vol. 4-5

A couple of weeks back I began thumbing my way through Buffy’s comic-bound season eight. Needless to say, I consumed Volumes 1-3 like I’d not eaten for a month (c’mon, the seventh season finale was way back in 2003, and now I suddenly feel very old). Despite wolfing those first volumes down in a handful of sittings, I didn’t get indigestion – instead I reverted back to the Buffy junkie who’d been starved of a good meal for eight years. A quick Amazon order later and Volumes 4 and 5 had landed on my doormat…

Pros (aka That’s hot!)

  • I mentioned the words ‘bigger and ‘outrageous’ in my review of Vol 1-3, and I’m going to mention them again here. Not because I have nothing new to say, but because as it goes on, Buffy S8 starts to develop the “Hey! We don’t have/need a TV budget!” approach in really interesting ways. Whereas Vols 1-3 featured grander fights and some destination hopping, Vols 4-5 organically unravel their stories on a bigger scale than we’ve ever seen. Which, funnily enough, coincides with another returning character…
  • Harmony! Of course she’d end up being a reality TV celebrity. Of course she has a legion of PR minions doing her bidding. And of course she ends up kick starting one of the big topics Buffy’s never really properly explored – exposure. With vampires and slayers now hitting the headlines, what can possibly happen next?
  • The covers continue to be peerless in design. Not only does cover illustrator Jo Chen perfectly capture the likenesses of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, Eliza Dushku et al, his compositions are practically works of art in their own right. And that’s not unbackupable hyperbole – just look…
  • Clem. Is. Back. This makes me happy inside.
  • Of course, talking of epic, the Buffy writers aren’t above getting back to the basics for a little ‘old time’s sake’ reminiscing. Which results in the comic’s most daring and brilliant story to date, ‘After These Messages… We’ll Be Right Back.’ As well as functioning as a pseudo-sequel to season four ep Restless, it resurrects the character designs from the defunct Buffy animated series and gives us a season one yarn that splices into the season eight continuity. Fan. Gasm!
  • Studio Ghibli have Totoro. Toy Story has the little green alien things. Now Buffy has… Vampy Cat! Adorable and deadly – the perfect combination. Where can I get one?
  • The Adventures Of Faith And Giles continue. I can’t wait to see this story strand fold into the main season eight arc.

Cons (aka Sheesh, Loser Parade!)

  • Where’s Tara? Alright, she’s dead, but that hasn’t stopped Warren. We know Amber Benson didn’t want to come back for Buffy’s seventh season, but there’s nothing stopping Tara being drawn/written in comic form. Scrap Kennedy, give us a Tara cameo!
  • I’m all for crazy new budget-free demons and hi-jinks, but sometimes the writers aren’t quite sure where to draw the line. So far, Dawn’s been a giant, a centaur and a doll (yawn), while she and Xander encounter silly tree things straight out of Lord Of The Rings.
  • Twilight. He’s the big bad this year (sorta), but for all five volumes he’s had nothing to do except hit Buffy with a church spire and tell her she’s doomed. Which we’ve pretty much already seen before a gazillion times over (minus the spire part).
  • Riley. So Riley’s back, and he’s still being a doofus (albeit a vaguely helpful doofus). It surprises me that the Buffy writers bring back certain characters even though they know the fanbase hates them. Riley and Warren are just two. Hopefully they’re both heading for sticky ends.

And that brings us right up to the end of Vol 5. Without getting too gross and fanboyish about it, Whedon and co should be commended for managing to retain the essence of Buffy in comic form, even though they’re playing in a whole new sandbox.

Free from the 40-minutes-per-episode format, they’ve fully embraced the comic-book medium, effectively mixing one issue stories that fit into the greater arc (‘Safe’) with multi-issue stories (‘Time Of Your Life’). If anything, Buffy could even work better in comic form – one notable plus is that it gives the writers freedom to devote an entire issue to a character who might otherwise get short-changed by a TV episode.

Now if anybody needs me, I’ll be waiting Scott Pilgrim-like by my letterbox for Volumes 6 and 7 to drop into my life. Until next time…

Buffy Season Eight, Vol. 1-3

I’m aware that this nudges me even higher up the Richter scale of ‘scarily geekified’, but for the past few weeks I’ve been reading the Buffy season eight comics. I’m also aware that I’m a little slow hitching myself onto that cart – a quick Wiki trawl tells me they’ve been around since 2007. But whatever. I’m here. And I’m in Buffybliss…

Pros (aka Neato! Points For Me!):

  • It’s penned by Joss Whedon and his brood of witty wordsmiths, which means punchy dialogue, recognisable characters, and complex storytelling.
  • The big selling point with the comics is that they’re free from the budgetary restraints of TV, and boy do Team Whedon take full advantage of that. Globe-trotting escapades include a new base in Edinburgh and a trip to Japan, while the fights are bigger, the demons more outrageous. There’s also a lot of flying – something Joss was clearly desperate to do on TV, but the bean counters wouldn’t let him. Plus: giant Dawn.
  • It’s a direct continuation of the show dealing with the ‘what say we awaken all the Potentials?’ fall-out from season seven. That fall-out is huge, of course.
  • The art is fantastic.
  • Faith! Working with Giles! Fangasm.
  • This:

Just because it’s an amazing slash shout-out.

  • Xander finally has a purpose! And not a “I’m the heart of this operation” cop-out, but an actual purpose. He’s also shed a few pounds (funny how that’s easier when it’s just a drawing), which means he’s hunky again…

Cons (aka Gaaah, Hater!):

  • So Buffy’s enrolled in the KD Lang school of lesbianism. Uh, what?! I’m all for taking characters in new directions, but this development felt about as organic as a BK burger.
  • Constantly thinking, “Oooh, that would look so good as a movie.” Cos, let’s face it, never gonna happen.
  • Willow suddenly has issues with Buffy that she must’ve kept under wraps for the whole of season seven. Yes, those issues make sense, but they smack of ‘let’s create some drama to keep the relationships spicey after eight years’.
  • So over Amy. They already completely assassinated her character in season six, now they’re just dancing around in her entrails. Wrong.
  • They can’t do a sequel to ‘Once More With Feeling’ in a comic (hint: comics can’t hold a tune). Which is sad for all kinds of reasons.
  • It’s just as addictive as the show.

Volume 4 and 5 are already calling to me from my antique night stand, and I’m unable to resist their siren song.

Continue to Volumes 4 and 5

Joss Whedon: "Tomorrow we start shooting The Avengers"

There’s pretty much nothing I can add to Joss Whedon’s announcement that shooting on comic mash-up The Avengers is kicking off within the next 24 hours, other than ohmygodgeekloveheslikesoamazing. That’s how a) excited I am that this movie is getting made and b) by demigod Whedon.

In a time when sanitised press releases about movies entering production read like really unfunny backward obituaries, the Buffy brainbox has shown why he does what he does with a breathlessly scattershot announcement shpiel that induces nervous hiccups and throaty guffaws in equal measure. I would follow this man off the edge of a cliff. Here’s what he had to say in all its glory…

Hi Pumpkins, joss here.

Tomorrow we start shooting (I THINK I’m legally permitted to say that). Day one. That’s right. We’ll be shooting the pivotal death/betrayal/product placement/setting up the sequel/coming out scene, at the following address:

[Marvel Lawyers rush in, take Joss’s keyboard, blowtorch a picture of his family like in “Stormy Monday”, drink his milkshake, leave the seat up, fluff his pillows, violently unfluff his pillows, leave]

Went too far. My bad. Anyhoo, it should be a fun day, followed by the eighty thousand other fun days it will take to finish this. I’ll be checking in from time to time, if there’s news or I crave attention (i.e. am awake) . None of it will be Avengers news — I have some very denty pillows to remind of that — but I may have tidbits. (They’re not about Firefly. I should say that up front, if only to protect Sis Mo from the HATORZ.)

Some of you may be saying, Joss! Why this link, here, now, why, huh, howcum? My friend Allyx turned me on to these guys, and I’ll tell you, they’ve gotten me through this intensely pressurized, preply time. I strongly recommend checking out their other vids — I’ve watched them many many times, and I have a very special place for “Teamwork” in my heart. These guys are the guys. And IS there a better movie title than “Eagles Are Turning People Into Horses”? I thought not.

So wish me luck. DO IT! LUCK! NOW! I’m off to finish some Buffy pages, and then figure out what the movie is about already. I’m pretty sure it’s about the Justice League [Marvel Lawyers re-enter, unspeakability occurs] or possibly something else. I’ll get it. I’ve been looking forward to this. For about 46 years.



Via Whedonesque

Lesbian Vampire Killers OST

Artist: Various
Distributor: Silva Screen

Soundtrack Rating: 3/5

Never judge a soundtrack by its cover. Hot pink punk artwork lends LVK a grunge edge, but composer Debbie Wiseman instead opts for dead straight. Ahem. Taking her cue from Buffy and Hammer, Wiseman plays up the orchestral epic – violins tremble, cellos bellow and choirs mourn “oohs” and “aahs”. Only the track titles bite at convention, with crackers ‘Run You Bellends!’, ‘My aXe Girlfriend’ and ‘Whores of F***ing Hades, Prepare For F***ing Death!’. Still, the sonorous riffs are fittingly Gothic in scope, if wretchedly repetitive, rendering this disappointingly toothless.