22 March 2009 | Nos51
Very Funny Spoof-of-a-Spoof
The film is a continuous quote: Dracula, American Werewolf in London, Withnail and I, Ed Wood's films, Roger Corman's horror movies with Vincent Price (Paul McGann's excellent vicar's tone is very reminiscent of Price's in Corman's interpretations of Poe) and all the Hammer horrors with lesbian undertones.
More than just a spoof the film is in a genre of its own being a "spoof-of-a-spoof" like few others before. This can make it difficult to understand just what the film sets out to do if one is expecting a horror, it certainly is not a horror or an action movie. The comparisons to Shaun of the Dead are also a big red herring and not very helpful, as this is a much more Post-Modern citation exercise with references far wider and in many more genres; it's not simply a case of an attempt in emulating for vampires what the Romero zombie movies did for Shaun of the Dead, but altogether a much more varied and inclusive exercise. L.V.K also takes itself less seriously to a degree than one would not believe in a feature length film, but it manages to do so in a way that is very entertaining if one is prepared to fore-go most of the expectations of what a film should be about.
The writing could have been polished up further, it could have done with a final re-write to tie it all together, and this is the film's main weakness, but there is enough comedy in it to laugh every few minutes if one is prepared to embark on this journey of quotation spotting. Some of the lines are so outrageously camp that with different actors it certainly would not have worked, but the film has been brilliantly cast and even the most improbable lines are recited and acted with just the right level of irony.
The sound effects are one of the strongest elements, together with the lesbian vampires' epic hair-dos which are highly imaginative and an exercise in quotations in itself, a strong effort by the art directors in what is a low-budget movie that makes no apologies for it. Phil Claydon's directing is full of enjoyment, he is constantly joking with the cameras and choices of shots that are commentaries on a commentary, further spoofing Hitchcock in the shower sequence for example.
This is a film might require a specific understanding of the Post-Modern culture we are living in to be appreciated, or it can simply be enjoyed for what it is. It is neither violent nor scary, but this is not necessarily a bad thing and it might be here that lies its charm, those who will let go of politically correct preoccupations of what a film or a title of a film should be about will inevitably enjoy this light hearted comedy as it has plenty of opportunities to laugh out loud, if you are not too worried what the person next to you or the eminent critics will think of you and you just join in the fun!