23rd Mar2013

‘Vamp U’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Adam Johnson, Julie Gonzalo, Gary Cole, Maclain Nelson, Bart Johnson, Alexis Knapp, Clare Niederpruem, Matt Mattson | Written & Directed by Matt Jespersen, Maclain Nelson

Wayne Gretzky (no relation to the famous NHL player) is a vampire who can’t grow his teeth. His impotence began when he inadvertently killed Mary Lipinsky, the love of his life, 300 years ago. To take his mind off the pain, he teaches college history – who better? Attempting to regain his full power, he enlists help from his friend and colleague, Dr. Levine (Cole). Nothing works until a new semester brings freshman Chris Keller (Gonzalo) – she’s a dead ringer for Mary!

And so begins an affair between teacher and student, which quickly turns sour when Wayne (Johnson) vamps out and sinks his teeth into Chris, Succumbing to the vampire bloodlust, she goes on a rampage across the college – killing over two dozen students and vamping-out her sorority sisters – turning the campus into chaos as the remaining humans band together to try and stop the spread of the vampires.

Now this is more like it. Having already sat through the totally-not-funny stoner comedy Hansel & Gretel Get Baked today, it was with much trepidation that I started watching Vamp U, yet another horror comedy and one which focuses on that biggest of Hollywood cliches – the vampire. Only this time there’s plenty of comedy in this campy vampire flick from first-time writing/directing duo Matt Jespersen and Maclain Nelson, who also appears in the film as the put-upon Freddy, the college freshman who loves Chris yet in the end must team up with Dr. Gretsky to take her down…

Yes the comedy is a little too broad at times, but when Vamp U gets it right it hits it spot-on, thanks to some clever and witty writing. Of course the films most high-profile actor, Gary Cole, delivers the films biggest laughs and best performance as Gretsky’s fellow tutor, best friend and confidant, Arthur. But there’s plenty of great performances from the cast who deliver solidly across the board.

A fantastic debut film Vamp U is well worth 90 minutes of your time especially if, like me, you’ve been disappointed by the ton of crappy vampire comedies already on the market. The film is available on iTunes (US) now.

**** 4/5

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