Okay, maybe Liza’s not a vamp, but she threw me when she married one of the undead. Honorable mentions go to Bill Paxton in Near Dark, Chris Sarandon in Fright Night and Sex Machine in From Dusk ’til Dawn. Vampires have captured the imagination of popular culture ever since Bram Stoker dreamed up his masterpiece in 1897 leaving a wake of paranoid fans wearing turtle-necks and eating a lot of Olive Garden.
From Nosferatu to True Blood, it’s been pretty much vampires all day, everyday. And anyone that’s spent any time in Joss Whedon’s universe knows that there is a veritable treasure chest of humor that can be found in the mythology, as well. Recently, however, it feels like this horror genre has been…wait for it…sucked dry (zing!). Until now.
Most vampire films or series tend to glamorize the life of the vampire. They lead us to believe that all vampires wear sweet, long coats, listen to Bauhaus on repeat, and act all broody. Pretty cool, I KNOW. But what if it wasn’t?
Blood Brothers is the comedic tale of two slacker vampires that really have nothing going on in their boring, blood-sucking lives. When they are not playing Battleship and riffing on the idiosyncrasies of being a creature of the night, they face the occasional vampire hunter or deal with the unreasonable demands of a girlfriend.
All of this is done with deadpan precision by Will Carlough and Erik Sofge as the blood brothers in question. Blood Brothers’ writers, Carlough, and director Casimir Nozkowski (now that’s a vampire name!) keep the dialogue crisp and smart. This is vital for what has become the “people in a room talking” sub-genre. When Carlough and Sofge accuse a vampire hunter (Hannah Cheek) of being racist, it’s more hilariously dead-on then any pseudo-metaphorical steam that Alan Ball can muster over on True Blood.
Carlough, who you can now find playing the role of a talking wiener, is a funny dude. With that wild red hair, there is something accessible and instantly humorous about him. I hope he can balance all of his projects and get Blood Brothers up and running again. At this point, there is something absurd about the entertainment industry’s undying fascination with vampires (tied, arguably, with zombies). It’s a pleasant surprise that Blood Brothers feels so fresh.
In the two-part finale, ‘A Matter of Faith,’ Hannah Cos redefines commitment issues while de-bunking some popular vampire myths. I especially liked Carlough’s original score. Music often goes unnoticed in ventures like these, which is a shame because in Blood Brothers it perfectly sets the tone. It reminded me of the supremely cheesy self-composed John Carpenter scores. Okay, some props for Halloween and Escape From New York, but that’s it.
We need more horror-comedy. Coppola’s Dracula does not count. How about a Saw movie? With Muppets. Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is Jigsaw. Scooter has to saw his own leg off. I’m putting that out into the universe for Carlough and any creative mind to use.
Until then, I’ll take whatever vampire tale you got, especially Blood Brothers. Because ever since Hutch ditched Starsky to tackle Salem’s Lot, they’ve scared the crap out of me. And I’d rather laugh then cry. When all the lights are out, who’s gonna save you, the Coreys or Cornelius from Planet of the Apes? Happy Halloween.