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Indie Movie Review – Oops! You’re A Vampire

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What’s the hardest part about making a vampire film? Probably trying to do something different with the story! Let’s face it, Bram Stoker’s book, Dracula, came out in 1897 and it was a whole four years before an alternative version came out. An Icelandic translation wasn’t so much a translation  as a variation on a theme. Makt Myrkranna or Powers of Darkness borrows from the original but is shorter, snappier, and sexier than the original. Since then there have been many, many variations written, performed, and filmed.

I don’t think I’ll be too wide of the mark if I say that vampires are probably the most visited characters in the horror genre; historical, comedy, sci-fi, western…even vampire films that don’t actually acknowledge vampires. Fortunately, for me, I enjoy vampire films. If Phil Messerer had made a film called Oops! You’re A Zombie I probably wouldn’t even have looked at it. So has he managed to do something new with the format? Or are we just recycling other people’s efforts? Obviously there has to be a bit of the latter but it can still seem fresh and entertaining.

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Mom! Lara’s Eating At Me Again!

Oops! You’re A Vampire takes the horror/comedy route with a reasonable amount of success. It features twin sisters who are poles apart; one is Helen (Devon Dionne), a blonde and popular high school princess while the other is Lara (Eilis Cahill), a dark and solitary goth who’s an Anne Rice fan. They live with their deeply religious mother (JoJo Hristova) and their gay, scientist brother Raymond (Michael Strelow). Out of the blue, Helen has a massive nose bleed, collapses, and dies. Unfortunately (fortunately for the film!) she doesn’t stay dead. 

Obviously she comes home and her family decide to help her out. They do that by finding her food sources. Starting with a pair of Mormons who picked the wrong house to spread the good word to. Let’s face it, who amongst us hasn’t felt like feeding a proselytiser to some soulless, blood sucking demon if we had one handy? After this Raymond goes looking for new blood at the local gay bars. As well as feeding Helen he also uses the cadavers for his various experiments. One has to assume that he is trying to find a cure but some of it might just be for his own curiosity! Obviously I can’t say much more without running the risk of ruining the denouement. So I’ll just concentrate on how I found the film.

I Need To Be Going. I’m Late For A Bible Reading.

Oops! You’re A Vampire worked well within its limited budget. All the cast performed well despite their relative lack of experience and exposure. None of them seemed uncomfortable in front of the camera but that may have been something to do with the extended filming schedule which will have allowed them to relax in front of the camera. Apparently it took three years to film but that is not unusual for lower budget projects; people have to go off and get “proper” jobs to pay for film stock, costumes, make up, food, etc. 

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The only problem really was in the image quality. There was a slight graininess as though Oops! You’re A Vampire had been shot on a low quality cine camera. It turns out that it may well have been as it was originally shot nearly twenty years ago. It was released in 2008 under the title Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries Part 1 so I’m guessing the aforementioned three years means that Mr Messerer started shooting in 2005. I’ll be honest I’ve seen films of a similar budget that have been pin sharp on the screen, Infinitum:Subject Unknown for example. The difference? Infinitum:Subject Unknown was filmed on an iPhone! I’d love to see what Phil Messerer can do with more money and better equipment.

Movie Grade: B-

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