Sunday, June 13, 2010

Doctor Who and the Lesbian Vampire Killers

Lesbian Vampire Killers is a film which I got out on Blu-Ray when it first came out, and recently I picked up a cheap DVD of it to keep. It's also a film which is not as funny as it should be, but on second viewing, a lot better than I thought it originally was. The plot is great: two stoners, Fletch (James Corden) and Jimmy (Matthew Horne) decide to head for a holiday in England as Jimmy has just been dumped by his cheating girlfriend again. They wind up in the village of Cragwich which has been cursed by Carmilla the Vampire (Silvia Colloca) such that all women there will become lesbian vampires on their 18th birthday. The lads join up with a group of girls on an archaeological field trip from Scandinavia, and end up battling them as they all (bar Lotte for some reason) become lesbian vampires. Paul McGann plays a vicar out to destroy the curse before his daughter succumbs, and there's lashings of decapitations and fangs and boobs along the way. It's a fun film for a beery evening in, and had me laughing out loud on a few occasions. The whole thing is pitched at a comic book level, such that head movements are accompanied by 'swoosh' sounds, and the vampires pose seductively all the time while wreathed in mist, their hair blowing in the breeze. The effects are superb for what was presumably a low budget film. There is no blood as the vampires seem to be filled with a gooey milky substance which splatters everywhere, and no-one is safe from the curse - even Jimmy's ex-girlfriend is turned - except for the virginal Lotte (MyAnna Buring - who played Scooti Manista in the Doctor Who episode 'The Impossible Planet') who manages to survive the film to fight another day. Corden plays a sex-and-beer obsessed lout, cowardly and self-obsessed who feels he has landed in heaven initially, and then bumbles through the film quipping and joking like a poor man's Jack Black. Horne ends up the hero with a penis-handled sword, and even gets the girl at the conclusion - all the other girls amusingly remain lesbians leaving Corden with no-one to love. The film bombed at the box office, probably because it cannot really live up to the hype it was given at the time, but as an enjoyable piece of Brit-horror it's not at all bad. James Corden seems to be flavour of the year at the moment - he's got some sort of World Cup football program on, and is even number 1 in the charts with a remake of the old Tears for Fears song 'Shout', alongside rapper Dizzee Rascal, as well, and was even in the recent episode of Doctor Who, 'The Lodger'. I enjoyed the episode a lot, but unfortunately it all went wrong at the end. There's a lovely build up which puts the Doctor trapped on Earth as the TARDIS cannot materialise due to a time distortion, leaving poor Amy trapped on board (and able to take a holiday as she's not really in the episode that much). The Doctor discovers the source of the time disturbance to be the upper floor of a flat owned by Craig (Corden), and so rents a spare room there to investigate, trying to appear human in the process and mostly failing. Meanwhile, strangers off the street are lured into the upper flat by a variety of characters, and then screaming and flashing lights ensue. There's also a mysterious stain on the ceiling of Craig's flat which is getting bigger and bigger. Typically, Craig's 'girlfriend', Sophie (Daisy Haggard) is a girl from work but they've never told each other their feelings, and so there's an awkwardness about their relationship which neither seems able to correct ... The problem with the story comes in the revelations at the end. The early part is great - Matt Smith is brilliant as an alien trying to be human, with a quirky edge to everything he does. There's some great visual gags and dialogue here, and Smith and Corden bounce off each other well. But the ultimate problem is that there's nothing in the upstairs flat except some sort of alien machine which is trying to find a pilot to go home (in fact, there's no upstairs flat at all - it's a perception distortion). So the machine is intending to try out everyone on the planet with a holographic lure. The Doctor seems suitable, but he works out that everyone chosen so far wanted to escape, but that Craig doesn't. Why doesn't he? Because he loves Daisy. Craig and Daisy proclaim their love for each other, and the ship destroys itself. What? The 'love conquers all' theme was very poorly used here, and with no monster/alien to fight, the ending was very anti-climactic after what had gone before. I was wondering during the episode whether whatever it was in the attic was using the humans to build something - an idea slightly reminiscent of the story 'Frontios' where the Tractators used human body parts to power their drilling machine - but this wasn't the case either. Other commentators have said they like that there was no CGI monster ... but I agree and disagree ... I would have loved to have seen an honest to goodness prosthetic creature there ... doing something nasty with the humans that the Doctor has to try and stop. Maybe they were using the episode to save money or something as well before next week's climax with the opening of the Pandorica - whatever that means.

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