Posted: 08/10/2004


Vampires Versus Zombies


by Barry Meyer

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Vampires Vs. Zombies is a slowly unraveling indie horror flick, loosely based upon J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s classic 1872 novel Carmilla. A father and daughter travel cross country in search of a cure for a disease that carries vampire-like symptoms. In tow is Carmilla, a young woman they found stranded by the roadside, in desperate need of protection against all the infected roaming ghouls. What they don’t know is sweet Carmilla is the source of the widespread vampirism, who now has her eyes on the nubile young daughter (a setup for the requisite lesbian vampire scenes). As they head for a rendezvous with the General, a crotchety old vampire slayer, they run across a crud load of cannibalistic creeps and a pack of Catholic school girl zombies all protecting the mystery buried in an ancient crypt.

Clearly this movie was re-titled to capitalize Television office popularity of Freddy vs. Jason (if the obviously contrived title, then the head to head face-off between a zombie and a vamp on the DVD cover is a dead giveaway). Unfortunately, for those who picked this flick up looking for the awesome “battle between the living dead and the undead” promised by the tagline—there ain’t any! Not even a single, solitary skirmish! That kind of misleading advertising is grounds to have the movie panned, in my book.

Outside of the bogus undead battle, the biggest problem with this flick is that there are way too many ideas banging around—zombies, vampires, sexy undead school girls, road trips, slayers, lesbians, holistic cures, sorceresses—but no one seems to want to give it all any focus. Much too much screen-time is spent on the boring minutia of a gas station attendant shuffling around the counter, muttering uninteresting dialogue as he heads to the front door, and not enough time spent developing any of the myriad of ideas to form even one cognitive storyline. Indie horror fans may enjoy the fairly plentiful gore, once they get around to it. But for those looking for something more — don’t bother.

Barry Meyer is a writer sweating it out in Jersey.

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