In theatres this Friday from director/writers Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi with Unison Films comes the simple story of WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS.
This film tells the story of Viago (Taika Waititi), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) and Vladislav (Jermaine Clement), three guys just being normal roommates, well, that’s not exactly true. Actually it’s three undead roommates who have been together for quite some time.
Viago is actually 379, Deacon is 183 and Vladislav is 862 for a grand immortal total of 1424 years. Even so they need mortal help as Jackie (Jackie Van Beek) brings guests to the dinner table.
Still hundreds of years old, they have not exactly stayed in tune with the times. Of course there is also 8,000 year old Petyr (Ben Fransham) who is a little shy staying in the darkest place of their flat. Being to busy staying out of the sunlight and trying not to bite to hard they have become fashion victims which kind of happens when you can’t look in a mirror.
Befriending Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) and his friend Stu (Stuart Rutherford), the three immortals begin to learn what they’ve been missing in the fashion world and the internet. All that learning doesn’t help when it comes to dealing with werewolves.
But when Stu is threatened, the guys believe this human is totally worth fighting for and it’s on.
It’s all pretty overwhelming – even if you are immortal!
FINAL WORD: Waititi as Viago is just brilliant. Wanting to keep everyone happy he forgets about himself occasionally. Although he does need some practice in hitting the main artery of his victims he truly does care about his friends wanting what’s best for them. Waititi plays this with a sweetness and charm that just made me do the “awwww” and them break out laughing.
Brugh as Deacon is like the middle child of the group. He sits back and watches things unfold and them WHAM! says something so outrageous I fall out laughing. Seeing the world as a much bigger place, Brugh gets a chance to let Deacon loose!
Jermaine Clement as Vladislav is the wild child! A mixture of Purple Rain Prince I Wanna Rock and Roll Gene Simmons there is the ruffles and leather mixed with Bat Out of Hell Ozzy Osborne attitude. Trying to give us the dark and sultry vampire, Clement also managed to flatten me out with laughter.
Gonzalez-Macuer as Nick is a dude with an attitude. He wants to do what he wants when he wants changing the thousands of years old rules the guys have lived by. Trying to get the three to loosen up is a full time job. Rutherford as Stu is completely at ease with his fanged friends and kind of enjoys bringing them all into the technology age. I don’t think he counted on being food though.
Beek as Jackie is hilarious at the dinner table and seems to have a problem knowing how to detect a virgin but wants to be one of the guys for sure.
Other cast include; Rhys Darby as Anton, Elena Stejko as Pauline Ivanovich, Jason Hoyte as Julian, Karen O’Leary as Officer O’Leary, Mike Minogue as Officer Minogue, Chelsie Crayford as Josephine and Ethel Robinson as Katherine.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Absolutely I laughed myself silly and will be watching it again and again! Throwing in every reference from BLADE to TWILIGHT there are also zombies so that immediately gets extra points.
I absolutely love the introduction of the film laying out the ground work of the characters by Waititi’s Viago character. Taking the viewer around the house it is immediately clear who the house Mom and party planner is. Clement gets to be as wild as he can as well and Brugh fits right into the crazy. There is plenty of blood to go around with action from all the vampire, werewolves, zombies and anything else that shows up!
This mockumentary about vampires is just so damn well done. I absolutely rooted for them all from start to finish. I mean seriously, it’s hard enough to be a vampire but a vampire in 2015? Fashion and technology are just more than they can handle at times and what happens to them has happened to all of us – minus the need for human blood of course.
The film has won awards from the Toronto International Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, Stanley Film Festival, Neuchatel International Film Festival, Full Moon – Horror & Fantasy Film Festival, SITGES Film Festival of Catalonia, Monsters of Film In Stockholm, Warsaw Film Festival, Celluloid Screams Sheffield Horror Film Festival, San Sebastian Horror & Fantasy Film Festival and the Night Visions Film Festival. All these awards are backing me up!
There is no plan here, there is no hidden meaning or objective or radical cause they are trying to enlist us all to join, but instead a film to hang out too. It is a cleverly written and filmed, it’s a spoof that charming and hilarious at the same time. I think I need to hang out in New Zealand because this I my kind of humor. In the 87 minutes presented, it is one of the funniest films I have seen in a long time and consider it my new guilty pleasure.
Beware friends – I may force you to sit with me to watch again but I guarantee you won’t be sorry. Just make sure to bring a guest for us all!
In the end – though their hearts may be cold and dead, they still have feelings!