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Simon Read [Film Festival 05.05.09] movie review horror comedy

Year: 2008
Directors: Stephen Cafiero & Vincent Lobelle
Writers: Stephen Cafiero & Vincent Lobelle & Jean-Patrick Benes & Allan Mauduit
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: projectcyclops
Rating: 7 out of 10

From it's Fearless Vampire Killers inspired opening credits onwards Stephen Cafiero and Vincent Lobelle's French vampire comedy keeps it's tongue firmly in cheek. An 'Airplane!' style spoof film with around 10 jokes a minute it cannot fail to entertain, despite several cringe inducing moments of complete stupidity. A deliberately clichéd plot sees three friends invited to a private party held in a spooky castle in the countryside. Sam Polisatokoniminsky (Patrick Mille) is a party animal who gets his kicks any which way he can, his friend Alice (Frédérique Bel) is a gorgeous, blonde aerobics instructor and Prune (Julie Fournier), is a tough minded business woman with a wild streak. After meeting a mysterious stranger (is there any other kind?) at a bar, they manage to bag invites and are helicoptered off, along with a bashful nerd called Edouard who boasts the largest collection of hand-painted clown figures in Europe and bought his ticket on ebay.

The party itself is one of urban myth proportions, beautiful dancers, lots of champagne and free reign to explore an ancient mansion, except the VIP lounge of course, in which several dozen sophisticated vampires wait until the party is in full swing to have their fun. Our heroes soon figure out what's happening and, along with a sleazy dentist the vamps were hoping to recruit ("Try living for 600 years without dental care!") and the Paris chief of police they attempt an escape in the midst of the ensuing chaos.

Shaun of the Dead had a lot of answer for when it helped to reinvent the horror/comedy genre back in 2005, something it did with terrific wit and ingenuity for the Gen-Xer and slacker horror fans in all of us. It likely led the way to forgettable duds such as Severance, The Tripper, Shrooms and The Cottage, when the bar is set high there are always disappointingly rip-offs. Teeth of the Night, however, is a fast moving, visual film with fun throw away lines and gags that hit their targets more often than misfire, but the misfires are in there and sometimes detract from the overall comedic value, it all depends on the individuals sense of humour. Some people might find it hilarious to see Alice doing the robot on the dancefloor, breakdancing wildly to Goldfrapp and then jumping-up and shouting, "I love reggae!" Others will wince. For me the best jokes involved the preening head vampire, obsessed with his hair care routine and delivering a rabid speech about vampire society without realising his microphone is forming a miniature 'Hitler' moustache on his lip. Or when Prune visits the ladies room and hears grunting and moaning coming from a cubicle, a woman comes out and announces, "Whew! That's the fifth one I've sucked tonight, and I got every last drop. Can I borrow your lip-stick?" The memorable sight of werewolf seduction, which involves marking their territory by peeing on the bed was silly, but it worked, as did a sword fight in which Edouard desperately grabs a boom mic from the sound guy and uses it to defend himself while the actual film crew look on in horror. This film is not above breaking the fourth wall in any way it wants too, and inventiveness and spontaneity on this level are applauded by yours truly. Comparisons to such contemptible crap as 'Epic Movie' or 'Superhero Movie' need not be made, I'm quite happy to say that Teeth... is in another league.

As the last film of Dead by Dawn '09 things ended on a high note, the audience loved it and I left with a smile on my face. Adele Hartley, who established Dead By Dawn in 1993 (on a dare I might add), will be taking a holiday for a while, but Scotland's best horror film festival shall return in the future... and QuietEarth will damn well be there.

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agentorange (13 years ago) Reply

I forgot about this one. Saw the trailer, oh I'd say about a year back or so. Can't wait to see it.

Gotta disagree with you about Severance and The Cottage though. Both great in their own way. The French might be catching up but nobody does horror comedy like the British.

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