Krysten Ritter is too good an actress for films like Vamps. She had an excellent supporting role in the life-changingly brilliant Breaking Bad, she starred in her own TV series, and she’s shown she can play both serious and comic roles to a high standard. Vamps is as much a waste of her time as it is of ours – a horrendous mish-mash of lame puns, dull dialogue and a storyline that’s pretty much non-existent.
The bar is set nice and low from the opening montage, which takes us on a whistle-stop tour of main character Goody’s history – starting with how she was bitten and turned into a vampire, then flashing forward through the decades up until the present day in New York. The voice over narration is gratingly upbeat, the ‘jokey’ historical references fall a bit flat, and the film wastes no time getting started on its never-ending run of cringe-inducing vampire puns (which don’t stop throughout the entire film, and never get much higher than the level of ‘Sanguine’s anonymous’, the support group the girls attend to help them stay off human blood).
For a film that’s so unrelentingly bad, there are a baffling number of reasonably well-known actors that crop up (all of whom should really know better): Alicia Silverstone plays main vampire Goody, Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Richard Lewis has a supporting role as an old romantic interest, and even Sigourney Weaver puts in a performance as evil vampire Cisserus. The acting is easily the best part of the film, but it doesn’t even come close to rescuing Amy Heckerling’s forgettable script; the actors do their best with the material they have (Justin Kirk manages to squeeze out a brief chuckle or two as the disturbingly lascivious vampire Vadim), but ultimately they’re wringing blood out of a dry stone, and there’s only so much they can do.
There isn’t much more you can really say about a film like Vamps; if you imagine the worst bits of Sex and the City combined with the worst bits of Twilight you’ll get a vague idea of what might be in store if you watch it (and if that’s not enough to put you off, nothing will be).