Why is Edward Cullen so pale? Because there’s no light in the closet. Boom!
Yet, for all those who think the Twilight movies are super gay, you ain’t seen nothin’ until you’ve checked out Vampire Boys (or if you’re really brave, check out Twinklight).
In Charlie Vaughn’s so-shoddy-it’s-actually-pretty-darn-awesome Twilight cash-in, an ages-old bloodsucker seeks to assure his immortality by finding and ‘turning’ his one true love. While his exclusively male, hunky, chiselled-from-granite coven are convinced hot blonde college student Tara is The One, Jasin (Jason Lockhart) can’t ignore his feelings for naïve new boy in town Caleb (Christian Ferrer). With time running out, confused Jasin must decide where his heart truly lies, all while satisfying his unquenchable bloodlust and taking any opportunity to show off his sweet abs…
The DVD cover, featuring four oily superbuff dudes, shirts open, muscles glistening like mom’s Chippendales video, may have you fearing a feature-length gay porn extravaganza. However, this is actually an enjoyably silly, bittersweet slice of DTV hokum. Though, with its diabolical dialogue, zombie-stiff performances, and near-incompetent direction, Vaughn’s homoerotic horror could never be mistaken for a classic, it somehow manages to transition from ordinary ineptitude into some astonishing campy nether zone of entertaining awesomeness.
Vaughn plays things relatively straight, spinning Jasin’s predicament out as one huge aching metaphor for coming out, and though incredibly rough around the edges, this still displays lots of heart. The film positively drips with sexual tension, and though lines are recited as though read directly from the page, leads Lockhart and Ferrer share undeniably potent chemistry. With their reticent half-smiles and sanguine glances, you can practically feel the butterflies in their tummies, helping solidify the film’s status as a mildly satisfying, albeit clunky paean to following your heart.
Shooting in sun-kissed California, Vaughn plays with vampire myths, bending genre rules to suit his story (and budget). With stupendous tans, these ripped undead beefcakes are quick to mention that the whole ‘allergic-to-sunlight’ thing is, handily, a myth. Even better, when triumphantly quiffed Jasin is asked if he has a reflection, he brilliantly responds, ‘You think this hair gets this way on its own?’ These humdingers lift the picture out of purgatory, allowing it to find its own quirky little groove.
Because, he’s worth it.
Disappointingly, however, the dialogue rarely scales these giddy heights. Words that may have appeared bitingly austere on the page often sound ridiculous when delivered by these Z-list unkowns. When Jasin drops clangers like ‘I will sacrifice my own palette in order to satiate the unnerving hunger building inside of me,’ it becomes painfully apparent the script itself needs a stake through the heart.
Elsewhere, a sloppily-directed, frighteningly unsexy, spontaneous outdoors threesome seems to have been shoehorned in purely to sneak in some gratuitous penis shots – the horror!!!
Nothing to see here…
Though Ferrer is still a far more engaging protagonist than mopey-faced Kristen Stewart, the revelation that his drippy, two-stone weakling is a ‘high school all-star sports champ,’ is harder to swallow than all the paranormal activity. Though likeable enough, his range doesn’t stretch much further than ‘Oh golly!’, wide-eyed confusion. It’s difficult to see why Lockhart’s pure pantomime, almost-certainly-only-in-this-for-his-looks vamp badass is so smitten. Then again, true love, even vampire love, is blind.
Vampire Boys could have benefitted from a sweeping score to set off all the sexual tension and to perhaps disguise its inadequacies. Instead, what we get is an irritating soundtrack that sounds like it was done on a ten buck 80s Casio keyboard. It’s the sort of bleepy, unaffecting crap that has blighted a thousand straight-to-video cheapies and it’s sad we don’t get to hear more of Adames, whose own bouncy, uber-camp, floor-filler ‘Monster’ plays over the credits.
John Williams is shitting himself
A cool idea does not always a great movie make – sometimes you need to spend some money. Vampire Boys suffers from a distinct lack of action, with its climactic vampire face-off amounting to little more than a puny bit of pushing and shoving. Hilariously, characters hint at awesome set-pieces we never get to see (‘He threw Adam through a tree!’) and what little bloodsucking we do get features the cheapest looking raspberry sauce you’re likely to see.
Still, the vamps do their best to distract you from all this via their sinister allergy to clothes.
You could almost forgive Vampire Boys shortcomings, purely because of its engagingly sweet centre. This is not ‘Gay Porn,’ but a clumsy, silly love story that, viewed through beer-goggles, just about coasts by on kooky charm alone. View without prejudice and these misunderstood creatures might just cast their spell on you. These vamps may not shimmer and sparkle, but they’re out and they’re proud and there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.
Take a Drink: every time you see a bloodsucker with his top off (things will get messy).
Take a Drink: whenever director Vaughn blatantly disregards vampire ‘rules’ as an excuse to show more dudes with their tops off.
Take a Drink: every time the clunky dialogue makes you giggle.
Do a Shot: whenever you see a penis. Ooh yeah.