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June 11, 2014

My Stepdad's a Freakin' Vampire (2009) Movie Review

I’ve been told that Kevin has already reviewed this film. Though I didn’t see if on the archive list, I’ll still assume it’s true. From what was described to me, this movie left quite the sad and sour taste in Kev’s mouth. I, however, enjoyed it more than I anticipated. I mean, come on. The title alone screams steaming pile of shit but I was pleasantly, if only slightly, surprised.

My Stepdad’s a Freakin’ Vampire is about a young lad, Rusty Funkhouse (yeah...), and the typical set up of a shitty relationship between him and his step-dad, Richard, aka Dick. Rusty’s BFF, Travis, also has a dick for a dad so it all works out. Brad, the Frosh, simply wants to be a part of Rusty’s inner circle. I’m not sure why because Rusty is kind of a jack ass.

But it turns out Richard really is a dick. Well, a vampire dick anyway. He kills and turns the local mailman, Chuck, and uses him as ‘muscle’ while Richard searches for an ancient artifact. Naturally, no one believes Rusty’s story about his monster step-dad (despite the blood smears on the attic door - how did the cops miss that?) so it’s up to him, Travis, Brad, and the grizzled janitor, Gert, to find out what the hell Richard is up to and why.

Long story short (too late), we discover Richard is the dethroned king of the vampires and a prop that Rusty’s dad used in his old magic show is the key (literally) to the success of his takeover of the world. He releases a bunch of ancient vampires, Chuck raises some zombie vampires (wha...?), and Rusty’s mom is in big trouble because Richard needs to take a human bride.

I don’t know what the hell is going on, either.

After a grave digging then vampire fight-prep montages (who knew the groinal area was such a key weak point on a vamp?), Rusty defeats Richard by cutting off his head and cooking it in the microwave. When it explodes, the heads of all the other vampires (ancient, zombie, Chuck) pop, too. How convenient. It’s now up to Rusty to protect the key, like his dad did for so many years, and prevent another vampire uprising.

I said I can still hear you. This robe does NOT make my ears look big!

I admit I went into this flick with the lowest of expectations. And I wasn’t disappointed, which is usually the case when one guy, David Matheny, does most of of the heavy lifting (write, direct, produce, edit). Acting is less than stellar and the story itself gets a little over reaching at times, bogging itself down with too much exposition.

The sound is not great. Most of it is dubbed and about half of that is super loud, particularly the f/x. Unnerving and super annoying. The CGI f/x look very much like a low end video game. However, the monster make-up for the ancient vampires was well done. I didn’t get the sense of looking at people dressed in costumes. They were very believable as old gooey vampires.

A little help here...

Much of the dialogue is silly. Yes, they wanted a comedy here and I get that. But the puns were terrible and the jokes fell flat most of the time. And as soon as Richard starts speaking ‘dandy’ by saying things like “henceforth”, he stopped being menacing and I could only look at him as part of the comic relief. 

Which really should have been left to the character of Chuck. As a mortal, he was just some goofy stoner slacker dude. But after he was turned, he came off more as the always bumbling lackey who is not only constantly chewed out by Richard but managed to get staked twice - and one of those he did to himself. 

I was more amused and entertained than I thought I would be and for an unknown movie in a $1 DVD bin, it was a surprise. But I’m not sure it was worth a whole dollar.

1.5 Hatchets (out of 5)

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