Monday 17 August 2009

Vampires Vs Zombies

I only watched this movie because of its title. And I only know about this movie because I stumbled upon the DVD art when browsing for another post.

Loosely based on Le Fanu's "Carmilla", a father and daughter agree to help out a stranger by taking her own daughter, Carmilla, with them on their road trip. The group stops off a gas station where Carmilla attacks the attendant out of sight of the Fontaines. Some time later, Carmilla's mother arrives at the gas station, followed by The General, who rescues his kidnapped daughter from the woman. Unfortunately, the girl turns out to be just some random kidnap victim-turned-vampire and is not, in fact, The General's daughter. When The General makes this discovery, he kicks the girl's ass and continues on his way to meet the Fontaines. Meanwhile, Jenna Fontaine, who is prone to nightmares, gets it on with Carmilla. Carmilla bites Jenna, but she doesn't turn into a vampire. Finally, everyone meets up at an old convent where Travis Fontaine and The General attempt to kill Carmilla, ridding the world of her. But Carmilla has other plans, and she and Jenna kill the men so they can be together forever.

But that's not the end of the movie! No, the film actually ends with Travis in the mental hospital, speaking with a doctor about Jenna. It seems that Jenna was commited some time ago but has now run off with one of the nurses. Jenna and nurse Carmilla have holed up in a motel, but their plan to run off togther is foiled by a group of zombies who descend upon them and eat them up.

As I write this, I'm still working out the details of what actually happens in this movie. I think it goes something like this:

There's some kind of zombie plague but it hasn't yet reached zompocalyptic levels so it's of no great concern to the cast. Jenna, however, is crazy but we don't know why and that, too, doesn't seem be all that important. Jenna lives in fantasy world in which both zombies and vampires exist and her repressed homosexuality manifests as Carmilla, her vampire lover. In the real world, Carmilla is a nurse at the mental hospital who's in love with Jenna.

Vampires Vs Zombies is, in a word, terrible. I've only managed to cover half of what actually happens on screen. It's like watching someone get lobotomized: there is some kind of problem to start with and when it's done, there are more, different issues and the damage is irreversible. Needless to say, the fact that the promised face off between the vampires and the zombies never happens, is the least of this movie's problems. The only versus in this film seems to be a vying for narrative control, and it's a multi-way stalemate between vampires, zombies, Jenna's psychosis, and Travis Fontaine.

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