Oddly enough “Vamp U” (formerly titled “Dr. Limptooth”) works much better as a horror movie than it does a comedy. Deep down it possesses the tone of one of those raucous horror comedies from the eighties that should rightfully star someone like Eddie Deezen or Linnea Quigley, and as a horror movie it’s a very effective tongue in cheek vampire film. As a comedy it’s a pretty decent riot, and one that may not inspire laughter, but will garner various giggles and chortles. When “Vamp U” decides it wants to be a straight up vampire movie, it’s a pretty wicked little throwback to the eighties, especially with Julie Gonzalo having a blast as the alpha vampire queen Chris, who begins sleeping with her vampire professor and turns in to a vampire mid-way.
Star Adam Johnson garners an odd resemblance to Jeremy Sisto, as an age old vampire named Wayne Gretzky (no relation), who has taken to teaching at the local college for history majors. After accidentally killing the love of his life, Mary, he’s found himself incapable of feeding with fangs that can’t grow when aroused. Hence the original title. When Wayne meets college student Chris who is a dead ringer for his wife Mary, he forms a bond with her. Chris, in hopes of acing her class, initiates a sexual affair between the duo and soon enough Wayne fails to realize that his arousal has trigger his introduction in to vampirism with Chris. What’s worse is that she not only is aware of her vampirism, but loves to feed on helpless college students, even taking the time out of massacre her entire sorority, turning them in to her own army of the undead.
Julie Gonzalo is about as gorgeous as ever, giving a hilarious and memorable performance as college student from hell, Chris. While Gary Cole has a very down beat supporting performance as Wayne’s best friend who is fascinated with vampirism, and guides him in to making the right decisions. “Vamp U” garners an interesting story frame, beginning with the recountings of two college students and how vampirism has become an almost irritating deed that must be dealt with, and the pair recount the events from the beginning. Director Maclain Nelson has a good eye on tone with his tongue firmly in cheek.
While “Vamp U” can occasionally be silly, it works as a horror comedy that creates interesting characters, and a fascinating dilemma. It’s very unexpected when the tables turn mid-way, and Adam Johnson is almost like a Woody Allen character dealing with immortality and blood lust who gets his groove back with a student that happens to be an evil being in the making. “Vamp U” is a surefire horror comedy treat, and one I had a good time with. Much more of a great horror film than it is a comedy, “Vamp U” is a clever and entertaining vampire film with some clever storytelling devices, a sharp cast, and great atmosphere that hearkens back to the classic horror trash fests of the eighties. It’s definitely worth watching for anyone in the mood for a film with its tongue firmly planted in cheek.