Sunday 22 July 2012

Shoreditch Slayer (2011)

Director: Simon Levene
This film was an official selection at the 8th annual International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival in Scottsdale in 2012. Here's an index to my reviews of 2012 films.
This one caught me completely by surprise. From the title I expected some sort of microbudget British slasher movie, probably heavy on the gore. While it did turn out to be British, it's subtitled for the most part because it's shot in a number of languages, even though there's a mere three minutes to cram them all into. As for style, it's a mockumentary in which a varied collection of international vampires explain the other thing that they all have in common: a lack of decent job opportunities. Explaining just how Twilight is destroying the potential for real vampires to play fake vampires in horror movies is a sure bet to go down well at a horror film festival. Talk about a gimme! That's an automatic win right there, guaranteed, with only a dragged along girlfriend or two taking mild umbrage, and at three minutes, there's not too much room to really do much else. The good news is that writer/director Simon Levene manages to do quite a bit.
He runs through the history, explaining that the movies made it possible for vampires to make an honest living, up until Twilight, of course. But what next? Everyone can be a zombie, right? Well, these vampires take regular jobs, which are explored surprising well in the time. All the unnamed actors look great as vampires and as their menial alter egos. Beyond the mere concept of vampires taking jobs like these, there's humour built into each clip. The composition of frame and choice of locations make the footage seem like art. Levene even knows when to wrap it up. All these successes no doubt stem from his regular work, directing TV commercials. To do that right, you have to know how to grab our attention, tell a story in a short timeframe and, most importantly, leave us wanting more. If not, we're going to prioritise taking a leak over whatever you have to say. Thankfully, Levene is good at his job and his skills are put to great use here.

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