Ninjas vs. Vampires Movie Review
Written by Charlotte Stear
DVD released by Breaking Glass Pictures
Written and directed by Justin Timpane
2011, 89 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on May 5th, 2011
Jay Saunders as Aaron
Daniel Ross as Kyle
Devon Marie Burt as Alex
Cory Okouchi as Cole
Carla Okouchi as Lily
Melissa McConnell as Ann
Kurt Skarstedt as Seth
Daniel Mascarello as Manson
The second installment from director Justin Timpane, loosely following Ninjas vs Zombies, sees the ever defiant Ninjas taking on vampires this time around.
While out with his best friend Alex (Devon Marie Burt), Aaron (Jay Saunders) decides it's time he comes clean about his real feelings for her and tells her all these years they've been friends, he's actually been hoping for more. Alex does not reciprocate these feelings, but luckily for Aaron the awkwardness of the situation does not last for long as they are then immediately attacked by vampires. And then by some ninjas who seem to be defending them against the vampires. When the ninjas disappear from sight with Alex, Aaron finds his way back to her house to see if she got home safely. When they meet, she has no recollection of the events that have just occurred. Aaron takes it upon himself to find out who the ninjas were that saved them, but once he does they all become entwined in battle that is more serious than he could ever have imagined.
Going into this film I was very hesitant as it has all the looks of a cheaply made spoof film, but I was actually really surprised and impressed by it. Of course in a vampire related film that's incredibly tongue in cheek they will rip on that impossibly popular series, Twilight. What I liked about their approach was it was just the odd reference and it wasn't a parody a la Vampires Suck. Here we get a few chuckles like when a woman on screen wearing an "I ♥ Edward" T Shirt gets killed by a vampire, and then later a reference to vampires "sparkling".
The vampires here certainly don't sparkle, but then again they aren't exactly fear inducing either. The biggest let down are the not-so-scary vampire clan that are plotting to take down the ninjas. It is all a little bit True Blood for my liking and the lead vampire Seth (Kurt Skarstedt) is pretty unconvincing. The effects are incredibly low budget and silly, when the vampires combust into flames it's just like someone lit a match, hardly horrific. Saying that, while the effects are at times laughable, the action sequences are actually really well choreographed and the ninja training scene is not only enjoyable for its humour and pace, it appears our three lead ninjas have some impressive skills.
So yes it's utterly ridiculous, the effects are pretty terrible and the acting isn't brilliant, but there are some insanely great comedic performances. The film can deliver that comedic effect well because it in no way takes itself seriously, which allows for a lot of room for in-jokes. In one part we are introduced to Manson (Daniel Mascarello), the ultimate evil vampire and as soon as he came on screen I thought, "Hmm that outfit is a bit Cat Woman-y." Then later when Kyle meets him in a fight scene he instantly quips, "Big Tim Burton fan?" I like that this film knows where it stands with its audience, we know going in this is going to be silly and it supplies just that. It's many references to the horror and science fiction genres is enough to keep fanatics entertained, I love spotting a quirky reference in a film, so I was happy.
Daniel Ross as Kyle played a great side man who set up a lot of the jokes and held his own well, he even did some great straight acting towards the end of the film. But the best performance comes from the lead, Jay Saunders. After a slightly shaky start, he finds his rhythm as the awkward hero of the film, his delivery is spot on and I found myself chuckling away every time he came on screen. I certainly hope to see him in future projects as he has a lot of promise.
So, at the end of the film when we are introduced to a possible future installment, Ninjas vs Monsters…I really couldn't help but get a little excited. And I really wasn't expecting that.
Video, Audio and Special features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.