It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie as bad as The Room, or at least one’s that been amusing to watch rather than your wishing you could slice your head in two and end it all rather than sit through another second. But The Last Vampire On Earth is such a film, whilst it doesn’t have any performances as bizarrely captivating as Tommy Wiseau’s you can be rest assured that nearly all of them are equally as bad. It’s the least dramatic film I’ve watched in my life time, and it’s a movie where the highlight is watching a vampire play table tennis by himself.
Set in a high school where an English literature professor forces his students to perform Dracula as a play, new student Aurelius (Michael Bole) is cast in the lead role. He’s able to walk around in daylight but buys litres of blood from some dodgy bloke and nearly every character remarks on how pale he is, so call me crazy but for some reason I suspected he might be the last vampire of the title. Coming across as a moody emo kid he’s completely unsympathetic, and Aurelius is surely the most boring vampire ever created. He’s also the politest vampire I’ve seen on the silver screen, which makes him somehow even duller.
Chloe (McKenzie Grimmett) has to act in the school play alongside Aurelius (who explains the fact that he’s studying Hematology to cure aids and diabetes several times) and so the pair quickly bond, and Chloe guesses he’s a vampire remarkably easily, with the fact that he walks around in sunlight not fazing her, and neither does the news that he’s 2028 years old and when asked if he met Jesus Aurelius replies “I heard him speak a couple of times. He was a great man” as if he couldn’t possibly be more bored. Slowly they fall in love, but bar some minor scene setting pretty much nothing happens for 30 minutes. Even after that interesting events are few and far between, though at the 40 minute point it’s suddenly revealed that Chloe has a mysterious virus which is resistant to any drugs, and if anyone doesn’t guess the ending you need to presume they have some sort of terrible brain tumour causing them to be unable to see the glaringly obvious. An hour in Chloe’s dad discovers the truth about Aurelius and it looks like something exciting is about to happen, and it finally does, though Chloe still finds the time to give a long rambling speech to interrupt the action. It’s so bizarre it’s hysterically funny, and the worst dialogue in a film packed with horrendous examples.
Many of the line readings are hilariously poor, but it’s hard to blame the cast when at times the dialogue is so awful. I can only presume most of the cast haven’t acted before, and only do so here because beloved family members were kidnapped and if they ever wanted to see them again they had no choice but to appear in the film. Most of them never acted again, or only in the director’s other films, which all but confirms my kidnapping theory.
At one point we’re treated to an painfully monotonous lecture on the nature of love from Chloe’s Pastor father and then footage of everyone leaving the church which goes on for so long I thought I might be going a bit mad (again), and is clearly a case of padding, even though the film runs for 80 minutes discounting the end credits. Thankfully hysteria kicked in at this point as I found myself giggling at the inanity of it a great deal. Pointless bland scenes are the order of the day here in general, including Aurelius telling Chloe the story of Pegasus in such a manner that I found myself struggling to keep my eyes open, and there’s a montage of their budding relationship that’s basically just lots of shots of them walking around which is the least romantic thing I’ve ever witnessed. And I once sat through “Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom”.
If you want some ridiculously nonsensical dialogue from your favourite awful films, well, there are thousands of examples. The most glaringly odd include when the school nurse advises “Enjoy the rest of the day and remember to drink a lot of water” Chloe responds with “Okay, you too” which makes no sense at all, and when Chloe also gives a speech about her hopes in life “I wish for a world without injustice, murder or suffering, I wish for one with only love, beauty and happiness. I guess that’s a bit optimistic but at the very least I’m trying to do it as best as I can wherever I am” it’s beyond clunky. Meanwhile whilst discussing whether Chloe should become one of the undead Aurelius says “You don’t want this. You don’t know what it’s like to live through centuries with all the people you know and love dying around you” yet Chloe perkily responds “I would like it if I was with you”, because sod her family and friends, who cares if they die. Then there’s the Pastor’s “He feeds off are human blood so that he might live. This is wrong” which is so on the nose it’s deliriously funny, and I could go on and on, but I’m sure you’ve got the gist of how terrible it is now.
Technically it’s also shocking stuff. There’s some dodgy sound mixing at the beginning where the music flows in and out, a couple of times bits of dialogue can be barely heard due to the background noise, and a lot of the music doesn’t fit the mood of the scene at all. One scene just ends mid-sentence before it cuts to another unrelated one, twice actors fluff their lines but the director clearly didn’t care, and given that’s it a vampire film it’s quite astonishing that the only blood we see is when Aurelius cuts open a bag of the stuff and pours it in to a cup. But due to all of this ridiculously poor nonsense I couldn’t help but laugh throughout. I’ve been trying to think of something positive to say (outside of all of the unintentional humour the film provides) and, erm, I guess the camerawork is competent, and the guy playing the high school professor isn’t too bad. Plus there’s no exploitative nudity, and McKenzie Grimmett occasionally delivers a line with a glimpse of emotion, but that’s really about it.
Presumably made to cash in on the success of the Twilight films (which the poster for the film certainly suggests is the case), it has an imdb score of 1.9 but that’s pretty charitable given how inept and poorly made the whole thing is. At least The Room felt like a proper film, just a truly terrible one, whereas this looks like something twelve year old students might have knocked up for a laugh, except it’s worryingly earnestly meant. That does make it all the funnier though, and as long as you are pretty damn drunk or have a severe meth habit you’ll find a lot here to giggle at.
You can watch the film in full on youtube here.