Sunday, August 30, 2015

3 Short Paragraphs: What We Do in the Shadows

2014, Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi (Flight of the Conchords) -- download

Yeah, Taika was the "Pieface" character in the Green Lantern movie. Imagine taking that resume entry to your grave.

Taika and Jemaine are part of the creative force behind the TV show Flight of the Conchords; Taika is not the other half of the comedy duo, but has worked with Jemaine in The Humorbeasts. Its not surprising the New Zealand comedy is small and intertwining. This movie, for example, pairs the two playing vampires living together. Yep, a group of differently aged vampires all doing the roommate thing for convenience and safety. But you know how well roommates get on after a time.

The movie is done mockumentary style, with Taika's Viago, an effete Anne Ricean vampire, trying to hold it together with the other three, while protecting the documentary team. Jemaine is Vladislav, the Dracula analog but not as sexually alluring & scary as he used to be. Deacon is the youngest of the lot, and the dick roommate. And Petyr is 8000 years old, gone all nosferatu in his old age.

Who does the dishes? Who cleans up the bodies? Who gets the blood? What do they do on weekends? How do they interact with the local werewolf bro pack? These are the comedic elements exposed to somewhat success. The movie does well to cover the one liners and standup punchlines early on, so they can drop into a story -- what happens when their Renfield brings her ex over to be food, but he ends up being made into a new vampire. So, new roomie. The comedy is subdued, very non-American, very much clinging to sketch comedy TV roots. Things never really go anywhere, but in enough direction to remind you, "Oh yeah, documentary crew."