4.20 — WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (2014) and Reality

Our focus on the vampire genre ends, suitably enough, with a movie that parodies many of the tropes that have formed this season: 2014’s WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS. After a couple of short reviews of the film, we talk about everything from a focus on the humdrum nature of reality to the importance of Austin Powers, via discussions of mortality and the paradoxical fragility of vampires. How does this movie, in particular, work as a conclusion to our season of vampire films?

Next Week
In a bit of a palate cleanser after our dive into the vampire genre, our next film is the first in our ‘High School’ series; and, rather than starting with the birth of the genre, as we did with vampires/martial arts, we’re opening with the cultural behemoth that is THE BREAKFAST CLUB (1985): let’s see where the genre goes from here.

Recent Media
LAND OF THE DEAD (2005): George A. Romero, Simon Baker, Dennis Hopper
COMEDIANS GIVING LECTURES (2019): Sara Pascoe, Nish Kumar, Tash Demetriou

Recommendations
BLACK SHEEP (2006): Jonathan King, Oliver Driver, Nathan Meister
MOANA (2016): Ron Clements, Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson
MEGA TIME SQUAD (2018): Tim van Dammen, Morgan Albrecht, Yoson An
JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (2017): Jake Kasden, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black

Footnotes
Firstly, the film Rob mentions a fair bit as a cultural touchstone — particularly for Viago’s character towards the beginning of the film — is one which we didn’t watch this season, but which is worth watching/reading about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interview_with_the_Vampire_(film). Thankfully this list does have WWDitS on it (I thought it didn’t at first reading — phew): http://www.sbs.com.au/guide/article/2016/04/28/11-best-mockumentaries-all-time. While we’re looking at lists, this is an interesting one — though only 6 of our 10 movies make it: http://collider.com/best-vampire-movie. Here’s an interview with Daniel Craig on how a perfectly-positioned comedy vehicle can lead to a complete ‘genre re-set’, as happened with vampire films after WWDitS: https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/daniel-craig-blame-austin-powers-for-the-super-104242883007.html. Finally, given the weighty topic of mortality on which the film touches towards the end, this list is a good read: www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/lists/10-great-films-about-afterlife.