Lesbian Vampire Killers

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Newly dumped, Jimmy (Horne) joins best mate Fletch (Corden) on a getaway weekend to Wales. Just as they’re opening the lagers, they encounter a curse that turns the local women into Sapphic throat-suckers.


Best we get the parallels out the way first — mainly because they’re not so much invited as gatecrashed... Two young, talented actors. Hot from a zeitgeisty TV Britcom. Buddy up for the big screen. Make comedy horror... This isn’t, however, Shaun Of The Dead 2. It’s not even Dracula: Dead And Loving It. And that was Leslie Nielsen’s 876th comedy.

It was hard to tell how Lesbian Vampire Killers was going to play, given the splendidly tacky title. A snarky horror parody? Kitschy B movie? As it turns out, it’s not even smart enough for that. If Nuts magazine made a horror movie, this, for better or worse, is what it would look like.

James Corden and Mathew Horne come to this with a generous amount of goodwill, courtesy of their BAFTA-winning Gavin & Stacey, and they share an easy, slacker chemistry. Maybe better movies are ahead of them, because the material here’s second-rate sketchy. Director Claydon deserves credit for brushing up the budget with a Hollywoody sheen. But when his fondness for gimmicks — speedy-uppy zooms, comedy sound effects — isn’t letting him down, it’s his comic timing, set roughly 16 hours behind GMT.

Writers Paul Hupfield and Stewart Williams have comedy previous for the Friday Night Project and The Kevin Bishop Show, which gives you a good indicator for what to expect. Instead of punchlines or character comedy, there’s mild, gunge-y gross-out and swearing. Or, more accurately, Corden swearing, gracelessly, with all the charm of Jamie Oliver with a utensil in his head.

The project has, famously, had production birth pains, and the stretchmarks on the script are all too visible. Silvia Colloca’s vampirette appears to be on nemesis flexitime, introduced in an amusingly self-aggrandising, Coppola-spoofing prologue, then offscreen until the final 20 minutes. Which may explain why an alarmingly aimless mid-act largely consists of Corden running around the set in circles like a Hanna-Barbera cartoon while Horne is tied to a tree. Who ever thought that would give it dramatic momentum? By the time Corden turns Lad The Impaler with a sword shaped like a penis in the fleeting, fumbled anticlimax, it’s all out of gunk. And the scares? Just the one — there’s the threat of a sequel at the end credits.

Hammered horror. You will it on, but this is laddy, laboured and low on belly laughs.