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Bring back Benny Hill

Lesbian Vampire Killers
15, Nationwide

18 March 2009

12:00 AM

18 March 2009

12:00 AM

Lesbian Vampire Killers
15, Nationwide

There really isn’t a lot to say about Lesbian Vampire Killers apart from this: don’t go anywhere near it. Just don’t see it. Do something else instead. Do anything else instead. Catch up with your ironing. In fact, if you don’t mind me saying, last time I came round and saw the size of your pile, I was shocked by how behind you are. So it has to be a better option than this, a horror spoof which, as far as experiences go, is like being smacked round the head with a copy of Nuts magazine, and smacked hard. It’s all endlessly repeated ‘tit’ jokes and ‘fanny’ jokes and ‘knob’ jokes and it’s not as if I even mind a ‘knob’ joke usually. Indeed, as I often say to my husband of an evening when there is nothing on the telly and I’m up to date with my ironing: ‘Get it out, love. I could do with a laugh.’ So don’t tell me I don’t have a sense of humour, when it’s obvious that I do.

This, though, is not a laugh. It’s not even so bad it’s good. It’s so bad that, even at 87 minutes, it’s probably a good 87 minutes too long. The film stars James Corden and Mathew Horne from the blissful, BAFTA-winning sitcom Gavin & Stacey (although Uncle Bryn is the best character, surely). I just don’t know what they were thinking of. It’s not written by them. It’s written by Paul Hupfield and Stewart Williams and directed by Phil Claydon, who says in the press notes: ‘When I was told about a script called Lesbian Vampire Killers, I thought, “Great title. Done! Deal! Whatever, it is going to work.”’ Sorry, love, no. Probably best you’d seen a script first.


Corden and Horne play two down-on-their-luck mates, Fletch and Jimmy, who, to all intents and purposes, might as well be Smithy and Gavin. The plot has the pair going on a cheap, hiking holiday and ending up in a village where the females turn into girl-on-girl kissing, man-killing lesbian vampires the moment they hit 18. It all goes back to some ancient curse involving a Baron and a bad lady called Camilla, but I’m afraid I didn’t keep track properly because (1) I couldn’t be bothered and (2)…nope, that was it. I just couldn’t be bothered. True, I was still fretting about your ironing — if you don’t mind me asking, what do you do all day? — but mostly it was because I couldn’t be bothered to bother. I was that bored.

The film is a frenzy of spurting bodily fluids, cheap, entirely predictable jokes of the kind that make Benny Hill look supremely postmodern and many lingering shots of breasts under diaphanous gowns. Now, for all I know, this may actually be your thing, and I’m a sour, dried-up old goat, but it is fantastically tedious. In fact, for a large section of it, Horne is tied to a tree while Corden just bumbles around in circles and, if that doesn’t sound dramatic, it may be because it isn’t. It obviously wants to be Shaun of the Dead, which also started out as a title, but while that was a loving, smart pastiche this concludes in a protracted fight-out involving a penis-shaped sword. Also, and just to give you some idea about the standard of the script, I did note down the following exchange:

Fletch (Smithy): ‘F*** you.’

Jimmy (Gavin): ‘No, f*** you.’

I’m guessing Tom Stoppard can sleep easy (although, as he would like to make clear, ‘Only when up to date with my own ironing, otherwise I toss and turn all night.’ Apparently, David Hare is the same).


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