Friday, June 12, 2015

Mock Squid Soup: What We Do In The Shadows


MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are proud to present 
Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society!

How could your old pal, Cherdo, possibly pass up any
opportunity to frolic with Mock & Squid? 

You can jump in the cauldron, too!  Sign up below!

This month, everyone gets to throw a movie of their own choice into the pot.  Here's the wrinkle for June, a fabulous idea from Mock:  the week before our gathering, a trivia challenge on Friday!  Everyone was invited to post three clues about his/her movie for others to guess (there's some smart movie buffs out there, starting with author Alex J. Cavanaugh who NAILED it!).  

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What We Do in the Shadows (2015) comes from "Flight of the Conchords'" Jemaine Clement and his long time collaborator and friend, Taika Waititi - the brilliant writers, directors and actors of this funny mockumentary based on a short film they did of the same name. This film is rated R, but I'm not sure why (fake blood?). There's a bit of language. Initial reviews have been great and the film was well-received at Sundance and the SXSW festival.  It's currently available on iTunes and Amazon.

I love independent film and this one does nothing to change my mind about that. I'm also a huge "Flight of the Conchords" fan and the deadpan comedic delivery. Jemaine Clement is one of my favorites. Taiki Waititi's film, Boy, was also pretty impressive; this had to be a match made in heaven. 

Android slave that I am, I had to wait for this to hit Amazon. Cruelly, I was taunted by it's much earlier appearance on iTunes until finally, my wish came true and I could rent it online.

Vladislav
As the legend goes, vampires live forever. That's not as easy as it appears with all the adaptations one must make over the centuries. Vampires Vladislav, Viago, Deacon, and Petyr live together in the town of Wellington (NZ). I use the term "live" loosely and quite possibly incorrectly. These four undead flat mates open their home and lives to a documentary crew to reveal the reality of the burdens on the modern day vampire in society.



The vampires couldn't be more different in personality and habits. Vladislav (Clement) is the dark, sinister and oversexed 862 year old vampire who can turn into an animal...but he never gets the face right. One of the funniest scenes in the film has a black cat with the face of Vladislav frightening frantic "dinner guests" being chased through the house.

Viago
Viago (Waititi) is a 379 year old vampire described as "an eighteenth century dandy" and acts as a bit of a tour guide of their activities.

Deacon and Petyr

Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) is the 183 year old bad boy and youngest of the group and 8000 year old Petyr (Ben Fransham) is a dead ringer for the silent movie character of Nosferatu. Deacon has his own female slave, Jackie (Jackie Van Bleek) who does all his cleaning and errands - she desperately wants him to turn her into a vampire, but Deacon is stringing her along. 

Just like most roommates, they fight about chores and experience frequent clashes of egos.


The camera crew follows the group as they get dressed for a night of clubbing. Trying on clothes is complicated when you can't see yourself. Then there's the issue of getting in the club - vampires have to be invited.

Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) joins them as a new vampire, somewhat accidentally, and his human friend, Stu (Stuart Rutherford), soon becomes everyone's favorite at the flat. Stu's knowledge of modern technology comes in handy as he schools the vampires on such things as selfies and online shopping. Nick's enthusiasm for his newly acquired vampire state irks the others; while they instruct him to keep it on the down low, Nick is walking past nightclub patrons shouting, "I'm a vampire!"

Later, Nick gets banished from the house when his enthusiasm leads a vampire hunter to the flat and Petyr is killed when exposed to sunlight.

The vampires encounter a pack of werewolves while out and the two supernatural gangs exchange typical insults. Werewolf leader, Anton, is played by New Zealand comedian Rhys Darby. As the leader, he is the moral compass of the pack who tries to keep the other werewolves in check. "We're werewolves, not swearwolves," he admonishes.

The guys are going to Wellington to attend the Unholy Masquerade Ball at the Cathedral of Despair - a gathering of witches, zombies and "The Beast" (Vladislav's name for his ex-girlfriend, Pauline). The discovery of the human film crew leads to an altercation and a narrow escape. On the way home, they encounter a group of werewolves and Stu is attacked. Later, he reappears as a werewolf. Anton extends the olive branch and the two groups become friends.

I highly recommend this flick, if you want a giggle and a smirk.




Join the fun!! 

22 comments:

  1. Thank you for the tip! I'll look for it!

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    1. I think you'd like it - or hate it, no in-between here. ;-)

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  2. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    It is I/me, Sheckzilla, your dark, sinister and oversexed 862 year old blog fiend. I feel like a vampire because I was up till 1 am and saw this post but wanted to comment on it in the morning when I was rested. What We Do In The Shadows is definitely my kinda thing. I can tell by your review and the trailer that it is indeed a "laugh until you bleed" comedy. When executed well, mocumentaries are hysterically funny, and this glimpse of vampires trying to adapt to modern society looks like a gem. I am placing this one at the very top of my must see list.

    Thank you, dear friend Cherdo, and have a safe and happy weekend!

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one up till 1 p.m. Lately, I've decided I have to make a concentrated effort to get my sleep schedule back to normal. Initially, I was getting up early - going to bed at a reasonable time. Then I was getting up early - going to bed at a totally unreasonable time (after 2 a.m.). Now I'm actually sleeping in a little, which will never work once classes start again. Unless I start ringing YOUR phone at 1 a.m. - that would give me something to do that was worthwhile.

      This movie reminded me of This Is Spinal Tap, humor-wise. You need to check it out and then give me your opinion. I loved it. Flight of the Conchords is on Amazon Prime now, too. I think you'd like that series, too.

      Off to make myself appear like a contributing member of society. Have a good weekend!

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  3. I'm not usually into vampire sort of films, but this one might be totally different. Thanks for the tip, Cherdo. See you in the Shadows!

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    1. I'll be here - with a flashlight! Thanks, Linda!

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  4. I haven't heard anything about it, but sometimes I live under a cultural shell

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    1. You should check it out - it's funny. Have a good weekend - paddlin' anywhere special? You're my "who's who in a canoe."

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  5. I've seen a review or two of it before, on my list to be watched indeed

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  6. I have never heard of this and it sounds hilarious! I have to keep a look out for this. Great review

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  7. I love "Flight of the Conchords" and this looks like a great send up of the genre since it combines every vampire cliche. I'll have to look for it. "I'm supposed to pay rent! But I don't!"

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  8. I know I'd benefit from watching more independent films but I never get around to doing so.

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  9. Sounds like a lot of fun. To be honest, I'm sort of tired of vampires - I like the idea of a movie making fun of them.

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  10. Looks like a lot of interesting characters in that movie!

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  11. Dear Cherdo,

    I want to tell you a secret: I am not a vampire.

    Love,
    Janie

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  12. Wow. I hadn't even heard of this one, but vampires seem to be everywhere these days in entertainment. Vampires and zombies!

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  13. As much as I like Netflix and Amazon I still won't spend money on single movies.

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  14. I am still learning about you and you very interesting take on life.
    Have not heard of this movie but kind of tired of all the Vampires ones out right now.
    But as I say this I am watching a Korean Vampire show right now.

    I be crazy
    cheers, parsnip

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  15. You made this movie sound so great that I'm DYING to see it now! Things always come very late here though. But now I know the title and will look for it. Have a great weekend! :)

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  16. I never heard of this movie, but I'm so glad you've shared it. I have to see this. It seems like something I will thorouhly enjoy and taunt my closest friends and family with by constantly quoting it. Great choice!

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  17. I've never even heard of this movie, but I'm now intrigued. Sounds different and funny!

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  18. I love a good piece of parody, especially at the expense of something like vampires which I've now come to hate (thanks to the likes of Twilight). Will definitely catch this one.

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo