You have your Bela Lugosi vampire films.
Ditto for Christopher Lee.
And of course there are the likes of The Twilight Saga, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Near Dark and even Tom Cruise took a bite or two in Interview With the Vampire … it’s a long list. But you have to go all the way back to 1967 and Roman Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Killers to find anything that even remotely resembles Paramount Home Media’s July 21 DVD debut of What We Do in the Dark.
This award-winning, New Zealand-based vampire tale — actually a “documentary” — from the directing and writing team of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (who also star) takes the spoofing of this genre to new levels of merriment.
The ARR for the July 21 DVD debut works out to 158 days and domestic ticket sales from the film’s limited theatrical release were a tasty $3.4 million. Paramount has wisely picked up this indie theatrical release for domestic home entertainment consumption.
In the New Zealand city of Wellington — at the very bottom of the North Island — a trio of forlorn housemates are being filmed by a documentary crew, which in and of itself represents a spoof-within-a-spoof in the very best tradition of This is Spinal Tap. Indeed, so good is What We Do in the Dark in staying completely in context of its subject matter that you are pretty sure that it might be the latest Christopher Guest send-up (think: Waiting For Guffman, A Mighty Wind, etc.).
The roommates, Viago (Taika Waititi), a self-described “dandy,” Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), known as a “bit of a pervert,” and slacker Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) are vampires. How they ended up in Wellington, not exactly a city known for its nightlife, makes it all the more amusing.
They are bored, restless and pretty inept at getting fresh blood. Their latest houseguest is Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer), a fresh kill-turned-vampire, who proves to be both an asset (good at getting them invited into the local clubs) and a liability (too sloppy in his nighttime travels) … they just can’t eat his friend Stu (or is it “stew?”).
Oh yes, and down in the basement is Petyr (Ben Fransham), a vampire so old that he stopped counting at around 8,000.
It’s not easy being a vampire in New Zealand. There are werewolves to contend with, finding a late-night snack can be daunting, keeping an eye out for the occasional vampire hunter can be worrisome … and then there are those nagging household chores!