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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Night Watchmen (2017)

I have been on a killer roll with the newer horror movies that I’ve been watching. When I saw this one pop up on Amazon Prime I knew it was something that I needed to check out. I mean a clown vampire? I’ve seen clown zombies before, but vampires were a new one on me. Spoiler alert… I wasn’t disappointed!

Things get started with news reports that beloved clown Blimpo had died under mysterious circumstances while touring Romania. If that weren’t bad enough all of the other clowns in his show also died. A pair of inept delivery guys drop the casket off in the parking garage of an office building that contains a newspaper or magazine. I honestly wasn’t sure. When the local creeper, played by James Remar in a hilarious scene chewing role, opens it we get to see Blimpo climb out. Vampire Blimpo that is.

Most everyone Blimpo kills becomes a vampire, and those that they kill also become vampires. Soon only our main characters, some goofy security guards and a beautiful reporter, are the only survivors. They are also the only people around to stop the menace from spreading. After some trial and error, they figure out how to kill the undead and arm themselves with what they can find. All they need to do is survive to the morning and wait for the daylight to sort them out. That might be easier said than done.

There are so many great things about The Night Watchmen. The plot is different and takes a much different approach to vampires than we have seen in the past. While sunlight and a stake to the heart is still a good approach it seems like bullets can also put them down, at least temporarily. I also rather enjoyed the fact that the vampires are actually treated like monsters rather than adolescent romance material. They bloodsuckers want to kill you and not date you!

My inner horror nerd loves vampire clowns!
Since I’m on that subject I loved the dialogue. More than once the movie makes snarky references that I think many of as horror fans can and will appreciate. For example, the one that comes to mind is when one of the character refers to the unfortunate release of gas when the vampires die. She drops the line, “That did not happen on True Blood…” Another makes reference to vampires being “Handsome and Sparkly”. These aren’t those kinds of vampires and the fact that the movie is making fun of these other versions of bloodsuckers is a blast.

The vampires look great, especially Blimpo. They have a mouth fully of nasty teeth that are ready to rip and tear their victims. I was impressed by the amount of time that was taken to make sure that the vampires looked good. We see a lot of them and not once did any stick out as back makeup, even those way in the back. There is also a decent amount of blood in the movie, though I can’t think of a single kill that sticks out as amazing. But the sheer volume of victims more than makes up for that.

Other highlights are an “arming up” montage, the heroic speech interruption ala Deep Blue Sea, random nudity (it is a horror film!), and an appearance by everyone’s favorite low budget horror actress Tiffany Shepis. There is a lot of good stuff going on with The Night Watchmen. I recommend it.

© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer

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