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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Slayers (2022)

Here is a movie that slipped right past me. I’m a big fan of Thomas Jane so when I heard that he had done a comedic vampire flick where he plays a hunter trying to stop an ancient clan of vampires from killing a bunch of social media influencers, one of whom is played by Abagail Breslin, I was intrigued. But then the fact that I hadn’t heard of this movie should have been my first clue that something was wrong… horribly wrong.

The movie begins with a voiceover telling us that vampires have been with humanity since the beginning of time. For that entire history there have been hunters doing battle with the vampire “families” or maybe clans. They aren’t terribly clear as to how they are organized but it does feel a bit like the mob. After that introduction we are introduced to the Stream Team, a group of social media influencers who have been recruited by a powerful couple, the Rektors, to represent their new miracle cure all. They are enamored with all the money being tossed at them, but of course it is all a trick.

Apparently the Rektors are vampires, and they aren’t completely immortal but need to transfer themselves into new bodies. They have targeted a couple of the influencers as their new receptacles with the others being food! Flynn, a professional gamer, and sister to one of the “destination” influencers, is saved by Elliot. He is the hunter who tried to warn them off and when they didn’t listen now has to try and kill all the vampires and save who he can. We also get a flashback to his daughter being killed by a record executive vampire years earlier. If you were wondering, yes it was a Rektor. Let the mayhem begin.

There was an interesting idea here, but it was executed terribly. The entire movie feels disjointed with the action stuttering along the duration starting and stopping and then starting again. When there isn’t violence happening, we get long stretches of painful dialogue that seemed to go on and on. Even when the action is happening it isn’t executed all that well. The fights are lame and the gore even worse. The kills are basically offscreen with the occasional CGI generated blood spray. The vampire makeup is also generic and overall it feels like an underfunded and rushed product. When I was doing research for this review, I did find out that the movie was made during COVID which might explain the lack of budget and no effort to do any practical effects work at all. I’m thinking this was a small crew due to the pandemic.

The only time Slayers is remotely interesting is when Thomas Jane is on the screen. He is playing the character of Elliot Jones very tongue in check. It is almost like he knows what he is making and is just having fun with it. Abigail Breslin is completely wasted in a small supporting role that gives her nothing to do. We also get an appearance from another familiar face in Malin Akerman, who I promise you will recognize from movies like The Final Girls and The Sleepover. Both of which are way more fun than this one. They had some talent in front of the camera to work with and wasted them all. That is disappointing.

I also got a weird anti-Vaxxer vibe to Slayers that I didn’t see coming. I’m not sure if that was meant as an inside joke or if there was some agenda behind the scenes. It doesn’t impact the fact that I didn’t like this movie I just found it… odd. Toss in some weird YouTube commentary (the final fight is streamed live and folks I guess are watching and commenting on the stream) and some Batman ’66 style sound effect “bubbles” for a strangely uneven and unappealing package. There is a reason this was under my radar, and I honestly wish it had stayed there. Not recommended.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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