It’s Halloween season in the U.S and popular streaming sites are now filled with all sorts of spooky films, be it serious slasher types or horror comedy kind. Directed by Osmany Rodriguez, “Vampires vs The Bronx” falls in the latter category, it’s is a very campy and would appeal more to kids than adults.
The film is about a small group of teenagers who are trying to save their neighbourhood from being taken over by vampires. Dressed in suits, and loaded with blood money, the fanged-suckers in this film are behind a string of disappearances in their locality. Miguel (played by a spunky Jaden Michael) is an enterprising young boy, who finds out the sinister truth behind the missing people and leads his friend into what seems like a losing battle.
Some might miss how this film is not just about “good vs the evil” but is a deeper tale about class divides, with the fanged pale vampires representative of not just wealth but also “white privilege”, trying to take over small businesses of hard-working black people.
The kids in this movie completely slay it, despite a weak script and an evidently low budget. Gerald Jones plays Bobby Carter who is almost tempted by the evil side. Gregory Diaz IV plays Miguel’s nerdy friend Luis Acosta, the boy who looks like Harry Potter, but thinks like Hermione. Coco Jones as Rita was cute but almost unnecessary, because she gets very little screen time. Their friendly banter is breezy and fun, reminiscent of the 1985 classic “Goonies”.
This is probably the first Vampire film I’ve seen that does not have any sexual overtones at all. There’s a strong sense of community, friendship that is communicated through the dynamics between the characters and it’s quite endearing in parts. The age-old “garlic, crosses and holy water versus vampires” trope is quite funny.
Since the story takes place in current times, the cinematography seems to be on point. The cast is dressed like regular people on the streets and the background music is very upbeat and hip. The blood-sucking clan is led by a rather friendly/forgettable looking vamp called Vivian (Sarah Gadon), she transforms into quite a sinister looking monster. So the make-up team did an applaud worthy job.
While ‘Vampires vs The Bronx’ might not be very memorable, it’s a fun quick watch for a Friday night with the family.