Amy Heckerling ‘s nostalgic piece following her 1995’s Clueless. It was also a reunion to bring out some of the actors that had had great performances…in the past. So here is a partial run down:
From Clueless, Alicia Silverstone (Goody) , Wallace Shawn (Dr. Van Helsing); Legally Blonde (2011), Meredith Scott Lynn, and really ( in a nice way), Sigourney Weaver (Cisserus), the stem, original vampir, that created Goody; Malcolm McDowell (Vlad Tepish), Richard Lewis(Danny), seriously; Marilu Henner(Angela)…
Since Goody was born in 1841, and she is still living, there are a lot of flashbacks of changes during the different decades that she has lived. The purpose is to show how we have evolved culturally: family, idealism, drugs, addictions, gadget-zombies. Goody hates technology, and to make sure that she is keeping up, she turned drug-addict, Stacy (Krysten Ritter), to become a member of the undead. The undead has a support group that helps each other to deal with the day-lighter.
Goody and Stacy share a two-coffin bachelorette. They work night for a pest control company, so that they can feed on rats like kid juice boxes . They don’t feed on humans. After work, they go clubbing and hook up with guys. They have a vamp-hag friend, Renfield( Zak Orth), a CPA , whose skill will come handy later. Danny was Goody’s boyfriend in the 60’s, his wife Angela is in palliative care, and by chance, Goody meets Danny again in the hospital. Danny was a political leader back then, and that’s why Goody was in love with him. Younger Stacy finally finds love in a classroom, instead of a club, and he happens to be a Van Helsing, Joey (Dan Stevens), the son of Dr. Van Helsing. BTW, Dr. Van Helsing works for Homeland Security, so that he can break into anyone’s house without a warrant, but under the Patriot Act, which is kinda of brilliant and intelligent writing that in the script. He is on the hunt for the undead, cause there have been homicides that point to the work of vampires.
Cisserus is tired of being, she wants to feel young and loved, and she has the appetite to kill. At the scene of a mass murder in a Chinese restaurant, she says,”why you always get hungry again after eating Chinese?!”, that’s funny, and there are more jokes that are not LOL, but just good old funny. Her headlines making has caused the undead being targeted for daytime interviews by IRA, and jury duty, and they must come up with a plan fast.
To tie up the story, Cisserus has to be killed, not only to allow the peaceful living of the undead, but also Stacy’s baby will stay alive. A caveat, once the stem, Cisserus, is dead, Goody will return to her chronological age upon daylight.
There are a lot of relevant commentaries in this film, and if you are under 30, many will escape you. Many references were made regarding how we used to like simple special effect, before CGI came along. The “rudimentary” head sticks to skeleton proves the point well, and the headless body wandering to find her head is one of those classic moments that we had enjoyed, hadn’t we? Adding to it, what about conversations that had been replaced by txting? How about the “undead” actors? Eternal youth, what its worth?…
It is a thoughtful film, which deserves a look, unfortunately, digitally.
P.S. also a lot of references back to the original 1931’s Dracula dialogues and photography.