What happens when a vampire meeting gets ambushed by a military detail hell-bent on destroying the ancient undead? You get Eat Locals, well-known actor and now first-time director Jason Flemyng’s feature film.
Eight vampires from different walks of life come together to discuss the rules and regulations of their existence. When they reveal one of them has been breaking rules and must suffer the consequences, they take care of business. New blood in the way of Sebastian (Billy Cook), a wayward young man, has been selected as the latest addition to the vampire pack (unbeknownst to him), but their plans are interrupted by an attack from a military detail lead by overzealous priest Larousse (Mackenzie Crook) under orders from the Vatican.
This horror comedy had potential, but the plodding pace and flat humour doesn’t do the fantastic cast justice. I really wanted Flemyng to succeed with this too. He’s such a versatile actor, and I hoped for the same talent behind the camera as well. With Daredevil’s Charlie Cox, Dr. Who and Torchwood alumni like Freema Agyeman and Eve Myles, as well as character actors Tony Curran and Mackenzie Crook, you’d expect to be rolling in the aisles. Instead, there’s a lot of fumbling, bickering and plotting with no real decent movement, and zany is replaced with a surprising lack of charm. Awkward changes in tone also add to the already problematic film, and there’s a really out-of-place twist that will make you wonder whether they needed to tack on an extra 5 minutes for kicks.
I don’t doubt Flemyng is a talented director, I just hope his next film has a better script.
Monday, October 16, 7 PM, Scotiabank Theatre
Ticket information can be found at the Toronto After Dark website.