So David DeCoteau, we meet again. The director of ‘Legend Of The Mummy 2’ returns with a vampire movie that’s about as scary as The Count from Sesame Street. “Van. Van sheet feelum goss straight to video. Doo. Doo sheet feelums goss straight to video …ah ah ah…”
Worryingly, a key element of LOTM2 is immediately identifiable in ‘I’ve Been Watching You‘- it’s f*cking sh*t. We have another anodyne cast of ‘smell the fart’ actors, though at least this lot are better looking and are, relative to LOTM2, RSC thespians. It’s also probably true to state that IBWY is a better film than LOTM2- in as much as being punched in the face is better than being kicked in the balls.
The plot concerns a group of male vampires who spend eternity partying at provincial American universities. Now to most, that sounds like a torment worthy of Dante’s Ninth Circle of Hell, but apparently these guys love the thrill of the drinking, the fumbling, the puking and the inevitable morning after pills. When the lead vampire, who looks like Limahl from Kajagoogoo, exclaims, ‘Vampires wear capes and have fangs, but I drive a Maserati and spend an hour a day in the tanning booth’, you can’t help wondering if he couldn’t do more with his immortality.
He and his gang, who look profoundly uncomfortable in their undersized PVC outfits, are on the lookout for ‘fresh blood’ to help sustain their unenviable existence, and target squared jawed freshman hunk Chris, who they study intently, as he runs, bends, sweats and stretches in the tiniest of short shorts, exercising around the campus. They are not the only ones admiring the young twink’s physique. The Director is also enamoured with Chris’ firm pecs, his buns of steel and his radiator abs- he shoots them with a yearning intensity and with far more care than anything else in the film. To what extent the cast are aware of the homoerotic undertones of the film are unclear- when acting is this poor, it’s difficult to tell.
The vampires’ raison d’etre is to party, so they introduce themselves to Chris- as he gently towels the glistening beads of salty perspiration from his marble-hard torso- and invite him to one of their legendary frat parties happening that very night. They promise it will be one of the most awesome ever and as Chris wants to be down with the cool kids, he eagerly accepts. Though he is both unaware that they have alternative plans for him, and that they are actually about as cool as a Russell Grant’s arse crack.
It’s understandable- he is young, naïve and so very smooth to the rough touch, and desperate to fit in- it’s just a shame he chooses to attend one of the campus’ greatest social gatherings clad like a Cabinet Minister on dress down Friday.
The party itself may be the most staggeringly lame affair ever committed to celluloid. It couldn’t be worse if Jive Bunny were DJing and your Mum had stayed to help with the catering. Any vampire worth his garlic salt would have driven a stake through his own heart by now rather than suffer this youth club esque indignity. However, Chris thinks it’s cool and as he’s wearing man at C&A, you can see why. When Limahl invites Chris to join him in the bedroom to romp with a woman who is far too old to be at any college gathering, he eagerly agrees. What follows has to be the lamest threesome in history. Not since John, Yoko and Cynthia have three people been more awkward in each other’s company. It is utterly devoid of eroticism or excitement and most definitely seems to have been shot with the clueless, by the soulless for the brainless. It is as pitiable and sordid as a sluggish hand job from a weeping hooker* and just as interminable. We feel like we’ve being punched in the face long enough now and are crying out for the referee to stop the fight and for the credits to roll.
At the conclusion of the film, when Chris finally realizes Limahl’s (and the Director’s) plan involves all the boys being stripped to the waist and softly lit by candles, (as well as Chris being brutally sacrificed), there is a fight scene so dismal, it makes a playschool punch up look like The Matrix. And when the vampires are vanquished and in their death throes, the Director uses an amazing special effect that he has obviously developed himself. He calls it ‘vigorously shaking the camera’. An ‘effect’ to shockingly bad, we are overwhelmed by feelings of sadness on his behalf. Is this the worst vampire movie we’ve ever seen? Without a doubt. Is this the worst vampire movie ever made? It has to be a contender- no blood, no violence, no horror, no point. ‘I’ve Been Watching You’. But I wish I hadn’t.