Liar, Liar, Vampire (2015)

This is a funny little TV-special, using its generic high-school dramedy plot to poke fun at pop-culture in general and at Twilight in particular.

 

Davis has just moved to a new city. Again. Apparently he and his mother have to move a lot, due to her (unspecified) job. And because they move so often, Davis rarely has the opportunity to make any real friends, which is why he spends lot of his time day-dreaming and inventing fantasy scenarios.
On the first day at his new school, Davis is accidentally getting himself into a ludicrous situation where more and more of his schoolmates begin to believe that he is a vampire. As this seems to boost his popularity significantly, he goes along with it. but for someone spending his whole life daydreaming, Davis is surprisingly bad at creating and embellishing his vampire persona. So he enlists the help of his next-door neighbour (“Vi”, played by Brec Bassinger), who quite enjoys the way in which her schoolmates are making fools of themselves.
But of course this charade can not go on forever, and the question is who is going to be the one left standing when it ends?

 

As you can see from the plot, this is technically not a vampire film, as vampires are not meant to exist in that world, which makes the fact that so many people buy into Davis’s scheme all the more outrageous.

 

 

There is never in any doubt in this film that Twilight will be the main target. Within the first few minutes of the film we learn that the suburb Davis has moved to is called “Forksley”. And Vi is reading a copy of Eclipse. The references to Twilight – mostly limited to the first half of the film – are becoming more and more overt, but the climax is a carbon-copy of the forest scene from the first Twilight film in which Bella confronts Edward about being a vampire.

All these references are good fun, and the fact that they are blatantly obvious is quite deliberate, as it fits the style of the film. The film not only tries to make fun of Twilight, but also of high-school film tropes, again being very unsubtle about its targets.

The real problem with the Twilight references lies with the question: did we need this? Liar, Liar, Vampire was released by Nickelodeon in October 2015, and I would argue that that was at least 3 years too late. Think of Twilight what you will, but the fact is that the franchise vanished from the front row of public consciousness as soon as the final film left the theatres in 2012. And since Liar, Liar, Vampire was probably written and shot within a couple of months there is really no explanation (or excuse) for that kind of late-to-the-party satire.

 

This TV-special contains the type of musical number that is almost obligatory in these TV-movies. And ass is mostly the case with these types of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon productions, the cast is very solid. Although her character is somewhat limited, Brec Bassinger manages to shine in the role as Vi, giving her a specific kind of rebelling introvert vibe (as if Sam Puckett was trying to play Tori Vega, or vice versa, to stay in the Nickelodeon realm). Lead actor Rahart Adams is far too good looking to be convincing as the “awkward” kid, but I guess it would be too much to ask Nickelodeon to cast average-looking people. His acting is good, but he struggles to sell the weaker parts of the script/dialogue. The only other major character is played very competently by Tiera Skovbye (Riverdale). Most of the supporting roles are very minor and definitely negligible, but honourable mentions should go to Samuel Patrick Chu, and particularly Alex Zahara who is hamming it up as the self-styled Baron von Awesome.

 

As I said, this very short TV-movie (69 minutes) is solid TV fare – nothing special, but fun. It is aimed at kids aged 12 to 15, and no-one should expect great art. There is very little reason to see this, unless you are doing a Twilight marathon and are intending to include all major spoofs.

Rating: 5.5 to 6.0 out of 10

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