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REVIEW - Lesbian Vampire Killers (12)

PUBLISHED: 17:05 18 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:12 05 October 2010

Left to Right MATHEW HORNE as Jimmy McLaren, JAMES CORDEN as Fletch, PAUL MCGANN as The Vicar and MYANNA BURING as Lotte in LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS directed by Phil Claydon, released in UK cinemas on 20th March 2009

Left to Right MATHEW HORNE as Jimmy McLaren, JAMES CORDEN as Fletch, PAUL MCGANN as The Vicar and MYANNA BURING as Lotte in LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS directed by Phil Claydon, released in UK cinemas on 20th March 2009

By Miguel Cullen I d love to say that James Corden and Mathew Horne must have been born attached at the funny bone. Together on BAFTA-winning Gavin & Stacey (which Corden co-writes with Ruth Jones), the duo also appear together in their comedy show Horne

By Miguel Cullen

I'd love to say that James Corden and Mathew Horne must have been born attached at the funny bone. Together on BAFTA-winning Gavin & Stacey (which Corden co-writes with Ruth Jones), the duo also appear together in their comedy show Horne and Corden. This, their latest showing proves the trend - that while they may be inseparable, a cracking comedy couple they are not.

The latest fat/thin Laurel & Hardy style pairing steps up for one more ride on the belly-laugh bicycle made for two in this spoof-horror.

The first scenes cement the couple's well-worn dynamic - tubby and gregarious Corden plays Fletch, a clown [literally!] with anger management issues who gets duly sacked and teams up with the more waif-like lovelorn Jimmy, who has just been dumped.

Comfortingly hopeless, the pair settle into their local and hit upon a plan - fresh-air therapy. Hiking in East Anglia will help them forget cheating girlfriends and ailing job prospects.

Unbeknownst to Jimmy, this trip is a bit of a homecoming for him - centuries previously, as was explained in opening scenes, it is where a feudal ancestor slew Camilla, The Lesbian Vampire Queen.

So, 'the land is ensnared forever in the blood of the red moon' - it's cursed - all is eerie as Corden and Horne step into a country pub - 'like a mediaeval gay bar', Fletch muses - that has just been vacated by a gaggle of Danish students.

Our duo convenes with said gaggle at an abandoned cottage, and the resulting gore-fest - all high octane and low humour - becomes, well, boring.

Standard Corden modus operandi runs thus: moments of weakly executed horror-tension - strings heighten, pulse mildly flutters - for all to be deflated by him sniggering and saying 'bol**cks'. Fletch is the kind of guy you bump into in halls at uni, where the beer's warmer than the pizza, Nintendo buzzing away in the corner while you feel vaguely irritated by the enforced stupidity of it all.

Each to his own. But some things go beyond the realms of taste. At the beginning of the horror sequence, Lotte, a Danish student skewers a vampire with a stick, and a glimmer of recognition sparked in my head. Impaling? Fat bloke / thin bloke? Fart jokes? Am I watching a credit crunch Shaun of the Dead?

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are a tough act to follow and it seems that the furore of Gavin & Stacey has left Corden and Horne thinking they can get away with hubris. For while they are scarcely challenging the gods in imitating Pegg and Frost, the humour is certainly less refined, and also Horne doesn't bring much to the laughs.

There is also the virtue of coming first will always leave Corden and Horne scratching at the door.

Lesbian Vampire Killers - see it if a wish for simple, honest belly-laughs and less-honest scene-stealing haunts your castle. I will personally be storing up on cloves of garlic and crucifixes to ward off the imminent DVD release.


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