Wednesday, 6 March 2013



I've never been entirely sure why, but being a horror fan somehow entails a higher tolerance for terrible movies than fans of other genres. History buffs won't get excited about bad history on television: they'll get angry about anachronisms and inaccurate period details, drama fans will wince at dubious line readings, action movie enthusiasts won't enthuse over films where the combat scenes are ineptly staged. But for some reason horror geeks will happily sit through movies that are the very definition of awful: seeing the strangest, weirdest, wrongest movies is almost a badge of honour. I've seen The Summer Of The Massacre. I've seen Tromeo And Juliet. I've seen Bride Of The Gorilla. They're all rubbish, but they don't turn you off the genre and they don't make you not want to watch films any more.

Occasionally, of course, a movie turns up that does precisely that: it redefines the term "bloody awful" and you end up in an all-new dimension of incompetence than not only tests your faith in genre cinema but makes you wonder whether it's not too late in life to give up, to abandon films entirely and cultivate an interest in bellringing or pony trekking or something. Love Bite is one such film, a film which left me unsure whether I wanted to watch films any more. If this is what passes for allegedly professional film production in the 21st century, maybe I'd best not bother. Erase my rentals queues, cancel my Cineworld card. Just give it up. It doesn't happen every often, but when it does, there's almost a physical pain to it.

Supposedly it's a comedy, though with fewer laughs than a punch in the mouth and a real sense of desperate embarrassment to it. Jamie (Ed Speleers) is a bored teen in a seaside resort who spends most of his time with his odious, barely evolved mates: a trio of giggling imbeciles who should not only be sectioned under the Mental Health Act as medically backward but also placed on some kind of official register as sex pests. Gatecrashing a party, he meets sultry travel blogger Juliana (Jessica Szohr) - but then Timothy Spall turns up as a mad werewolf hunter claiming that Juliana is actually a lycanthrope who's been leaving a trail of dead virgins across Europe...

Much if not all of the humour is based on sex, virginity, boobs and willies and would be thought lowbrow in the letters page of Razzle. It's the lazy kind of third-form vulgarity that opts for sight gags such as two of the idiots with hot dogs sticking out of their flies (because they look like penises, geddit?), the same two idiots squirting mayonnaise from a squeezy bottle (because it looks like ejaculation, geddit?), or the hero forced to run around town naked, Robin Askwith-style, because he's lost his clothes (you can see his bum, tee-hee!). Let's not even get too deep into the film's gender politics here, with almost all the female characters portrayed as sex-hungry and undiscriminating - particularly the chubby one, because there's nothing on God's Earth more hilarious than a fat chick who's gagging for it, right?

It's entirely possible that Love Bite could have been a decent little comedy, given a completely different script and a completely different cast: the basic story is solid enough (though the climactic revelation makes no sense at all). But with the emphasis on puerile, sniggering vulgarity and an array of truly hateful and loathsome characters, it just dies on the screen. Director Andy De Emmony is obviously not completely incapable when it comes to comedy: he did direct Series 6 of Red Dwarf (including Psirens, one of my favourite episodes) among many other TV comedies, but he's unable to bring any wit or cleverness to the lame as a one-legged dog script.

Even as a horror geek who's seen far too many ropey slasher movies and amateur gore videos, Love Bite is irredeemable garbage that's depressing to watch. In the event, the horror content is minimal anyway: it's not a film about werewolves, it's a film about horny halfwits trying to get laid, and barely a fraction as much fun as that sounds. How the hell did it get released? Why did no-one stop it? The film has five executive producers, three co-producers, two producers and a line producer: why did none of them ever stand up and say "This isn't good enough"? Because it isn't good enough, even as a throwaway teen horror comedy. It's an insult and a bloody disgrace.


I'm not providing a link. Instead, why not buy one of these, then send it (unstamped) to the writers, producers and director as an example of what can be done with a werewolf comedy by someone who knows what the hell they're doing:

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