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quietearth [Celluloid 05.20.09] movie review comedy

Year: 2009
Directors: Jordan Galland
Writers: Jordan Galland
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 6.5 out of 10

I'll be up front, I know very little to nothing about Shakespeare. In fact, I can't stand his work unless it's heavily modernized. That said, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are two characters with a small role in the play "Hamlet" and this film is loosely based on the play "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," which focuses on the untold story of these two characters. I say "loosely" because, based on the play's synopsis, it seems to only use the modified title and reconfigures the play with vampires and the Holy Grail and puts the title heads back in the posterior. R&G are Undead has vampires, a playwright, a secret society, and plenty of self-obsessed hack actors. It's whimsical and, while well polished and enjoyable, it often fell short of delivering that comedic punch it so needed on many occasions.

The film begins with a jaded former playwright, named Julian, introducing last night's conquest to his father in the morning. Why you ask? Because he lives in a room off his father's medical practice, one where his only patient seems to be Hugo, the hypochondriac Sikh. Julian has no job but, being the playboy type, he manages to sleep with beautiful women throughout the entire film. Yes, he's human.

But, his aimless life doesn't suit his father, who sets him up for an interview as a director for a new play. Yes, the Hamlet offshoot with the vampires. On arrival, he's greeted by a two-women erotic display and some questions: Does he have any blood disorders? Is he an intravenous drug user? No? You're hired! Yes! So begins our journey into a play not actually directed by Julian, but one staged by the vampires who run the theater.

Throw in an ex-girlfriend Julian is obsessed with, the vampires' master plan, not one single ounce of seriousness, some great editing which keeps the viewers attention and what comes out is a slick little indie vampire circus. This is a true adventure in whimsy; a storyline so ridiculous and utterly stupid at points that the only thing holding it together is great acting and the filmmakers' unfettered dedication to the overall idea. The comedic pulse may have skipped a few heartbeats, but I would still recommend this.

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