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Down Low on LetterBoxd: ‘The Last Vampire on Earth’

Photo courtesy of Pexels/KoolShooters.

Hello everybody, and welcome to the fourth edition of “Down Low on LetterBoxd,” where I review the lowest-rated movies on Letterboxd — a social film reviewing site

Today, I am reviewing the infamous Twilight rip-off “The Last Vampire on Earth” with a rating of 1.8 stars. This movie was directed by Vitaliy Versace, who led such cleverly named projects as “Men in Suits” and “Beverly Hill Bandits.” The poster is not subtle in its plagiarism of the well-beloved (and well-hated) franchise “Twilight, from the color palette to the font, everything is practically copied and pasted from the original. 

Many of the actors have no other acting credits, so I will not be commenting on their performance, except for the guy who plays the vampire love interest, Aurelius, who I think delivers a great performance for what he’s given. 

The plot, as expected, follows the romance between an immortal vampire and a human girl. They meet in a college literature class that is studying the novel “Dracula.” Despite this being a college literature class, for some reason, the professor decides to make their final exam a play based on the novel. Of course, Aurelius, an actual vampire, gets cast as Dracula, and the lead actress, Chloe, is cast as Mina, a woman who everyone assumes gets with Dracula in the novel, but she doesn’t.

Despite this odd set-up, the movie is pretty standard for its genre. There are a couple of notable divergences, which mostly lie in the main characters. Our main vampire, Aurelius acts a lot more like Carlise (the dad figure in “Twilight”) than Edward (the vampire love interest), as he wants to be a doctor to help people, but is still really broody. Additionally, unlike Bella from “Twilight,” who has a typical backstory of divorced parents and a flighty mother, Chloe is a Jehovah’s Witness with HIV. The way she contracted this disease is through a convoluted series of events that caused a little girl’s HIV-ridden blood to enter her bloodstream when she was on a mission trip to Africa.   

Chloe’s HIV status is actually the most interesting element of this movie, an element that is sadly underutilized. Aurelius is going to college to get a degree in hematology, the study of blood,  because he wants to help cure blood diseases. Her status of being a Jehovah’s Witness means that she believes blood is sacred and can’t even accept blood transfusions. Her eventual rejection of her faith and family in favor of her love of Aurelius, when she becomes a vampire, would have been a more satisfying conclusion in a better movie. But unfortunately, it is not. 

And that’s what is most frustrating about these types of films: not the plagiarism, but the lost potential. The dichotomy between Chloe’s blood disease and Aurelius’ lust for blood is not something that is explored beyond the shallow end. There’s nothing more frustrating than potential that’s too lazy to fly. That’s why rip-offs are so detestable, because they take out any possible creative potential a movie could have. 

“Twilight” movies, for all of their flaws, use a lot of their creative potential, which is part of the reason why the movies are well-loved by the fans. Because, for all the movies’ flaws, you can tell they try and take all the opportunities they get. Trying to portray the depressing boringness of Washington? Put a weird blue filter over everything. Need the vampires to be humanized? Have them play baseball to “Super Massive Black Hole” by Muse. Want to show the cool powers of your main vampire? Make him jump up on super tall trees with a teenage girl on his back. 

“The Last Vampire on Earth” never truly takes any of these opportunities to be interesting or even silly. The only stand-out scene is when Chloe is threatening her dad with a gun while confessing that she has HIV . Besides the odd set-up for the two leads meeting, it doesn’t steer into “so bad it’s good” territory. The level of enjoyment one can expect from this film is directly tied to how funny the friends you have around are

What makes me glum about “The Last Vampire on Earth” is that it was not a labor of any kind of love. I do not believe anyone goes out to make a bad movie, however, I do believe that some movies don’t try to be anything, and that is the biggest condemnation I can give it. So many writers and filmmakers want to tell their stories more than anything and never do, and the fact that Vitaliy Versace was given an opportunity to tell a story is just sad. “The Last Vampire on Earth” can be a fun time with your friends, but not from any effort on the filmmakers’ part.

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