Jesse Hamm (sirspamdalot) wrote,
Jesse Hamm

vampire v. werewolf action

So I saw UNDERWORLD 2. The appeal of watching vampires fight werewolves for $2 was too great to pass up. Unfortunately, this match was only worth about $1.50.

Here* are 10 rules to follow in case any of you are making a vampire v. werewolf movie:

1. Be sure to feature plenty of vamp-v-wolf action at regular intervals. No one wants to see vampires and werewolves calmly talk over their differences. Read your script aloud with an egg timer handy, and add a battle every ten minutes or less.

2. If your movie has a relevant backstory, get that out of the way as quickly and briefly as possible. Don't continue to explain it verbally in scene after scene. If the backstory is so interesting that it must permeate the movie, save your present day storyline for a sequel and make this movie about the backstory.

3. Make your protagonists likeable, not just attractive automatons. This can be accomplished by having them say or do things that are smart or funny. Or by giving them quirky but credible problems. A werewolf with flea and tick troubles, for instance. A vampire who looks like a fifth-grader but is suffering from senility. Or Tourette Syndrome. There are billions of people who would pay nine dollars for a story about a vampire with Tourette Syndrome. Get on it.

4. If EVERYthing takes place in a gothic setting, your setting reverts from "gothic" to "normal" in the minds of viewers. Yawn. Start things off in a normal setting, and move to gothic.

5. Vampires and werewolves should kill with their teeth. Or, when fighting each other, with stakes of wood or silver. Bombs and grenades: bad. Teeth and other pointy objects: good.

6. Your villian should be someone we'd really dig if only he weren't such a so'n'so. He should command our respect and interest for reasons other than his power.

7. Abandon the mythology's rules at your peril. Once you question why vampires can't stand garlic, you must also question how they exist in the first place, and there goes your movie. Vampires exist not because WE are superstitious but because THEY are superstitious. That's the price of immortality.

8. Despite rule #7, you must surprise your audience. Include at least 3 moments that make the viewer choke on his popcorn and gasp to his neighbor,"Did that just happen?!"

9. In any fight scene, the audience should know who to root for. Watching a fight between characters of ambiguous standing is like watching NASCAR: much motion, little interest.

10. Your movie should recognize that there are scarier things than being killed. Without that spook factor, it's just an action movie.

*No, I will not put this behind a cut. It is vital information that you must all absorb.
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