Review: 'Fang' (2011)

By: Heather Seebach

Roughly twenty minutes into Jonathan Boushell’s Fang, you would be convinced it is a scene-for-scene remake of Tom Holland’s Fright Night. A teenage boy spots his neighbor and man-servant moving dead bodies and calls his friend to investigate, upon which they discover a vampire living next door. Fortunately, that is where this low-budget horror-comedy takes a turn down its own path. Rather than battle the vamp for the rest of the movie like Brewster and Evil Ed, these guys dispatch the bloodsucker rather quickly. Then they go about their business (read: partying) and unwittingly infect their peers with a vampire disease.

Fang pays homage to Tom Holland’s 80s classic (eagle-eyed viewers will even spy a Fright Night poster on the protagonist’s bedroom wall), as well to slasher films of that era. The movie opens on a shower kill - a slasher staple. The original synth score also fondly recalls the golden age of slashers. Sadly, that vibe is largely lost as the film goes on – I wish it had rode the slasher film wave a little longer before unveiling the vampire element.

The flick does a pretty good job delivering what horror fans love most – tits and blood. We see boobs within the first 5 seconds – and bouncing, bloody boobs in less than 5 minutes. Boushell even worked in a Wilhelm Scream for good measure, which is always good for a laugh. The movie suffers from some clunky pacing (namely a party scene that goes on too long) but for a feature debut, it is not shabby at all. There are some good jokes, the blood looks great, and the score and sound FX are spot-on. The production value is better than you would expect on a budget of roughly $5000.

Not every actor involved is good – one is downright painful – but that is pretty much to be expected of indie horror like this.* Most of the vampire extras were decent, with the exception of one actor whose name I do not know, but he went the extra mile to deliver a freaky, Deadite-esque vampire. Kudos to that guy! Speaking of Deadites, the climax of the film reminds me of the ending of The Evil Dead - not sure if that was intended but I got a kick out of it regardless.

My favorite thing about Fang is the unique twist on the transmission of vampirism. I don’t want to give it away, but the concept is something I have never seen in a vampire flick before and it makes good sense. And if I could change one thing about the film it would be the very last epilogue scene. It sets itself up for a hilarious bookend shower scene but pursues a poop joke instead. Oh well. The flick is still a gory little horror flashback - with a twist- created by 80s babies for 80s babies. I look forward to seeing what Boushell and company do next.

*Irrelevant but amusing side-note: the protagonist (Barry) and villain (The Master) could win Jack Harkness and Dexter Morgan look-a-like contests, respectively.

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