HONEST FILM SUBTITLE: “If Christopher Moore made a movie”
Available on Amazon Prime through a Shudder add-on subscription (free trial period).
THE QUICK & DIRTY DEETS
- Status: Meeeehhhh-commend – recommend to those who like vampires for any reason, do not recommend to those looking for bona fide horror
- Horror Category: Humor, Vampires
- Low on Jumps and Cheap Tricks, Low on Gore, Low on Realism
- High on Quirky Independent Film Student-ness, High on Need For Viewer To Suspend Disbelief
Hey. Hey, Amazon Shudder. You freakin’ lied to me, man. Oh, how? Well, Shudder, I went to you hoping to find a treasure trove of great horror movies with surprisingly okay casts, lost from years gone by as reels got pulled from cinemas and converted to VHS. I mean, aren’t there at least one or two good horror movies, with surprisingly decent, known casts, every year? It seems that way to me. Theoretically. In my perfect world. Who knows, when was the last time I even went to the movies?
What I’m trying to get at here is that S. O. B. is hardly a horror movie. It nods to its rumored existence as a horror movie, shoring up this categorization primarily with its slew of vampire characters and ostensible vampiric activities. However, just like how green clothing does not confer an Irish heritage, these supernatural creatures do not transform our movie today into a horror flick.
S. O. B. is really a quirky, independent, kind-of-rom with definite com. In and of itself, it’s not a bad movie, mind you, although a little self-satisfied and totally lacking in some parts. (I’ll get to “totally lacking” in a bit.) At least Shudder rightfully categorized it as “Comedic Horror,” but what disappoints me is that Shudder only has 8 categories. “Comedic Horror” is one. If the rest of the “comedic horror” group are anything like S. O. B., that sub-set will truly be horrific – a horrific dud. Creeps and thrills form the bare minimum of my horror needs. Lafftrax don’t.
I confess, there are some highlights to S. O. B. : the dialogue is clever, the main character one of those lovable-loser types, the vampires aren’t glamorous, the ending features a nice little turn and, as a whole, the movie veers wildly away from overtrodden or predictable ground. The romance subplot lacks a little sparkle and interest, but that’s okay because this movie is clearly about the main character, not his window-dressing romance – now I guess is a good time to point out that the MC wrote, directed, and produced S. O. B. in addition to starring in it. I suspect this self-saturation is why the movie’s self-awareness can start to seem like arrogance, especially in retrospect. All of a sudden, it becomes clear what that off-putting feeling secretly rising into tangible thought while the movie progressed was: S. O. B. is overly pleased with itself. The movie is almost smug about its degree of cleverness. Or so it came across to me – don’t let my opinions rule you, if otherwise it sounds interesting. Stop right now. Watch it, then report back.
As for the rest of you, let’s proceed.
The biggest issue I had with the film (besides its potential artistic masturbation) was how it simply dismissed certain elements of reality in order to maintain the major story-arc. For instance, the lead character, very early on, becomes a vampire. Through the course of his transformation marked physical changes occur. However, at no point during the movie does any human who knew the main character previously, as a human, comment on his changed appearance or ask about it at all. Hell, he pulls on a ski mask to talk to his landlord while simultaneously smothered in a giant blanket, and the landlord doesn’t even blink an eye. In scenes throughout the movie, characters conveniently do not observe or examine what is literally right in front of them in order to keep the movie a lighthearted comedy and scurry the plot along. I think this is the deeper flaw in S. O. B.: character realism and intelligence are eschewed in favor of hitting another fast-paced punchline. For me, as a audience, this cheapens the film severely.