Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant is another addition to American society’s newest fad. Vampires are running rampant through literature, TV, and the silver screen, but does that mean that you should care at all? Well, Vampire’s Assistant certainly doesn’t change a thing. The vampire genre is starting to get crowded these days and this film seems to be another stab at the hip, emo cash cow. Welcome to the Cirque du Boring.
This film is based off of a twelve book series and from what Wikipedia has taught me, this movie is a mix of the first two books. The stories of the movie and books seem to be drastically different, but I’ve never read the series, (nor do I ever care to) so, I’m not going to dwell on this fact. The story is about Darren, the sixteen year old “goody-two shoes” with a perfect and predictable life. His troubled best friend, Steve, has an alcoholic mom, no motivation and an obsession with vampires. One day, after some peer pressured mischief, Darren and Steve find a mysterious flyer that is advertising “Cirque du Freak” dropped from a passing car. That’s not suspicious at all, right?
Anyway, Darren sneaks out that night and meets Steve at the Cirque. There they enjoy a show from: a woman with indestructible beaver teeth, Salma Hayek with a beard, Evra the snake boy, a regenerating lady and Mr. Crepsley the vampire. Darren ends up having to become a vampire to save Steve’s life and is thrust into an exciting world and a secret war between the Vampires and the Vampaneze. Apparently, the only difference between the Vampires and the Vampaneze is that Vampires don’t kill the people they feed on. So, Darren has to try and save the day against an evil Vampaneze named Murlaugh, who is after Darren throughout the film. Darren also has some sort of “Chosen One” role that is never really touched on, but I’m sure that will be in the sequel…oh boy…
I was skeptical of John C. Reilly playing a vampire in this movie and, unfortunately, I was completely correct in doing so. He really does try and give a wise vampire “feel”, but I couldn’t stop seeing him playing karate in the basement with Will Ferrell. Sadly, poor acting became quite common as you progress through the movie; the younger members of the cast gave an expectantly weak performance. Even the bigger names in the movie, such as Willem DaFoe, Orlando Jones and Salma Hayek were below average in their roles. That may have just been due to the poor script, which was extremely childish. They often used swear words to try and make the dialogue better, but it was just sad. The entire script was cheesy and immature (I found myself rolling my eyes at most of the lines), with only one or two genuinely funny parts.
Both the effects and make-up of The Vampire’s Assistant were surprisingly bad. The vampires would often move at a super speed, which they called “flitting”, leaving a generic trail of colors. The make-up on all of the characters is so thickly applied, it seems caked on the actors’ faces. I think my biggest bone to pick would have to be with John C. Reilly’s hair. My God. Quite possibly one of the most laugh inspiring things about the entire film is seeing his awful, nasty hair. It’s greasy, tangerine curls explode from his skull, causing a nails-on-a-chalkboard effect. Imagine if Edward from Twilight grew up, time traveled to 1984, never bathed and thought it was awesome. You’ve got to Google Image search this, because it’s that bad.
The one thing I did enjoy from this movie was the music. It made you feel like you were at the Freak Show, even if the film didn’t. There was good use of more modern music and a few recognizable tracks. Sadly, the music was nowhere near enough to save this film from it’s overwhelming amount of flaws.
I give Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant 2 “Brule’s Rules” out of 5