Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Undead (2009)

Rosencrantz-and-Guildenstern-are-Undead

This is the poster from the play-within-the-movie, but I liked it better than the DVD cover.

I’ve been waiting to see this one for years now, because Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is one of my favorite things that has ever been written down, and adding vampires to it is kind of guaranteed to ruin it completely, but whatever, I was excited, because I am just exactly that kind of stupid.

It finally got released on DVD with no notable fanfare some time back, and I finally noticed and got around to picking it up from the library. Unfortunately, the finished product doesn’t really have much to do with R&G are Dead except for one fairly lame joke, and to riff on the title. It’s more like what would have happened if early-era Kevin Smith decided to jump on board the monster lit phenomenon with a low-rent movie about a bunch of theatre nerds doing Hamlet (now with added vampires!).

That’s not exactly bad, and it’s about what I expected, though not exactly what I was secretly hoping for in my heart of hearts. It looks and feels about like you’d expect, and the supporting cast consists of people like the Karate Kid himself, Jeremy Sisto, that poor man’s Seth Green from Final Destination 3, and the dude who played Tomax/Xamot in The Ballad of G.I. Joe. The main characters are all vapid and inane in the Scott Pilgrim mold, and the indie quirkiness and low production values work against it sometimes, and in its favor sometimes, depending. Notable instances of the latter include, but are not necessarily limited to, the budget-friendly vampire death scenes, which literally did make me laugh out loud the first time one happened, and Joey Kern’s character, for all the four minutes he’s probably on screen.

Bonus points for working the Rosicrucians in there.

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