- Written, Produced, and Directed by K. Asher Levin
- October 21, 2022
A group of online influencers are targeted by vampires and their only hope for survival is a famous gamer and a vampire hunter.
Slayers tries to be Zombieland but for vampires. Only it is bad. Not entertaining bad but purest of paycheck films bad. This is not something you proudly put on your resumé. This is a movie you make when you cannot afford groceries and all you have left in the house is a small bit of milk and a jar of pork gravy. This is a movie made to be background noise and not to be focused on because when you do you will wonder why you put it on in the first place.
Slayers is a film hooked on trying to be cool and saying something-anything-snarky. I wish it had a message, but it has no message and is all snark and bad attempts at wit. There is no truth in jest here. It certainly had potential to either be social commentary or just darkly funny. But it is neither. It’s a wasted opportunity. It touches on many topical things yet makes no strong statement on any of it.
The production values here are subpar. Thomas Jane sports a beard for much of the film but the beard looks really fake. Either he has the fakest looking facial hair in history or they applied a fake beard straight from a Spirit Halloween store. It looked really bad.
The characters are not particularly likeable or interesting. And you need to care about characters in some way to maintain interest in the events they experience. Maybe it’s because I’m not a big fan of streamers or streamer personalities. The main cast of victims come off as the most obnoxious that you can find on YouTube.
You need to be able to care about the characters you encounter in a story. Either care enough about them that you hate them and want to see what happens or you want to see them survive. Either you need to care so that their deaths or general situation have impact. Here you dislike them to the point of not caring. Nothing feels important or significant.
And the villains just don’t feel dangerous. They’re a bunch of rich elite snobs, who are actually vampires who are using the streaming group to get new bodies. There is some cure all they’re supposedly working on but how that plays into things here I am not sure. I doubt those behind this knew as it feels like they were winging it often in the narrative.
Our hero Elliot Jones (Thomas Jane) is too much of a dumb schlub to be an effective hero in a comical universe. They try to depict him as a mild knock-off of Ash Williams. Jones, a former crime show host, for his part is attempting to avenge the death of his daughter. That instance drives very little of anything but the scene certainly pads out what would otherwise be a much shorter film.
Elliot towards the end (just in time to wrap it all up) gets the help of Flynn (Kara Hayward) who is the famous gamer sister of one of the streamers named Jack (Jack Donnelly). And that help comes mostly because she hates his fiancé Liz (Lydia Hearst). And nothing there gets defined much beyond that.
During the film Slayers tries to establish their own vampire mythology (which is not a bad way to go) but it just comes off as confusing and poorly thought out. Jones is hunting vampires with his focus currently being billionaires Beverly and Steven Rektor (Malin Akerman and Adam Ambruso respectively). From the looks the vampires retain their appearance throughout their time and just changing names as needed. Then it gets tossed in that they need to body hop every hundred years if they do not feed. Interesting idea but given that Elliot appears to have learned about their past via paintings and such it makes no sense.
There is a lot of implication of gore. We see blood sprays but not a really strong level of violence or anything beyond pools of blood. I’m not sure why this got an R rating. In execution it looks a bit more like a highly suggestive television episode than it does something bloody and violent.
Writer, producer, and director K. Asher Levin puts forward a halfhearted effort. It is as if he hoped that the cast would cause everything to fall into place rather than taking control to tweak the script or guide the actors when the cameras were rolling. Maybe it was the weight of wearing three hats. Not everybody can do that effectively.
Slayers is a bad movie. And not bad because of its low budget. It’s bad because it really does nothing with what it has. It’s ultimately a waste of your time. Just skip it.