Horror comedies are hard to pull off, but for some reason the British seem to have a talent for it. From SHAUN OF THE DEAD to CANNIBALS AND CARPETFITTERS they find the balance between the bloody and the bloody funny. Now with FANGED UP, Christian James and Dan Palmer who already gave us the zombies in a bathroom film STALLED try to repeat their success, this time with vampires.
Wise ass Jimmy Ragsdale (Daniel O’Reilly) manages to lose his job, start a bar fight and get arrested to start his weekend off. However this time he isn’t offered bail, he’s actually locked up for the weekend. Quite ill-equipped to deal with this he has the good luck to end up in a cell with the big Russian Victor Stanczyk (Stu Bennett I AM
However, there’s bad news to go with the good. It seems that the staff and guards are vampires, and the current lot of inmates have all been picked for their blood types. There’s also his ex Katie (Danielle Harold, EASTENDERS)who’s the prison doctor. Whether that’s good or bad news may be a matter of opinion.
We know what’s going on from the prologue, but if there’s any doubt our first look at the prison tells us all we need to know. It looks like a castle out of a Hammer film, not a jail, you half expect Christopher Lee to meet the van, not the guards. Of course, it turns into a feeding frenzy and our heroes have just one hope. They need to fight their way to the chapel at the far end of the building.
I have to admit I was somewhat worried about the casting of O’Reilly, (he also contributed to the script). His internet persona “Dapper Laughs” was controversial and obnoxious, to say the least. But he does a great job of parodying it here and actually shows some acting chops. I’ve also been fairly critical of Bennett in the past, but he’s also good here
While FANGED UP is a comedy, it doesn’t short the horror part of the equation. There’s plenty of gore including a vampire that keeps going after a shotgun blast to the midsection. And in a nod to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, a trio of Nazi goons get melted.
FANGED UP is available in the UK via Altitude Film Distribution. For information on other releases keep an eye on their Facebook page.