The Last Slay Ride (2022) Review
Making an indie film like The Last Slay Ride is never easy, and trying to get paid for it can be even worse. That’s what Josh (Calvin Morie McCarthy, Amityville Poltergeist, Mutant Vampires from the Planet Neptune), Jessica (Sanae Loutsis, The Parish, Beloved Beast) and Ivan (Lukas Verri-Singer, JIGL) the trio behind Slash Camp are finding out the hard way.
They owe everyone including a bad-tempered loan shark named Marco (Steve Larkin, Conjuring: The Beyond, Cross Hollow). That shouldn’t be the case, because they have found a distributor for Slash Camp, but Max Rampage (Bill Victor Arucan, Demons at Dawn, Amityville Karen) is ghosting them. In desperate need of money before Marco shoots Ivan’s grandmother they come up with a plan to get what’s owed them. Unfortunately, they’re about to find out there’s more than one kind of bloodsucker in the business world.
Writer/director Jason Hawkins (Paper Dragons, The Resurrection Man) opens the film with Ivan trying to elude Marco and I thought the film would go from there to the filmmakers trying to get their money from Max. Instead, it goes back to the beginning for some auditions that are supposed to be so awful they’re funny. Instead, they’re just awful.
The same can be said for most of the scenes of them making the movie. This ground has been covered many times before and needs something really special to make it stand out. The Last Slay Ride just offers worn-out cliches, right down to the characters themselves. Josh and Ivan are bumbling film students, Jessica is the plain, by Hollywood not real-world standards, smart girl and Lauren (Chynna Rae Shurts, A Haunting in Ravenwood, Flirting With the Devil), the hot actress who gets their attention instead.
Finally, after a half-hour of lame indie filmmaking jokes Hawkins brings The Last Slay Ride back to the present. Our four leads, plus Marco and a couple of random cast members set out to get their money. They turn up at Max’s door, Marco shoots the first old woman (Eileen Dietz, 100 Acres of Hell, The Final Caller) he sees, “Goodbye Grandma!”. Only this is Victoria’s (Elissa Dowling, Amber Road, Clown Fear) grandmother. And they, like everyone else at Max’s house are vampires.
Sadly this isn’t much of an improvement There’s lots of wandering aimlessly around the mansion and the closest to funny the film gets is Josh throwing rolls of toilet paper at Max while telling him he runs a shitty distribution company. His company is far from the shittiest thing connected to this mess, however.
Maybe I should have paid more attention to the number of absolutely awful films the cast of The Last Slay Ride had been involved with, both in front of and behind the camera. But I had seen one of Jason Hawkins’ previous films, The Devil Knows His Own and remembered it being well done. In retrospect, it might be the presence of Seraphim Shock’s “God of this World” playing over the closing credits that I was thinking of because this film is a major clusterfuck.
Despite being labelled a comedy there are almost no laughs to be found and unlike most genre comedies The Last Slay Ride never tries to be frightening or even deliver a jump scare or two. Special effects are almost non-existent beyond a vampire dissolving in a burst of bad CGI. And despite the obligatory references to lesbian vampires, there’s nothing more than a couple of cleavage shots. Just who the audience for this was supposed to be is beyond me.
The Last Slay Ride is available on Blu-ray from Bayview Entertainment. Their Facebook page says it’s coming to Tubi and Indie Box, but no dates are mentioned. If that wasn’t quite what you were looking for, FilmTagger may be able to suggest a better choice.