Star Wars fans and patrons of slightly cheesy horror films you’re likely to be thrilled by the low-budget, crowdsourced film “The Vampire Awakens.”
This latest film short from writer and producer J.A. Silvestro, best known for the “Killer Bikini Vampire Girls” movie series, was filmed on a budget of $2,000 and released online concurrently with “The Force Awakens.”
According to Dread Central, Silvestro based the script for “The Vampire Awakens” on a leaked script for “The Force Awakens.” Although the writer had no way of knowing for sure if the leaked script was real, it did seem to match up with the scenes shown in early trailers.
Production on “The Vampire Awakens” didn’t start until September, yet the team feverously worked to post their finished product to YouTube mid-December.
Moviegoers who’ve seen the theatrical release of “The Force Awakens” will notice many similarities. However, quite a few parallels between the two films match up to the dialogue from the early trailers/teasers but not directly with the movie. Despite the effort, the leaked script obviously wasn’t what Silvestro hoped it was.
On the plus side, “The Vampire Awakens” is filled with homages to the original trilogy. In the span of just a couple of minutes, an Obi-Wan style priest utters two lines that sound comfortably familiar to Star Wars fans. For example, “this relic is more powerful than anything I could have possibly imagined,” ties in the plot with the original Star Wars film. The “Empire Strikes Back” was also referenced in the line, “your weapons; you will not need them.”
Approximately halfway through the film, the classic map traveling technique used to save money in the Indiana Jones series makes an appearance. It was entertaining to see this quirky mishmash of geek culture. The score of “The Vampire Awakens” is delightfully similar to John Williams’ work throughout the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies.
Ultimately, this 20-minute combination of vampires, Star Wars and all things geeky does a good job of nodding toward the original source material, even though the script itself is not nearly as close to “The Force Awakens” as planned. The film short does take a stab at guessing the identity of Rey’s parents by having the character fashioned after Rey declare that the Han Solo inspired character is her dad, but as every Star Wars fan knows, this is simply speculation.
Fans of both genres will have fun with “The Vampire Awakens,” but make sure you know what you’re going to get: a fan film made in a very short period on an extremely limited budget. As long as you have the right expectations, you’ll have a good time.