Writer: Daniel O’Reilly, Nick Nevern, Dan Palmer (Screenplay)
Starring: Daniel O’Reilly, Danielle Harold, Stu Bennett, Vas Blackwood, Stephen Marcus, Steven Berkoff, Lauren Socha
Plot: A young rogue is thrown into prison for the weekend, unaware that the guards are blood-sucking vampires and the inmates are their victims.
Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Bloody Hilarious
Story: Fanged Up starts when loud mouth Jimmy Ragsdale (O’Reilly) gets into a fight he ends up being locked up over the weekend, the prison environment seems strange for Jimmy with his Russian cellmate Victor Stanczyk (Bennett) who does offer to help him, even with the strange habits the prison had adopted including midnight meals.
Elsewhere in the prison new doctor Katie Makepeace (Harold) has her first job and isn’t used to the routines set out by the Governor Payne (Berkoff). It doesn’t take long for Jimmy to learn that the guards are vampires and along with his ex-girlfriend Katie and a few inmates including Victor, Shifty (Blackwood) and Reeves (Marcus) the battle to survive the bloody thirsty monsters comes to light.
Thoughts on Fanged Up
Characters – Jimmy is your typical cockney geezer, he talks too much with his mouth always gets him in trouble and this time he lands him in jail. In prison he wants be the tough guy, he isn’t a tough guy, now he must use his cockney lingo to survive the horrors. I will say that Jimmy could be a character you enjoy or one that could get on your nerves though, depending how you react to cockney figures. Katie is the brand-new doctor for the prison, she is taking her first role as a solo doctor, it doesn’t take long for her to clash heads with the Governor and she joins the prisoners in the battle to survive. Victor is the big tough Russian inmate that befriends Jimmy even if part of their conversations get lost in translation. Shifty is the prisoner that can get you anything on the inside, nice guy that helps lead the path to a way out, not much of a fighter though. Governor Payne is the head vampire that has been controlling and planning events in the prison waiting for a certain day to arrive.
Performances – Daniel O’Reilly takes the leading role in this film, the character feels like it should be early Danny Dyer and while he does balance through the thin line of funny and annoying, you will be liking his character by the end of the film. Danielle Harold is our leading lady and the film even addresses her beauty in the doctor role, she does everything to make her character standout through the film. Stu Bennett was the biggest surprise for me, I know he has gone into acting after wrestling and this type of movie works for him. I do think he pulls the Russian accent off and is a character we did want to see more of. Vas Blackwood is good in this role too and to be honest everyone does a good job through the film.
Story – The story can be bottled down to one simple line ‘Prisoners vs Vampires’ this is how simple the story is to follow. The idea is an idea we have seen elements to before, anything revolving around vampires needs to take a fresh approach, much like 30 Days of Night bought us to a location that is always dark for 30 days, this brings us to a location for the story to follow criminals that can be used as food for the vampires. We get a thin romance angle, which could easily be dropped and still give the main story the same effect, but otherwise this is a vampire story than can be enjoyed by the fans.
Comedy/Horror – The comedy is hit more often than it misses, we get plenty of bad moves from Jimmy which give us the laughs, a few pop culture references which hit for the time being too. When we look at the horror side of the film we are studying the inclusion of the vampires and whether we would be scared by them, the characters would be, but they are not to the same level of scare as the classic vampires.
Settings – The film takes place in the prison, this does feel fresh for the vampire genre and using a singular location where the vampires can prey does add to the idea of their calculated nature when it comes to hunting.
Special Effects – The special effects do work for the film, most of them tend to be blood baths which is fine as long as they are consistent through the film, which they are.
Final Thoughts – If you like vampire comedy, if you are British or like British comedy, this one is for you, it will make you laugh more than it will make you scream and you will have a good time watching this.
Overall: Blood soaked comedy you can sink your teeth into.