What We Do in the Shadows: The Trial
May 9, 2019 11:40 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

The vampires must defend themselves as an international vampire tribunal gathers to judge them for their transgressions.

Here’s How Those A-List Cameos Happened (Adam Chitwood for Collider)
last night’s episode introduced an “international vampire tribunal,” and Waititi and Clement used this as an opportunity to have some fun. It saw Tilda Swinton reprising her role from Only Lovers Left Alive and Evan Rachel Wood bringing back her True Blood character alongside Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn), Paul Reubens (Buffy the Vampire Slayer—the film, not the TV show), and last but not least Blade himself, Wesley Snipes.
Waititi, Clement and executive producer Paul Simms spoke to EW about the star-studded bit, and Waititi revealed it all started with Swinton:
“We’d often talk about the idea of the vampires that we knew about somehow being involved. Even the fact that our vampires used to talk about them all the time. Like, it was only mentioned briefly in the film, but my character was kind of obsessed with Blade and sort of fanned out a lot on Blade. In the Unholy Masquerade in the film, he dresses up as Blade and everyone’s like, ‘No one wants to see Blade at a vampire party, he’s a vampire killer!’ So it was already kind of in there, and then Jemaine picked up on the idea that we would start with one person like Tilda and then add in all the others. I asked Tilda to do it and she was like, ‘Okay, sure.’ [Laughs] That was pretty much it.”
Clement says they then just started drawing up a list of famous vampires in movie and TV history, and proceeded from there.
Music from the episode via Tunefind
posted by filthy light thief (17 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Each episode of this show has been progressively more brilliant, and this one was tops!
posted by vibrotronica at 12:49 PM on May 9, 2019 [6 favorites]

From EW, "What We Do in the Shadows producers reveal the story behind that all-star episode" (much more detail than the Collider piece).
posted by ShooBoo at 1:24 PM on May 9, 2019 [5 favorites]

I've loved this show from the 1st episode, it's just as good as the movie and better in a lot of ways. It's one of the shows I look forward to every week and this episode in particular blew me away. I had no idea what was coming, and it was just pure delight with every new reveal. It's so crazy that something like this can even exist.
posted by ssmith at 9:36 PM on May 9, 2019 [4 favorites]

This has been the anti-Game of Thrones for me: zero hype, consistently great in a half dozen different and weird ways in each episode.
posted by Balna Watya at 12:13 AM on May 10, 2019 [11 favorites]

I screamed so loud with sheer joy when the camera panned to Tilda Swinton that it echoed through my house.

The whoop (accompanied by leaping to my feet and fist-pumping) when they panned to Glitchy Skype Blade? Reader, my own ears started ringing!

This show is a treasure and I will slay anyone who disagrees in a gentlemanly duel.

Honestly, I got a little scared at the end thinking that our feckless trio might bite it (heh) for realsies.

Oh, Colin Robinson! You adorable little vamp-scamp, saving the gang with a Scooby Doo-worthy giant parasol. Colin can totes stay, I don't care about the fact that I barely understand how his whole deal works.

Anyone betting that we see the Barren Baron's torso crawl out of that makeshift grave in some future episode? I fear those glowing eyes indicate we haven't seen the end of Doug Jones.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:38 AM on May 10, 2019 [9 favorites]

This show had me at 'creepy paper', and yet still somehow manages to get funnier every episode.
posted by jurymast at 11:29 AM on May 10, 2019 [13 favorites]

Such amazing fan service! My girlfriend and I said YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY for a full 5 seconds when Kristen Schaal appeared! "You are inVITed!"
posted by ishmael at 2:03 PM on May 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

Now I'm anticipating cameos from Gary Oldman, Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Kirsten Dunst in season 2.
posted by cazoo at 3:07 PM on May 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

The poor camera crew! and that baby vampire!
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:45 PM on May 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

When I heard that they were turning What We Do in the Shadows into a series with Matt Berry I really hoped that it would be the ridiculous bombast of Steven Toast as a vampire and I have not been disappointed.

I loved the very elaborate Spectacle of Judgement and guffawed when they started wiggling their vampiric jazz hands. Which I just realized on a second, close up viewing turns out to have been Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:19 PM on May 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

Loved the cameos!
posted by porpoise at 11:04 PM on May 10, 2019

This show is growing on me but the cameos thing kind of seemed Simpsons-ish in a bad way. I didn't hate it or anything and I was glad to see the team from the original movie, but beyond that I felt like it just got kind of excessive and stunt-y. It'd be one thing if they were saying that every vampire from a movie is real and they all exist in one reality, or even that Tilda Swinton is really a vampire, but to suggest that every actor who ever played a vampire really is one just took me out of the show's reality too much. It didn't help that a lot of these actors (including the team from the original movie) had visibly aged since they originally played vamps.

I was surprised that the original movie vampires were on the council since they seemed like kind of sad, down-and-out guys in the movie... but maybe their profile was raised by the "documentary" they starred in. It made me wonder what they'd been up to, but the cameo was presumably all we'll get.

I noticed that Nadja called out for "Gregor" in (what she thought were) her dying moments, so I figure we'll see him again. I'm not sure what Laszlo would think about all that. I can see him being jealous, but he's also such a decadent pansexual libertine that I can see him not really caring or even wanting to get in on the action.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:49 PM on May 11, 2019

It'd be one thing if they were saying that every vampire from a movie is real and they all exist in one reality, or even that Tilda Swinton is really a vampire, but to suggest that every actor who ever played a vampire really is one just took me out of the show's reality too much.

It's probably harder to get permission from all of the studios to use their characters in a jokey manner than it is to get actors to be on an episode of a show. It didn't take me out, I thought it was funny and a great use of the cast from the film. #teamviago

Besides, it could have had even more cameo: What We Do In the Shadows Wouldn’t Let Cate Blanchett Be a Vampire
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:24 PM on May 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Vampires, they're just like us!
posted by SonInLawOfSam at 10:48 AM on May 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I’ve been slowly watching these and enjoyed all the previous ones too. But this really made me happy. When they introduced Tilda as Tilda, I let out a huge laugh and I couldn’t stop laughing for the rest of the ep. Guillermo is my favorite. “It was an accident!” And him running away like that just made me laugh harder!
posted by gemmy at 6:35 PM on May 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

I was disappointed that Amilyn didn't either only have one arm or pass sentance by saying "kill them a lot," but I like that movie more than the average bear.
posted by phearlez at 8:58 AM on June 11, 2019

Hot damn they did not let Cate Blanchett be a vampire. She should have shot a 20-second short as a vampire or something. Dammit.
posted by Glinn at 5:08 PM on November 11, 2019

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