Vampires vs. the Bronx (2020)
October 7, 2020 12:12 PM - Subscribe

A group of young friends from the Bronx fight to save their neighborhood from gentrification...and vampires!

Much like Lovecraft Country blends the evils of racism and the supernatural, Vampire vs the Bronx does the same in a more Monster Squad vein.

"Vampires vs. the Bronx" takes gentrification for what it is—a form of white supremacy—and makes it an unmistakable evil, in which the pale monsters try to demoralize the residents by referring to the Bronx as “somewhere where no one cares when people disappear.” -Roger Ebert
posted by miss-lapin (4 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I thought it was very meh, unfortunately. It didn't commit either to the goofball weirdo vibe or to the sincere horror. It was a fluffy popcorn flick that tried to punch above its weight for message. But the message is good and there were chuckles to be had along the way.

The biggest issue I have is the gang plotline, which goes nowhere, adds nothing, and felt super mainstream Hollywood (read: a sop to a presumed white audience).
posted by Scattercat at 10:03 PM on October 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

Agreed. I did get a chuckle or two from some of the 'opening soon' gentrified store names (House of Butter was one, I think?). But even that didn't really make sense - if the vampires wanted to base themselves in the Bronx so they could prey on the poor undetected, why would they want to bring in a lot of gentrification-bait stores/people too?
posted by oh yeah! at 3:44 AM on October 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

The biggest issue I have is the gang plotline, which goes nowhere, adds nothing, and felt super mainstream Hollywood (read: a sop to a presumed white audience).

Right? Like, OK, they're going for an "afterschool-special" thing of "urban kid is tempted by the money and power of thug life even though his dad got killed by it", which is clichèd to say the least and pretty problematical, but then . . . boom out of nowhere the gang is dead and that's the end of it.

House of Butter was definitely one of the store names. But yeah agreed, why would vamps want to transform the whole neighborhood - turning the bank into a nest is one thing, driving out all their potential prey is another.

I mean, the flick worked in a sort of fun "scrappy kids take on the Bad Guys" kind of way, like a Scooby-Doo episode, or The Goonies or Monster Squad, it's the clumsiness of the messaging that drags it down.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:45 AM on October 12, 2020

This isn't a tightly plotted intricate masterwork. I mean, these same vampires coax and tempt and befriend and intimidate people to get them to sign the paperwork to sell their buildings, and then kill them literally seconds afterward. If you're just going to kill people, do that and then buy the buildings when their assets are being liquidated. Probably cheaper.

(Not to mention the weird idea that poor people living in apartments in the Bronx own their own buildings. That whole plotline seems to have been written by someone who lives in the suburbs or a rural area where buying blocks of houses to clear paths for development is actually a thing.)

My point, though, was that this is the sort of movie where you don't sweat the plot much because it's all about the emotional beats. It's the fact that they didn't land the emotional resonance either that's a problem.
posted by Scattercat at 12:09 PM on October 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

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