DANCES WITH FILMS 2020 REVIEW! Equal parts insanity and homage, Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers takes audiences on a fast-paced, Edgar Wright-influenced adventure through the fictional Santa Muerte, California. Following best friends Hawk (Ryan Barton-Grimely) and Rev (Ari Schneider), as they investigate the undead, the film gives audiences a self-aware horror-comedy bursting with homages to horror and cult classics alike. Blood-soaked hijinks ensue throughout as the two friends team up to slay creatures of the night; one 80s reference at a time.
The film opens with slacker security guard Hawk and Rev, his vegan-pacifist best friend, going through the motions of Hawk’s life: the graveyard shift at a warehouse, living in his parent’s backyard, and annoyingly calling the police about suspected vampiric activity. Everything seems normal until a mysterious group of possible vampires emerges and begins to take up residence at Hawk’s warehouse. In light of the new bloodsucker activity, the two friends enlist the help of mystery writer Theo (Jana Savage) and their vampire-killing mentor Jasper (Richard Gayler), to investigate. Goth bands, 80s montages, and countless homages ensue as the group of would-be heroes seek to bring truth, justice, and swift death to any vampire in this ode to classic horror-comedies.
“…a mysterious group of possible vampires emerges and begins to take up residence at Hawk’s warehouse.”
One of the biggest takeaways from Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers is how incredibly quotable the film is, with lines like “folks love almost drowning for their faith” in reference to baptism, and “what about holy water-boarding” when debating vampire-killing methods. The film flows between witty verbal sparring and over-the-top camp beautifully. Writer-director Ryan Barton-Grimley constantly has his finger on the pulse of what self-aware allusion or bombastic act of violence needs to occur next in every aspect of the film. It’s just pure culty fun from the soundtrack to the story to the style itself.
My experience watching Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers could only be described as utter enjoyment. The film displays a deep love for classic and modern vampire films while finding ways to play with genre creatively. It is a perfect overlap for fans of Kung Fury and Fright Night. With that stated, your enjoyment of the film depends entirely on your love of intentionally campy horror-comedy. For me, as a die-hard fan of The Lost Boys, I can certainly say Barton-Grimley does “The Frog Brothers” proud with this celebration of everything “strange.”
Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers screened at the 2020 Dances With Films.
"…...two friends team up to slay creatures of the night – one 80s reference at a time. "