Vampyrz On A Boat. The title of writer-director Mark Allen Michaels tells potential viewers everything they need to know about the film. There are vampires hunting people on a boat (or is that a ship?). To realize if one will appreciate the movie, it helps going in knowing that it is a comedic romance with horror elements. Does it work?
Del (Curt Lambert) is trying to convince his friend Max (Dallas Valdez) to join him on an upcoming voyage. While Max is hesitant at first, he quickly changes his tune after meeting the beautiful Sara (Carrie Keegan) and instantly falling in love with her. Sara reciprocates those feelings, and on the boat (ship?), the couple bond.
Unfortunately, this whirlwind romance is immediately thrown a curveball. See, crew members of the ship (boat?) keep disappearing, and those who aren’t missing are reporting odd happenings. It isn’t long before the horrible truth is revealed: there are vampires on the boat!
While Vampryz On A Boat opens with a kill, Michaels spends a good portion of this 72-minute feature on the characters. This helps get audiences on Max and Sara’s side and really care for them. So when Sara gets bitten and is in danger of turning into a bloodsucker, everyone watching really roots for Max to discover a way to save her.
“…vampires hunting people on a boat.”
Helping matters along, in this case, is the amusing dialogue. While there are no huge belly laughs found, there’s plenty of quick wit and funny lines that are sure to paint a smile onto all the viewers. As alluded to, there’s a fantastic ongoing gag about the differences between a ship versus a boat. The more potent moments, such as Sara asking Max to tell her something true, ring authentic as well.
Of course, reinforcing the romantic heart of Vampyrz On A Boat are Valdez and Keegan. The two thespians are brilliant on their own, delivering the comedy and horror equally well. But together, their chemistry and intensely felt love, which audiences buy from the jump, sell the narrative and keep it engaging for all.
As a director, Michaels proves adept at both the comedy and horror. While the timing is there, much of the humor stems from the writing. The horror, though, comes in how the director and director of photography Stefan Colson, lights and frames much of the film. While the plot plays out like a rom-com (up to a point), it looks and feels like a fright flick in all the best ways. The crazed editing ramps up as the time flies by, which helps up the stakes for all involved.
Vampryz On A Boat is pretty simple, with only a surprise or two to be had. As such, some audiences might get frustrated. But, the comedy and horror land well, while the romance at the heart of the story comes across as genuine. The cast is excellent all the way around, especially the leads, Valdez and Keegan. The movie is a good time and worth its brief time investment.
"…proves adept at both the comedy and horror."