Vampires vs. the Bronx is out today to get us in the spooky Halloween season mood.
The new horror-comedy Vampires vs. the Bronx directed by Oz Rodriguez and co-written with Blaise Hemingway has reimagined the horror genre with social commentary and inclusion of what it looks like when change comes to a tightknit neighborhood in NYC.
It’s the power of three as Miguel Martinez (Jaden Michael), Luis Acosta (Gregory Diaz IV), Bobby Walker (Gerald Jones III) fight to save home from yuppie interlopers that aren’t what they seem. This horror comedy really leans into the horror and had me jumping all through as it builds up a world of vampires in the Bronx in an ALMOST family friendly movie. This is a kid movie with the teenagers front and center as the navigate crushes, hormones, and trying to get grownups to listen to them. It is a horror so some salty language and violence but most is off camera or far away so most kids would be OK with it but again I got scared watching it (so what does that say about me?? Hmm).
Vampires vs. the Bronx makes you think who are the real monsters? The gangbangers/hoodlums trying to get a kid to walk down the wrong path? The speculative real estate flippers that buy up neighborhoods and displace people? OR the blood sucking vampires that look at the Bronx as free range dinner? It’s the gentrifiers they are the real monsters in the movie with the trio of boys looking at the neighborhood disappear before their eyes which means pizza slices shoot up in price, ethnic restaurants AND the bodega. All to make way for an expensive coffee shop and grocery store that charges $8 for oat milk. I do have to say the store that only sold butter would be on my list because I do LOVE butter <yummy> I had a Bleu Cheese butter once that was soo good .. sorry back to the review. But really someone open that concept in LA I will drop some money on some good butter.
Back to my review of Vampires vs. the Bronx this is a no spoiler review so won’t give away any of the surprising twists but this this is a solid scary perfect to watch with the lights off and bowl of popcorn with the entire family. I enjoyed the trio of wanna be vampire killers who had that perfect kid friend energy that harkens back to all the kid adventure movies I saw in my youth. The supporting cast is the foundation and have to shout out to Vivian (Coco Jones) who had the Kendra Young Black Slayer vibes that was so fun to watch in her small role that I wish she got to use her know how to slay. Included in that were the guys on the corner Papo (Vladimir Caamaño) and Andre (Chris Redd) who had me laughing with their commentary , Father Jackson (Cliff ‘Method Man’ Smith) willing to use the left hand of Jesus to smack some sense into the boys, Tony (Joel ‘The Kid Mero’ Martinez) the Bodega guy who was babysitter/father figure and good male adult role model friend that introduced them to Blade (I bow down).
Oz Rodriguez and Blaise Hemingway work to build a universe of vampires that decided to relocate to the Bronx for very valid reasons that poke ‘fun’ at the lack of infrastructure, trust of the police (if you’re not sure why check out Instagram/news/twitter), and White privilege. The writing leans into the horror with a few comedic moments that light up the film but it’s a scary movie about kids dealing with unwanted change with little power to do anything about it, friendship, and family (blood and created).
It’s a great entry way to discuss how Black and Brown people navigate their neighborhood, cultural norms, gentrification, people moving into ethnic neighborhoods than acting shocked it’s full of ethnic people, that all adults aren’t good, that we can all make bad choices but can get off that path, and that family/friends will come together especially for a block party with food.
Vampires vs the Bronx is out on Netflix from October 2, 2020
Vampires vs. the Bronx has night walking gentrifying vampires coming to the Bronx! Miguel Martinez (Jaden Michael), Luis Acosta (Gregory Diaz IV), Bobby Walker (Gerald Jones III), are the first to notice all the missing people and figure out its not white folks with canvas bags being the only problem. Turns out Vampires are eyeing the Bronx with plans of using the current tenants as a free reign cattle farm. The boys convince streamer Rita (Coco Jones) to help them go to war with the racist vampires all the while staying clear of some neighborhood bad boys. All they need is garlic, stakes, a few crosses, and lots of luck to take on yuppy vamps!
Director: Oz Rodriguez
Writers: Oz Rodriguez and Blaise Hemingway
Stars: Jaden Michael, Gerald W. Jones III, Gregory Diaz IV, Sarah Gadon, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Shea Whigham, Coco Jones, Joel “The Kid Mero” Martinez, Chris Redd, Vladimir Caamaño, Jeremie Harris, Adam David Thompson, Judy Marte, Richard Bekins, and Zoe Saldaña