VVB_i-KMhzkmp-X3.jpg

Miguel, Bobby and Luis band together to expose a group of gentrifying, blood-sucking vampires that infiltrate the Bronx.

Vampires may be a classic horror monster, but they’ve never been so unintentionally stupid before. In “Vampires vs. The Bronx,” the master plan of the vampires is to gentrify the Bronx so people will want to move into an area where someone could disappear without anyone noticing. 

The only obstacle stopping them is a group of three boys who are trying to find proof to expose the plan to everyone else in the neighborhood. The film is a wonderful mess of poor logic, weak characters and common vampire tropes.

For each of the main characters, certain traits are displayed early in the film only to be ignored later. Miguel Martinez (Jaden Michael) is called “Lil Mayor” by many because of his fight to keep local businesses open as rent prices are hiked up. Despite Miguel’s attempts, some people are unwilling to help and even attempt to fight him for minor accidents he makes while traveling around to place posters. As he attempts to prove the existence of vampires, people refuse to listen to Miguel and his friends despite his positive reputation.

Bobby Carter (Gerald W. Jones III) gets mixed up with the wrong crowd, but this doesn’t matter until the final quarter of the film. Until then, Henny (Jeremie Harris) contacts Bobby several times, acting sketchy toward an apparent deal they made as Henny tries to pressure Bobby into working for him. Like all bad movies, this detail is never explained nor has any impact on the film besides increasing the runtime.

Luis Acosta (Gregory Diaz IV) is the only one in the group with a personality that affects the story in a meaningful way — until it’s also ignored in the second half. While he’s a timid weenie who’s easily terrified, Luis is quick to believe Miguel’s vampire talk and becomes the group’s resident vampire expert. His comic book knowledge and familiarity with “Blade” helps the others understand the rules of vampires according to their tropes — which conveniently are true. 

Low blood sugar is also noted as a weakness for Luis, who faints when locked in a room with someone he believes is a vampire. For the sake of the story, this isn’t an issue for Luis in the second half as he suddenly becomes brave and his blood sugar is never mentioned beyond the group using it as a lazy excuse.

Despite being alive for seven centuries, these vampires didn’t think their plan through. The vampires buy out local business owners by offering lucrative deals under the guise of a real estate company only to kill the owners the moment the paperwork is completed. Their logic is that in a place like the Bronx, people won’t notice if someone goes missing, and people would assume the business owners left the area with their money. 

However, the first scene in daylight shows several missing person posters all around the borough, immediately proving the theory incorrect. Not only this, but a couple of kids find them out and seem to struggle to do anything about it because of vampire cliches like the inability to enter one’s home without an invitation, making the vampire’s secret difficult to keep.

Besides the vampires’ plan, only one vampire had the common sense to dress like a normal human instead of in a 15th-century-inspired outfit to keep their identity hidden for a majority of the movie. This makes them stand out, but apparently, no one could make the connection between the ancient outfits and someone talking about vampires being real. 

“Vampires vs. The Bronx” is a horror movie that fails to be scary but exceeds in nonsense. Character traits that seem to matter in the first half of the film completely flip or become irrelevant. Not only this, but vampires thought that gentrification would go unnoticed in New York City, which is just plain ignorant. This lame attempt at a horror film makes it an instant Halloween cult classic to the likes of “Troll 2” and “Halloween 3: Season of the Witch.” Nothing hits the spot quite like seasonal stupidity.

Contact Caleb Barbachem at barbaccf@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter and Instagram @Breeze_Culture.