In the age of a glitz and glam and ‘bigger is better’ attitudes it’s rare for lower budget films to make you sit up and take notice. Despite the challenge a new release from New Zealand directors Taika Waititi (Eagle vs Shark, Boy) and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) has done just that. What We Do in the Shadows is the latest offering in what seems to be a long and never ending line of Vampire films, however with a fresh approach and one of the smartest viral campaigns I've seen in awhile so no wonder the film has already piqued the interest of many.
The film, a mockumentary, follows the lives of three vampires as they deal with life in a 21st century world, not always an easy feat when your ages range from 862 to a sprightly 183. From housemates who refuse to do the dishes (for over five years), to bouncers who thwart a night on the town by refusing to invite them into nightclubs, the film hilariously tells the story of the much overused vampire in a refreshing new way.
Filmed in the New Zealand capital of Wellington, the city plays a big part in the film and seems only fitting that it has been well attacked in the promotion campaign. Most impressively the vampires managed to hypnotize officials into changing the ‘W’ in the ‘Wellington’ sign to a blood red ‘V’ to read ‘Vellington’ (as everyone knows, this is how ‘W’s’ are pronounced vhen you are a vampire- or German). Even Vellington's mayor Celia Wade-Brown embraced the change and met with vampires Viago and Vladislav (played by Waititi and Clement) to give and show her full support for the film.
Far from limiting their promotional tour to Wellington these gallivanting vampires have sprung up in all sorts of unlikely places including promotional videos for online dating sites, selling mementos and belongings on online auction sites and hijacking a radio station, though as it turns out top 40 music is not exactly to their taste. They even had a go at brewing their own IPA or Immortal Pale Ale appropriately named Delicious Neck. In recent days photos have emerged of 18th Century vampire Viago in the changing rooms of a regional rugby team wearing what looks to be a blood soaked team jersey, here’s hoping no humans were harmed in the making of this viral campaign.
You can follow the vampires and their campaign on Instagram, Twitter and Youtube.
The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and was released in New Zealand on 19th June 2014 with international dates TBA.
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