A gathering of a vampire council at a hidden hideaway turns into a bloodbath when the British Army ambushes them in an attempt to put an end to their local reign of terror in the new horror comedy, Eat Locals.
Charlie Cox (Marvel’s Daredevil) headlines a group of eight vampires who at their semi-centennial meeting discuss matters such as territory and new members. Their meeting also introduces the fanged ones to the human at the table. Billy Cook plays Sebastian, a warm blooded human who tags along with date Vanessa (Eve Myles) unaware his date is a vampire and she is accompanying him to a flock of bloodsuckers. Sebastian quickly realizes that he is not in friendly quarters but any notion of escape is thwarted when the army erupts in gunfire. Soon, the house guests are accepting that they are surrounded by a heavily armed force lead by a commander committed to ending the vampire race.
Vampire films have been done to nausea over the past two decades, but thanks to a tongue-in-cheek deviously funny script by Danny King (Wild Bill, 2011), Eat Locals felt like fresh fun covering familiar territory. There may not be laugh out loud moments, but the script is nuanced and seasoned with fresh characters, fun challenges and a satisfying ended that make the viewing worth recommending.
It’s hard not to root for the sharp-tooth characters as they struggle to find continued cause in their existence while fighting for their very survival. Added to the comedic mix are two additional human characters (Dexter Fletcher and Ruth Jones) that have a peculiar role in context of the vampires meeting above them in the house. Not all your favorite characters will survive but everyone seems to meet their maker after a spotlight moment which will leave audiences satisfied.
We would categorize Eat Locals as more of a comedy than a horror. So too must have the director Jason Flemying who makes his directorial debut here after over 125 acting credits on imdb.com. The director’s end credits reel reintroduces each character with each actor looking like they are having a ruckus of a good time during the shoot.
But don’t think for a second that there isn’t a good body count to go with all the yuks. Whether it’s elderly vampire Alice (Annette Crosbie who has some of the better comedic moments) standing in the open firing off hundreds of rounds with an automatic weapon likely larger than her own physical frame or a concerned military man who gets rewarded for his kindness with two sharp objects impaling either side of his neck, Eat Locals brings body bags.
By the time the lights again illuminated the theatre at the screening as part of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, I was thankful for the experience. What a great treat right before the Halloween season.