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Trailer for Alicia Silverstone/Amy Heckerling Reuniting Movie ‘Vamps’ Comes out, Doesn’t Look Too Good

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Writer/director Amy Heckerling and actress Alicia Silverstone have both had a relatively rough go of it, movie career-wise, since their mutual career high point of “Clueless” in 1995.

After following up “Clueless” with the artistically and commercially disappointing “Loser” in the year 2000, Heckerling has been unable to get a movie project off the ground and into wide theatrical release since. She worked for a long time on the film “I Could Never be Your Woman,” starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Paul Rudd, which dealt somewhat autobiographically with the struggles of a woman “of a certain age” working in the entertainment industry, but in the end it was given only a very limited theatrical release and little promotion before it went to DVD.

Silverstone, after seeming poised to become one of the biggest movie stars of her generation after “Clueless,” has gradually sort of wound down her acting career and for the last few years has been seen doing mostly TV (and TV movie) work. So, the news that Heckerling and Silverstone were reuniting for a new movie led both to a lot of nostalgia for the duo’s 90s heyday and hope that the new project would actually be good. The fact that the always compelling Krysten Ritter as well as the incomparable Wallace Shawn were to be involved seemed auspicious as well.

Now that the trailer for the “miniature Clueless reunion” has been released, things aren’t looking so auspicious anymore. First, there’s the news that this new Heckerling project will once again be stretching the very outer limits of the definition of a theatrically released feature film. The film is to be released in “In Select Theaters” on 11/2, only to be on DVD/Blu-ray shortly thereafter on 11/13. But before all that it will be in “Select Digital Platforms” on 10/19. In keeping with the low rent feel of the proceedings, everything is shot in terrible looking digital video. In fact, when the pink chyron saying “Vamps” appears over a digital shot of the Manhattan skyline at the end of the trailer it suggests nothing so much as the latest offering from the CW network, which might’ve been a more natural home for this project.

Still, there are parts of the trailer which do capture the infectious, bubbly, girly energy of “Clueless.” In essence, Silverstone’s and Ritter’s characters enjoy a lifestyle similar to that of Silverstone’s character from that movie: fun, superficial, and privileged. The difference here is that they’re vampires, as is the style of the time.

And far too much of the trailer is given over to some pretty broad and stale vampire jokes of the sort which as Sean O’Neal points out are at least as old as those George Hamilton Dracula spoofs from the 70s. There is the admittedly clever touch of Wallace Shawn as a vampire-hating descendant of Van Helsing who is angry at the prospect of a romance between Ritter’s character and his son, played by Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens. Rounding out the cast are a bunch of long serving stalwarts more in Heckerling’s own age group, including: Richard Lewis, Sigourney Weaver, and the ubiquitous Malcom McDowell. See the full trailer below:

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