Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers (Movie Review)

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

PLOT: When a security guard with past vampire experience starts to suspect that bloodsuckers are invading his hometown, he recruits his vegan pacifist buddy to help him deal with this problem. 

REVIEW: It took me a while to get into writer/director Ryan Barton-Grimley's horror comedy Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers (watch it HERE) – in fact, roughly 50 minutes of the 85 minute running time had gone by before I really became interested in what this movie was showing me. Although it had been throwing a barrage of jokes my way that entire time, most of them weren't landing for me, and I felt the story was dragging along.

Barton-Grimley stars as Philip "Hawk" Hawkins, recently released from Army prison after receiving a surprisingly light punishment for murdering a fellow soldier with a 2×4. In Hawk's defense, that soldier was a vampire, but his belief in vampires has led to him being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Hawk now works as a night security guard at an empty apartment building – and when he sees a couple Goth guys accompanied by a leather-clad "gimp" entering the building, he immediately jumps to the conclusion that his hometown of Santa Muerte, California is being invaded by bloodsuckers. 

Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers Ryan Barton-Grimley Ari Schneider

This isn't the first time Hawk has imagined that something terrible is happening in Santa Muerte, so he has trouble convincing people of this new threat, but he is able to recruit some assistance from his vegan pacifist best friend Revson McCabe (Ari Schneider), who joins the vampire-hunting mission only after making Hawk swear that there will be no hurting or killing of vampires. So it's clear early on that these guys aren't going to be accomplishing much. The title Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers may make the movie sound like it's going to be packed with vampire-slaying action, but if that's what you're expecting to see you'll be very disappointed.

A more accurate title would have been "Vampire Stakeout", because most of the movie is dedicated to showing Hawk and Rev trying to figure out how to keep an eye on these suspected vampires, and this stretch of the film goes on for so long it started to feel interminable. Even with a few vampire attacks to spice things up, and even with Hawk and Rev getting other characters involved, like an acquaintance from Army prison (Richard Gayler as Jasper) and a "girl writer" who becomes a love interest for Hawk (Jana Savage as Theo), those first 50 minutes were a slog to get through.

Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers Ryan Barton-Grimley Ari Schneider Jana Savage

50 minutes in, Hawk and Rev finally get confirmation of exactly what's going on in Santa Muerte, and that's when it became interesting to me. I found the last 35 minutes of the movie to be a lot more fun and engaging than the build-up had been. I wouldn't want to sit through the first 50 minutes of Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers again, but for this viewing the last 35 minutes were enough of a payoff to make it worthwhile.

If the film's sense of humor really works for you, you'll probably have a blast with it all along, because there is a steady stream of jokes every minute. I got a few laughs out of it, but the humor wasn't appealing enough to me to make me enjoy sitting through such a slow-moving story. The last 35 minutes, though, that was good stuff, and the movie does have some really cool-looking credits.

Freestyle Digital Media has given Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers a digital and DVD release.

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.