Slayers Review

PLOT: A vampire slayer targets billionaire bloodsuckers who have lured a group of social media influencers to their remote compound.

REVIEW: Just one month after the theatrical and VOD release of the thriller Dig, which was directed by K. Asher Levin and starred Thomas Jane, we’re getting the theatrical and VOD release of another Levin / Jane collaboration… and this one is quite different from their previous one. The new(er) movie is a horror comedy called Slayers, which finds Jane taking on the role of experienced vampire slayer Elliot Jones. The narration from Jones informs us that vampires have existed since the dawn of time – and humans have been secretly warring against them for thousands of centuries. While Jones has been in the slayer game for a couple decades at this point, he’s just one of the latest slayers in a long line of them, including some major historical figures. Joan of Arc, Benjamin Franklin, Billy the Kid, they were all slayers.

Jones has his sights set on Steven and Beverly Rektor (Adam Ambruso and Malin Akerman), the heads of a company called Rektor BioTech. These billionaire bloodsuckers have just invited a group of social media influencers called The Stream Team – a YouTuber, an online shopping pro, a “social goddess”, and a gamer played by the likes of Jack Donnelly, Lydia Hearst, Abigail Breslin, and Kara Hayward – out to their isolated home under the guise of offering them millions of dollars to help promote a super vaccine (which promises total immunity to everything!) to their millions of followers. But, of course, these vampires actually have some nasty plans in mind for their guests. And Jones intends to crash the party.

Slayers review

Scripted by Levin and Zack Imbrogno, Slayers (which was originally announced under the title With Teeth) is the rare vampire movie that attempts to bring some new elements into the mythology of these creatures. We’re told that Bram Stoker was a vampire himself, so any rules that were established in the pages of Dracula are questionable. This isn’t to say that Slayers does anything particularly special with the concept of immortal bloodsuckers, it’s not likely other filmmakers are going to be copying from its text, but it is nice to see something a little different now and then. It certainly could have been handled better – and so could the writing of the characters, as neither the vampires nor the humans (other than Jones) make much of an impression.

Where Slayers really stands out is in the stylistic flourishes Levin added to the direction and editing. Throughout the movie there are tricks like the image being given the appearance of different sorts of film stock, scenes being made to look like they’re appearing on websites, and there are moments that look like video games (including a running tally of how many human and vampire deaths we’ve witnessed). Levin also jumps at any opportunity to drop a montage of stock footage into the movie. That actually got tiring at a point, stock footage flies by on the screen so often. Footage from public domain movies like Nosferatu and Horror Express are even re-purposed and presented as back story. Levin makes some grating musical choices as well, which is a holdover from Dig, where the music also got very irritating at times.

Despite all its attempts at being unique, Slayers only accomplishes being a very middle-of-the-road, serviceable movie. It’s not great, it’s not bad, it’s just fast-paced and quirky enough – with the occasional humorous bit – to hold your attention for its 88 minutes. As the situation at the Rektor compound falls apart, gamer Flynn ends up joining forces with Jones so they can wipe out the vampires and hopefully save her pals. If the climactic action had been cool enough, the movie really could have earned some extra points, providing an exciting payoff to its so-so build-up. But once Flynn and Jones are fighting vamps side-by-side, it continues to be just okay.

The idea of Thomas Jane, who once played The Punisher, now playing a badass vampire hunter can get your mind spinning with the possibilities. But set aside any thoughts of this being “The Punisher vs. Vampires!” Nothing in this movie is quite that cool. Even with Flynn livestreaming the slaying and onomatopoeia showing up on the screen during fights like in Batman ‘66, it’s all slightly underwhelming.

Slayers is worth adding to your watch list this Halloween season, as it provides a quick jolt of vampire entertainment, but you should go into it with low expectations.

The Avenue is giving Slayers a theatrical, digital, and VOD release on October 21st.

Arrow in the Head reviews the vampire horror comedy Slayers, starring Thomas Jane, Malin Akerman, Abigail Breslin, and Kara Hayward

Thomas Jane



Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, 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.