“Nancy discovers her new stepbro may be a Vampire.”
-Description of “My Stepbrother is a Vampire!?!”
(Yes, the description actually says “stepbro” and capitalizes “vampire” for some unknown reason. We’re off to a great start.)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Mary Crawford had directed “Twilight”? Well, wonder no more because your dreams (or nightmares) have come true. “My Stepbrother is a Vampire” is everything bad about the “Twilight” films without any of the redeeming qualities (few that they are). A part of me doesn’t even want to attempt to explain this movie, the absurdity is just too much for one brain to fathom. Still, I’ve taken on the burden of analyzing every Mary Crawford film so that others may experience the wonderful ridiculousness they have to offer. God help me, I’ll do my best to capture the very essence of “My Stepbrother is a Vampire!?!”, for better or worse.
First and foremost, a warning: this post is very image/gif-heavy. The entire movie is basically made up of a series of gifs strung together. I tried to widdle down my selection to a more manageable number, I really did. Every single one is necessary in order to accurately capture the spirit of this film though.
Also, If I had to sit through these absurd clips, so do you. Mwa ha ha.
What’s a Mary Crawford review without an obnoxiously convoluted summary? This particular selection centers around Nancy, a Bella Swan wannabe who spends the entirety of the film biting her lower lip as she flounces from scene to scene. Nancy’s mom just remarried, and the man and his son are moving into Nancy and her mom’s house. Just one problem: Nancy thinks her stepbrother, Victor, might be a vampire!
…Yeah, that’s pretty much the entire movie. Nancy wanders around for an hour and a half convinced her stepbrother is a vampire, trying to convince everyone around her as well. Her best friend Lucy is too busy trying to get into Victor’s pants to care, while her best guy friends, Mitch and Gary, treat Victor like a god because women fall all over themselves around him. Rounding out the cast is Renny, a deranged exterminator who also happens to be a descendant of Van Helsing, who only factors into the story because he’s the very troubled (yet hilarious) patient of Nancy’s therapist mom.
Oh, and there’s Tabitha, Victor’s black cat who narrates the story and occasionally converses with Victor, because what’s a Mary Crawford film without a talking animal?
A part of me really, really wishes this movie was called, “A Talking Vampire!?!” because honestly, how can it not be?
That’s basically the plot in its entirety. Nancy runs around biting her lip raw and tries to convince everyone around her that Victor’s a vampire. That’s a pretty out-there accusation to throw at someone. Nancy surely must have some serious evidence to back up this claim, right? According to Nancy herself, Victor’s a member of the blood-sucking undead because he:
-Wears high SPF sunscreen
-Took down the mirror in their bathroom
-Can unpack really fast
He needs high SPF sunscreen? He can unpack really fast?? Get the wooden stakes and crucifixes.
Based on that evidence I might be a vampire too.
Not surprisingly, nobody believes Nancy, whom everyone writes off as batshit crazy with all of her outlandish theories. The only person who believes Nancy is Renny, and the two form an odd alliance to destroy Victor.
Note: Not once throughout the film is Victor ever mean to Nancy or show any sign of wanting to cause her harm. On the contrary, he’s always polite and friendly. Plus he doesn’t have an ominous theme that plays when he enters a scene, nor is he shown scowling as soon as Nancy walks away. Based on this criteria, obviously he’s not a bad guy, right? Isn’t that how that works?
Most entertaining is when Nancy so succinctly states what Victor’s game is: “He’s actually a vampire pretending to be a boy pretending to be a vampire.” You don’t say? No wonder everyone thinks you’re insane.
Awkward chaos ensues, with the entire family gathering in the kitchen (because where else do you have an epic vampire/vampire hunter showdown?). It’s revealed that Victor IS a vampire, but it’s okay, he’s the cuddly kind. He’s only half vampire (mom was a vamp, dad is human). Victor is sensitive to sunlight and has fangs, but doesn’t drink blood. Basically think “Twilight” vampire but with even fewer actual vampire characteristics.
I now understand the question mark in the title “My Stepbrother is a Vampire!?!” Even after watching it, I’m not exactly certain Victor can qualify as a true vampire.
It is virtually impossible to accurately summarize this hot mess of a movie. Rather than continue, let’s just go to a list of some of the best absurd/awkward moments:
1) As with every Mary Crawford film, the budget here must have been virtually non-existent, because a wrinkled picture of a generic top-hat wearing dude counts as “vampire decor”.
It doesn’t even fill the entire frame. You can clearly see that it isn’t a round picture, but was just slapped up with a piece of tape to cover whatever is actually in that frame. High quality film-making, that’s what Mary Crawford is about.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, that’s Victor, in all of his Edward Cullen-wannabe glory.
2) Speaking of Victor, he’s listed as the star of the film, giving credit to the actor as having once been on “Survivor”.
Yes, the “reality” tv show.
That’s his big claim to fame. Since when did reality tv count as a marketable role to convince people to buy your movie?? “Academy award winner” sure, but really, “Survivor”?
His lack of any real acting experience is evident. They tried soooo hard to make him an Edward Cullen-ish character, but unfortunately it came off as Mary Crawford’s version of a brooding teenage vampire.
At what point in time would these sunglasses ever be considered cool??? To make matters worse, they’re extremely reflective, which means for a good part of the film you can see the crew reflected in the lenses. I have never taken a single day of film class and even I know that’s a no-no. GET IT TOGETHER, MC.
3) To be fair, I think Mary Crawford missed a lot of days of film school, including the day where they went over the fact that if you’re going to tape mics onto your actors, they probably shouldn’t be visible in your shots:
Even better is that it wasn’t just for one quick moment, like it was visible in one shot and they forgot to edit it out in a brief clip. No, it’s visible the whole damn scene because once again, nobody on this film believes in retakes.
THIS IS BUSH LEAGUE, MARY CRAWFORD. YOU’RE SO MUCH BETTER THAN THIS.
Okay no, you’re really not, but I’d like to believe that one day you’ll make a film without all of these glaring mistakes. A girl can dream.
4) I can’t focus on the errors too much because the stuff that was intentional is even worse. Take, for instance, the scene in which Victor is teaching Mitch and Gary how to act like vampires (because according to Vic, pretending to be a vampire is how you get girls to like you):
I’m guessing right about now you’re either staring at your screen in disbelief thinking, “WTF?!?”, or you’re too busy dying from laughter.
I’m sorry, but WHAT THE FUCK TYPE OF VAMPIRES ARE THEY PRETENDING TO BE?!?! I’ve seen plenty of vampire interpretations in my day, but none have involved draping a plaid shirt over your shoulders and flapping like a bird.
Tell me drugs weren’t involved in the making of this movie.
5) Even more exciting is that we get to see all of this hard work put to use, as the boys make a model-worthy entrance, walking across a tennis court.
Let me make something very clear here to start: This gif is 20 seconds long. It seems so much shorter because Mary Crawford recycled a very brief clip numerous times. My guess is that he realized walking across a tennis court doesn’t really take that long, but he wanted the scene to be longer for dramatic effect.
In case the all-black ensembles and ridiculous capes aren’t dramatic enough for you.
Is item 6 next? I’m losing track of how many stupid things I have to comment on with this movie:
6) Just in case that wasn’t absurd enough for you, let’s take a look at Victor’s powers over girls at work, as he shows the guys that making eye contact is apparently all it takes to get a girl to do whatever you want. Or, as he says, “Staring into their eyes creates a hypnotic effect, and they’ll do anything you want within reason.”
WITHIN REASON. We really needed to clarify that, in order to keep this from being too “adult themed”.
Are you dying yet? Because I lost it at that part.
Yes, his diabolical plan is to make a girl tap her head, rub her stomach, and turn around in a circle all at the same time. I don’t know what’s more ridiculous: Gary’s dumbfounded expression as though Victor just got a girl to do something Gary’s always dreamed about, or Victor’s sleazy smirk as though he just got her to give him a lap-dance.
Jeez Victor, you’re so evil, no wonder your stepsister wants to murder you.
7) When Victor and co. aren’t prancing around on-screen, we get overly long shots of Nancy researching vampires and trying to figure out how to kill them. One particularly helpful “website” listed the following as effective means for killing vampires:
And the Star of David.
Oh, and let’s not forget “Holly” water, because nobody on this film knows how to spell.
You cannot make this stuff up. Then again, somebody did, since this movie exists, so let me rephrase: nobody sane could make this stuff up.
Prepped with information, Nancy spends an entirely too long scene (2 minutes and 36 seconds, to be exact) littering her room with wooden stakes, pages torn out of a book, and garlic.
And yes, she has a few yin yangs and Stars of David strewn about for good measure.
Theory: Mary Crawford doesn’t actually know what a vampire is. He read a poorly written Wikipedia article about them and just ran with it.
8) Nancy then spends most of the remainder of the film looking like this:
Newest fashion trend for 2017: 3 strands of garlic, a pair of winter gloves, and a stake.
AND A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE.
9) Smack dab in the middle of the film they completely give up any pretense of trying to be a “Twilight” ripoff and spend five minutes talking about the actual films. Nancy is dragged to a “T.A.” support group, (That’s “Twilight Anonymous”, because of course it is). A trio of die-hard “Twilight” fans discuss coming to grips with the end of the books/movies, and then start breaking down and attacking each other over how many times they’ve watched the “Twilight” movies that week. There’s full-on discussion of main plot points from the books throughout the entire scene. How do you give up so much that you just decide to spend your film talking about another film that you’re clearly ripping off?? It takes guts, I’ll give them that.
Well, guts or stupidity.
10) Let’s not forget my favorite character from the movie, Renny, who most definitely should not be allowed to wield any weapon of any kind, yet winds up with two sickles to go off on a vampire murdering spree:
Run and hide, people, this man should not be allowed on the street. Don’t let the plaid shorts fool you.
(Also, this guy might be the most talented actor in the group. That’s not saying all that much, but hey, good job guy!)
11) Renny ends up going a little crazy (because nobody saw that coming) and almost attacks Victor with his weapons. Vic steps in to protect his family, thus leading to the revelation that he’s a vampire, but a good one. That big reveal is overshadowed by the awesomely ill-placed conversation had right before, in which the entire cast basically starts namedropping famous vampire characters from history in an effort to explain why Renny shouldn’t attack Victor. It’s way too ridiculous and convoluted to explain; it’s so much more fun to just watch these people try to discuss Dracula like they have any clue what they’re talking about.
The movie ends with everyone apparently being perfectly fine with Victor being a vampire, as the family lives happily ever after. Yep, just how I like all of vampire stories to end.
Despite its many, many, many flaws, “My Stepbrother is a Vampire!?!” may just be my favorite Mary Crawford film to date. It’s likely because it’s actually ripping off something I’m familiar with, and the sad attempts to copy the main tropes from “Twilight” are just so poorly executed that it’s downright hilarious. If you love “Twilight”, you probably won’t like this movie. If you hate “Twilight”, …well, you probably won’t like this movie either. If you don’t give a damn about “Twilight” one way or the other but want to watch a terribly-made, hilarious excuse for a vampire film, oh boy are you in luck.
Now go back and rewatch the clip of Victor teaching the boys how to be vampires 57 times. Go on, you know you want to.