What the world needs now is more vampire stories, no? Mercifully, film director Amy Heckerling and her former Clueless star Alicia Silverstone are poised to resolve the crisis. According to Screendaily, the soon-to-start-production, Vamps, will tell “the modern-day tale of two female vampires who live it up in New York until love enters the picture, when each has to make a choice that will jeopardise their immortality.” Somehow, a snarky variation on the old Smucker’s slogan comes to mind: “With a double entendre like that, it’s gotta be good!”
Not to disparage Heckerling or Silverstone too much, but neither of these talents have exactly been thriving during the aughts. I want desperately to like Heckerling, if for nothing else Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless, but I can’t discount her having also helmed the Look Who’s Talking pictures and, albeit without credit, A Night at the Roxbury. Neither of her offerings in the new millenium were nearly as toxic as these, but they didn’t sing either. Both Loser and I Could Never Be Your Woman struck me as very earnest failures—faint praise to be sure—but at least they kept me alive to what Heckerling might be up to next. Now it seems she’s boarding the Vampire gravy train.
As for Silverstone, she has less to indemnify her against the charge of cashing in and/or terminal irrelevance. Clueless is clearly the outlier among a body of work that includes Batman and Robin, Beauty Shop, and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. But then, to be fair, perhaps she’s due for a comeback. Silverstone’s currently on Broadway in the Donald Margulies play, “Time Stands Still”, where she’s earned some favorable reviews—nothing to sneeze at considering she’s acting opposite Laura Linney. Still, the idea seems like a longshot.
As much as I hate to make this kind of arch projection so far in advance, Vamps looks like a simultaneous attempt to rustle up some old magic and tap in of one of the more tiresome cultural trends of the zeitgeist. If it ends up being the next Let the Right One In, I vow to literally eat crow.