Boasting a big-breasted vampire seductress, a mush-mouthed Irish cowboy, a shit ton of family drama, a plot rooted in creationism, and a lilting country-western soundtrack that kicks in at the most inappropriate of moments, Umbrage: The First Vampire isn’t a genre mash-up as much as it is a genre clusterfuck.
Beginning with a stylish old-West preface that has a gunslinger taken down by a snarling vamp, Umbrage promptly settles into present day movie-of-week mode after the opening credits, as supposedly teenaged Rachel is sent to live with her ex-stepfather and his pregnant wife in a big house out in the English countryside. The goth-grunge Rachel is petulant, confrontational, and hyper-annoying––in fact, most of the first third of Umbrage consists of screechy family arguments, with poor Doug Bradley (that’s right: Pinhead, himself) trying desperately to match the volume of the two headache-inducing females.
When not focused on grating family melodrama, Umbrage cuts to a couple of male campers, drinking wine and ripping farts out in the woods. A woman approaches their campsite, claiming to be a bird-watcher (?), and one of the campers attempts to seduce her, farts and all. When he’s later found propped against a tree with his chin and genitals ripped off, the remaining camper and the birdwatcher flee to the country house, where they takes refuge with the Bickering Brits. A big fat wad of incoherent mythology follows, a buncha horseshit about obsidian mirrors and flesh-tearing shadows and wiener-ripping mother vampires and ages-old vendettas, all of it interspersed with the occasional slo-mo cowboy montage backed by strains of wailing harmonica.
The problems with Umbrage are legion––from the silly-ass story to the complete lack of scares to the Adam and Eve flashback rape, it’s a movie that seems ill conceived from the very beginning. Writer/director Drew Cunningham certainly has his moments of visual panache, but his best efforts as a cinematic stylist are repeatedly sodomized by his own asinine script.
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