Drink Slay Love (Review)

Drink Slay Love

Drink Slay Love
2017
Screenplay by Eirene Donohue
Based on the novel by Sarah Beth Durst
Directed by Vanessa Parise

Drink Slay Love
A vampire novel about a vampire girl in high school that falls in love with a human, it’s Twilight in reverse! With a bunch of extra stuff thrown in to make the perfect YA fantasy novel. Combine that with a director that obviously knew the material needed to get some campy elements thanks to airing on Lifetime, and some actors delivering some neat performances (and a few skeletonizing the scenery every second they are on screen!), we get a surprisingly entertaining but incredibly cheesy flick with Drink Slay Love!

Vampire teen Pearl (Cierra Ramirez) is confident, way confident, so confident that life is but a bore as she’s so confident she’s already done it all. The invincibility of youth mixed with the actual invincibility of vampires. That all gets shattered like the mirrors that she can only vaguely see her reflection in (it’s complicated!) when she discovers she can survive in the sunshine! Sure, this happened right after a mysterious attack where she almost died but woke up fully healed at home. Suddenly a whole new world is open to her, but only her, the rest of her clan is still killable by the sun.

This coincides with the King of the Vampires deciding the family will host the 100 year huge party where everyone feeds the King their blood and then drinks his blood, which means everyone serves the King. Which isn’t all sorts of screwed up at all. To feed all the vampires coming for the party, Pearl is sent to school to recruit a whole host of victims, as vampires must be invited into houses and high school means she’ll be invited to slumber parties. Or would be if she wasn’t a goth girl. We all know she’s going to soon fall in love and the script gets flipped.
Drink Slay Love

The vampire world is probably better fleshed out in print, here we have what looks like a family that may be actually breeding vampires or just making them casually (it’s never explained where the newest ones come from) The glimpses of the vampire world is cruel, Pearl is whipped in front of her vampire tutor’s class for being tardy, Pearl is openly told by her Mother that she doesn’t care about her, just what she can do for the family group. Even her boyfriend Jadrien (Gregg Sulkin) is an abusive jerk who seems to be using her to get her family’s connection to power. The Vampire King has a reputation of causing bloodbaths and being cruel, and is newly single and looking for a new consort (Note: They specifically refer to it as that and as a Queen, but understood that the King is the real power and the rest is ceremonial) The only one who seems to care more than superficially is her father Ivan (Ivan Hernandez), who spends his scenes speaking in an English accent channeling something I just can’t quite place. Pearl is a ninja vampire with martial arts skills, including multiple training scenes and this leads to actual fight scenes during the final act.

The happy life of the human world is meant to be a start contrast, complete with the male love interest Evan (Zack Peladeau) having magical healing powers (plus his family are all secret vampire hunters and everyone is adopted, it’s complicated!) He plays like Robert Pattinson would play Edward if he wasn’t bored out of his skull at the role, the result was rather impressive. Most of the human supporting cast is pretty fun even as they all crash into the various stereotypes. Pearl is bothered at school by perma-perky Bethany (McKaley Miller), who forcefully smiles her way into her social circle. There are also two goofy nerd guys (Michael Delleva and John C. MacDonald), as well as a pack of girls who run the popular crowd. It is high school with all the social pressure and worries of prom and getting dates in the middle of attempting to stop a vampire blood feast at said prom.

I’m not sure if the film taking shots at itself is from the director, Vanessa Parise (whose From Straight A’s to XXX is in the to-watch queue!), or the writer Eirene Donohue, or maybe even from the original novel by Sarah Beth Durst. But they are welcome. Pearl’s vampire friend Antoinette (Angelique Rivera) is obsessed with the 1980s and uses a poster of The Breakfast Club to explain different cliques. Later Pearl completely skewers how the entire plot hinges on her being experimented on without her consent and her doing the same to her entire species with a dismissive line.

It took almost the entire film of wondering where I recognized actress Tessie Santiago from before I remembered she starred in that female Zorro knockoff Queen of Swords that was syndicated all over the UPN/WB affiliates in 2001! Shame that despite there being numerous fight scenes, an actress who was in a sword fighting tv show didn’t get to show off her chops! A lot of the cast looks familiar, not sure how many were people I saw in bit parts or on commercials and how many just look like types. Even with some of them overacting like crazy, it all seemed to work together in the end. I sort of really enjoyed Drink Slay Love, which surprised the heck out of me, but somethings things just work.
Drink Slay Love

Rated 7/10


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Drink Slay Love

Drink Slay Love

Drink Slay Love

Drink Slay Love

Drink Slay Love

Drink Slay Love

Drink Slay Love

Drink Slay Love

Drink Slay Love

Drink Slay Love

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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!