The Night Watchmen (2017)

I can sum this movie up in two words: vampire clowns. Ok, it’s more than that, but ultimately, it’s vampire clowns. Do you hate vampires that act a lot like zombies? Do you hate clowns? If you said ‘Yes’ to either of those questions, you probably won’t like this movie. For the rest of us…do you like fart jokes and drug humor? We can just keep whittling away at this…

A new hire has just started his job as a night watchman at the Baltimore Gazette, a leading newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland, which is like being the best swimmer in the kiddie pool. Since the job is largely a joke, the other watchmen spend their time being perverts, playing cards, and pretty much avoiding doing any semblance of actual work. That is, until a coffin is accidentally delivered. It turns out Bimbo the clown died mysteriously in Romania, along with his entire circus troupe. Unfortunately, just because Bimbo is dead, doesn’t mean he can’t get up and walk around. Soon he’s drinking blood, and everyone he kills also gets up as a feral vampire. With the building overrun, the night watchmen join forces with a journalist there that one of the watchmen has the hots for, Karen, and they try to escape, then try to survive, and then try to kill every vampire in the room, while also learning key messages about friendship, who they were before they got this dead end job, who they are deep down inside, and how much garlic content is in a properly made meatball sub. For the record, it’s definitely enough to kill a vampire.

This is an incredibly stupid movie, but it’s also one that knows what it is, and the cast had fun. They act like idiots because the characters are idiots, but they’re consistently idiots. The one big security guard who was in the Marines? He closes his eyes and fires wildly whenever he uses a gun. The one black guy who talks in terrible slang? He’s Jewish and grew up in a Jewish neighborhood, so of course he doesn’t know any correct slang. The drummer who just started this job? He’s stuck wearing Rajeeve’s old uniform, complete with name tag. Everyone calls him Rajeeve throughout the movie. Hell, even the subtitles show “Rajeeve” whenever he speaks. Every single main character gets enough story to make them interesting beyond just caricatures.

What else do we get? Lots of blood. It’s everywhere, which is fine with me. You also get lots of fart jokes, because apparently when a vampire dies, it releases its bowels. At first it seems like a bad way to slip one in, but after a couple, one character declares, “So this is a thing,” and the movie continues with its consistency. The guy running the place is a pervert, so of course he starts with sexual harassment, sex toys are found in his car, and eventually it’s discovered he has a hole in his pocket for gross reasons. Every now and again, the movie also gets away with a subtle one, such as a janitor named Willy who wears an eye-patch. I’ll let you figure that one out on your own.

Do these guys ever act smart? Well, yeah, in their own way. Once these guys realize they’re up against vampires, they test how to kill them, stockpile their gear, prepare weapons, and even strip off pieces of the cheap baseboards to make neck guards. The neck guards actually work too. Sure, these guys are night watchmen and total horn dog stoner morons, but when they need to work, they go to work.

Is this a great movie? Oh hell no. Is it a fun movie? Yeah, it seems like the cast had fun making it, and I had fun watching it, even if it did mean I had to subject myself repeatedly to vampires farting. Still, I am not ashamed to admit I laughed, and that is what’s most important in a horror comedy. The laughing part, not the shame. You can feel all the shame you want.

Also, Baltimore is home to the end of the world. That makes sense.

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