After being attacked in the park by a pack of vampires and then being saved by a group of mysterious ninjas, Aaron sets out to find the secrets that hide in the shadows of his sleepy town. After finding the ninjas that saved his life, Aaron discovers that an all powerful vampire threatens to destroy the world. With the odds stacked against them Aaron becomes a ninja to help save the day and to save Alex, the girl of his dreams, from the clutches of the blood suckers. Hopefully he can stop being a dork long enough to do so.
"Ninjas vs. Vampires" isn't exactly a movie I would seek out or even watch intentionally. It's the type of movie that I would scoff at if I came across it while browsing at the video store. It's the type of movie that would have me saying, "What kind of asshole would watch such a movie?" It's the type of movie that I would berate endlessly while rambling about the decline of horror movies just because its title was "Ninjas vs. Vampires". Yet here I am -- Breaking Glass Pictures has painted me into a corner. And because "Ninjas vs. Vampires" is a sequel to "Ninjas vs. Zombies" and carries over characters and bits of story, I felt compelled to watch both movies.
I was initially set to review both movies but it would have been unnecessary as both movies are practically one and the same, but that wasn't such a bad thing. Referred to as fan films, "Ninjas vs. Zombies" and "Ninja vs. Vampires" are comedies (with shades of horror) that tell the tale of a group of nerdy friends who find themselves in an unlikely situation of being pitted against evil supernatural beings. Who their enemies are can be figured out simply by looking at the titles. From the first film, the friends are gifted with the powers of ninja fighting abilities by one of their chums who practices magic. In "Ninjas vs. Vampires" the group is dwindling in numbers and is faced with a vampire threat that is to powerful for any one member. With the help of some new nerdy recruits, they have but one chance to stop an all powerful vampire from destroying the world.
It sounds like a serious effort or even something that would be getting churned out by Hollywood with a bloated budget. However it's not a serious effort at all, well, it's not serious all the time -- in the right spots. I would call "Ninjas vs. Vampires" a comedy before I would call it a horror but I don't mean that negatively. I mentioned earlier that people constantly refer to Justin Timpane's movies as fan films, and in some respects they are. The movies wear their fandom on their sleeves as the pay tribute to the genre while also paying respect to nerd-culture in general, i.e. comics, movies, pop-culture, etc.
Both movies are simple home-grown projects that try to do a lot with very little; sometimes succeeding, other times not. The ambitious projects certainly would have been more polished by having a bigger budget but for what these movies are, they work. "Ninjas vs. Vampires" actually works very well as a sequel title and manages to be just as good, or rather, just as entertaining as its predecessor. And to creator Justin Timpane's credit, he does try to create some character dynamics and a worthwhile story but doesn't exactly succeed because of the not-so-hot acting and lacking quality in production. It comes off as being a little cheesier than what was planned, I'm sure, but the honest effort and sincerity is noticeably and definitely appreciated. He could have gone the easy route and just made this a stupid movie for the sake of being stupid, but he actually tried to make something of "Ninjas vs. Vampires" even if it didn't always work.
Ultimately, "Ninjas vs. Vampires" isn't my exactly my cup o' tea because I'm not really into these types of movies -- I can enjoy them but they have to have something really special for me to like them. The movie has a lot of heart and Justin clearly put a solid effort into the movie but there just wasn't anything there to make me become a fan. The movie does have its moments: there was some clever writing and some good jokes (both movies got a couple chuckles out of me) but also, the constant references did get old after awhile. Even though the actors aren't great, they were good enough to make the comedy work and help the movie succeed where it does. And I'll give Justine credit for making his movie his way; he could have made something that would have gotten more attention like gore or nu-ploitation. Instead he made a light-hearted, and a bit silly, comedy-horror movie that is meant to entertain, and it does. I would have a hard time recommending "Ninjas vs. Vampires" so instead I'll say that if it sounds interesting to you then you should definitely check it out. Also, if you have an interest in seeing either "Ninjas vs. Zombies" or "Ninjas vs. Vampires" you should still watch both movies as it will make for a more enjoyable experience.