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Review: ‘Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers’ – A Slick, Silly Good Time

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Review: 'Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers' - A Slick, Silly Good Time

Do you ever feel like a movie’s speaking your language? I’m not talking about subtitles, either. This is deeper than a lingua franca. I mean, do you ever feel like a movie speaks the same language as your soul?

Pow! Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers is here to satiate all your sophomoric needs, baby. And I say that LOVINGLY. Because don’t get me wrong: this movie is filled with all things “juvenile.” But there is a love and sophistication that elevates the material to a new level. It’s a lovely, endearing, bloody movie, and I am happy to have watched it.

I’m going to go out on a swing and take a real guess as to the artist’s intention here. Ryan Barton-Grimley is the name of this movie’s writer. It’s also the name of this movie’s director. Guess what else? It’s ALSO the name of the actor playing this movie’s protagonist, the titular Hawk. If Hawk was here, he would’ve laughed at “titular.”

Hawk and Rev Vampire Slayers Movie Image

Anyhow, RBG, as I’m going to call him from here on out, the multi-hyphenate creative force behind this project, strikes me as a man who yearns for a simpler time. Everything about this movie points towards that nostalgic feeling Gen-X’ers have for the movies and TV shows of their childhood. You know the types: big explosive action sequences, training montages, rubber-faced monster masks. The 80’s. This movie is a love letter, maybe not to the era itself, but certainly to a little boy who witnessed them. Because that’s what this movie really feels like. Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers feels like a pact made with a kid. “If you can promise me you’ll grow up safely, I will give you a movie that feels like it was made for you.” Was that kid RBG? Probably! Because it feels, spiritually, like that kid still lives somewhere and offers input on his whole creative process. This movie feels like it was fueled by sugary breakfast cereals and brightly-colored cartoon heroes.

Hawk and Rev starts with a kill, which is a really neat way to rope us in. We don’t even know the rules of this world yet, but we know it’s got Vampire right there in the title. So when a guy is getting snuck up upon, we have a few guesses. Even if we’re not totally convinced, here comes our hero, Hawk, to entice the more conspiratorially-minded among us. This guy’s just itchin’ for some action. So at the very first sign of vampiric activity, Hawk’s all over it, spreading the news like smallpox. But this ain’t his first dance, and it’s going to take a little more convincing to get the townspeople to believe this boy who cried Nosferatu.

Luckily, he’s not alone. At its core, this is a buddy movie. That part is also right there in the title. Sure, we’re introduced to Hawk first, and we spend more time with him. But this movie is about Hawk AND Rev. So, soon enough, we get to know that guy, too. And good goddamn am I happy that Rev isn’t played by TJ Miller.

Hawk and Rev Vampire Slayers 2020

Rev is the Zen yin to Hawk’s chaotic yang. The man known only by those three letters is introduced to us on the beach. Rev’s a master at tai chi and practices the self-discipline therein daily. This all makes for some great montages.

Another high point of this movie is its montages. They even had a guy write music for the montages. So while you might be expecting “The Final Countdown,” or “You’re The Best… Around,” you’re instead treated to an original piece about Hawk and Rev’s adventures!

Now Hawk and Rev are teamed up and ready to tackle that which goes bumpeth in the night. There aren’t a lot of horror sequences in this movie, but the ones present do satisfy. We may not be in a 2008 movie about oil barons, but folks, there will be blood. The gore, like the goofs, is over-the-freakin-top. A good time shall be had by all.

Be on the lookout for Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers when it’s available on VOD March 16, 2021.

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