Vampire Movie Night: Daybreakers

10 Mar

Welcome to a not-so-newish segment where we allow Liam Corchoran and Gianni Fiorenza, the so-called heroes of my vampire series, The Family, to regale us with their unnecessary opinions on various and sundry vampire films. Got a rec for the boys? Hit em up!

Tonight is 2009′s Daybreakers. Thanks to Brian Fatah Steele for the rec! This one went over really well, believe it or not… [Some spoilers for character death follow!]

Daybreakers (2009)
Directors: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Writers: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Isabel Lucas


LIAM: Okay, so we can both agree that this one is a winner, right?
GIANNI: Not perfect, and a little heavy-handed with the metaphor, but yes, I enjoyed it. For science fiction.
LIAM: Shut up. At least it’s more with the metaphor for humanity’s mismanagement of resources in general than being just a metaphor for rape?
GIANNI: It gets there eventually, but that’s one of its many flaws. However, the good does outweigh the bad.
Really, the first ten minutes of this movie are visual exposition. “Look, the world is run by vampires! Humans are in hiding because they’ve been hunted to the brink of extinction!” It shouldn’t be at all interesting, but it is.
LIAM: It’s fucking pretty, is why. Plus, the thing where the vampire Army uses Uncle Sam as their mascot is awesome. Adds a little dark humor to the post-vampire-virus-apocalyptic feeling.

Blood Factory!

Factory blood: it’s like the Matrix, but better.

GIANNI: Just promise me you’ll kill us before we’re stuck with factory-farmed blood.
LIAM: Or whatever the fuck is going on there. That’s gross. I am oddly intrigued by the idea of blood in the coffee like creamer though.
GIANNI: It’d never work, but it’s aesthetically interesting. More metaphor. And also, a little bit gross.
LIAM: Not nearly as gross as that early scene where Vampire Dr. Ethan Hawke has to test his faux-blood formula on a guy before it’s ready. Where the dude pukes all over the vampire doctors and then explodes.
GIANNI: Yes. That was gross.
LIAM: Full marks for well-done horror effects.
GIANNI: And immediately letting us know this is a movie that intends to batter us senseless with the Evil Corporation trope.

Nasty Vampires omg

So not what happens when you drink from another vampire, by the way…

LIAM: Okay, okay, but speaking of horror effects: how about that emaciated vampire thing?
GIANNI: That actually… might be what it looks like when someone is blood-starved for long enough. Truly disturbing.
LIAM: And then when they get desperate enough to eat from other vampires they turn into those nasty shriveled psychotic creatures–
GIANNI: Oh god. No.
LIAM: Definitely not a thing that happens.
GIANNI: Though what does happen is more disturbing in its way… no. Absolutely not.
LIAM: Interesting and terrifying, though.
GIANNI: And therefore approved?
LIAM: One-hundred-and-ten percent, yes. Though the crowning horror movie achievement in this one is that feeding cycle near the very end. Vampire Military Little Bro Frankie dies from the–well, that’s even more of a spoiler, so I won’t give away what he eats to make him all fucked up, then the army dudes eat him, then they die, then more army dudes eat them, then they die, then–
GIANNI: It’s wasteful and gratuitous. Why am I not surprised that you enjoyed it? Also, I think Little Brother Frankie counts as our coked up 80s vamped friend for this one, yes?
LIAM: Yes. Definitely. All the family drama happening here.
GIANNI: Sounds familiar.

Vampire Doc

A cure–a blood substitute! All things are impossible with this pharma co.

LIAM: Best line, though, “It’s never been about a cure. It’s just repeat business.” I love that the undead pharma companies are as fucked up as the living ones.
GIANNI: We’re not human, but vampires do share certain qualities with our less evolved cousins. Greed being one. I suppose I can let it pass.
LIAM: The vampire pharma angle is something Giuseppe could appreciate. We should convince him to watch it.
GIANNI: Yes, his skewed moral code is rigid, too.
LIAM: Speaking of, this is the first ‘vampire who refuses to feed on humans’ story I’ve been willing to buy. They set that shit up really nicely.
GIANNI: As nicely as possible, maybe. Also, how amusing is it that Ethan Hawke spends the whole movie smoking? The cigarette lobby loves this movie.
LIAM: Total ‘Thank You For Smoking’ moment. Oh, Hollywood.
GIANNI: I love that Oldsmobile made a vampire-safe car for this.
LIAM: It’s an old man car, so you would.


CAPTURE HUMANS. It’s what Uncle Sam wants.

LIAM: Shame Willem deFoe was a human freedom fighter instead of a vampire. He’s such a perfect vampire candidate.
GIANNI: Also, the humans had excellent laboratory facilities for post-apocalyptic weak-blooded human refugees.
LIAM: Okay, that was a little flaw, yeah. But I was cheering for the humans–though this movie was surprisingly even-handed about who’s really good and who’s really bad. It’s kinda deep.
GIANNI: No. No, we will not over-analyze science fiction tonight. I forbid it.
LIAM: My life is over-analyzed science fiction. Thanks to someone.
GIANNI: You love it.

Images gleaned from here.

One Response to “Vampire Movie Night: Daybreakers”

  1. melanie marshall March 10, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    *waves* I agree with Gianni and Liam, it was a terrific movie. Loved Willem DeFoe and Ethan Hawke and the special effects worked too. Great job, guys. Now if you would only do the 1967 movie, The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck.

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