Welcome back to “What not to Watch: Movie Makeovers”. The selection for this installment of our “Gift Series” was chosen by my buddy Doug. I’ve known this guy for years and he picked the best/worst movie so far and I hope he likes my makeover. As always, if you have a movie you want me write a renovation for leave a comment below. Also, if my rewrite idea is terrible, write a better one in the comments. I’ll keep watching bad movies, so you won’t have to.
Vampires are popular right now. “Twilight”, “True Blood”, “Blade”, “The Vampire Diaries”, “Buffy”, and “Being Human” are just a few examples of successful modern shows and movies with Vampires as main characters. There is a certain mystery and sensuality that people associate with our blood sucking friends. The combination of immortality and the necessary swapping of fluids is very appealing on a lot of levels. Mixing that with popular music and a relatable goal seems like a solid plan for a great movie. Sadly, even with all that going for it, “Rockula” isn’t that movie.
The basic story is actually a bit unique. Ralph is a vampire who has been cursed to lose the love of his life every 22 years. His love, Mona, is reborn; he meets her and they fall in love. Two weeks after they meet she is killed by a pirate with a ham bone. Don’t get it twisted, this is a musical comedy. This has all the campy hi-jinks you expect in an 80’s movie with a fairly dark main story. This combination to me is a bit depressing if you think about. Put yourself in Ralph’s shoes, you are immortal and you relive losing the love of your life every 22 years. He has lost her 14 times so far and is expecting to lose her a 15th time.
Ralph is not your standard vampire. Besides immortality and turning into a “bat?”, he has no standard vampire powers that come the title in modern fiction. No strength, speed, or glamouring. On the plus side, his hunger is easily satiated, he can walk in the day with sun block, and he sleeps at night like a regular person. I suppose there are trade offs but who wants to live forever needing to drink blood and losing your soul mate every 22 years. I’ll stick with mortality, thank you very much.
I understand that there are some plot holes in a lot of these comedy movies but the whole time I’m thinking “Why doesn’t he just turn her?” If she became a vampire the pirate couldn’t kill her right? If I had this many chances, I would have figured something out before 14 tries. If you had 22 years to win one fight against one regular person couldn’t you hire a guy or train in some kind of combat? Over two decades is more than enough time to prepare for one fight. Hell, Inigo in “The Princess Bride” trained for less time to become the greatest fencer of his time. I’m sure Ralph could have learned something to make him not completely worthless in a fight.
This being a musical, a large part of this movie involves singing, dancing, and even terrible suburb rapping. I can look up who wrote all the music but I don’t want to out of respect for the person who has to live with making this. I wouldn’t want people remembering me for my worst work 25 years later.
Now for my favorite part: The Makeover. Let me take you on a journey:
The year is 1690 and the location is Southern Canada. A 20 year old Radulf (Anton Yelchin) falls in love with a 20 year old Mona (Miley Cyrus) and he is cursed by a witch to relive the loss of his love over and over again every 20 years. In a “Final Destination” type way you see a number of sequences going through the decades where Radulf is attempting to save her in different ways and every time failing. She drowns, gets stabbed, falls out of a window, and dies in some other more creative ways. On the eleventh time, the year is 1910, now going by Ralph, he realizes after studying the occult that if he kills the bloodline of the witch the curse could be broken. Too late to save her this time, Ralph gives himself another 20 years tracking down the entire family tree built up over the last 220 years. This took much longer than he anticipated considering record keeping was sparse and DNA testing don’t come around until the 1980’s. It takes him until modern-day to eliminate all of the family to get to his long-lost love permanently. Once he finally frees Mona from the curse, he has found a way to live with what he has done and realizes that Mona fell in love with an innocent young man, not a revenge seeking mass murderer. Then hilarity ensues.
Tell me what you think. Have you seen and liked Rockula? Are you like Chaz and think Dean Cameron can do no wrong? Can you write a better makeover? Leave your comments below.