After being extremely disappointed with Freeform’s Halloween movie list, I found myself mindlessly scrolling through Netflix and stumbled across Vampire vs the Bronx. It’s a coming of age – comedy-horror story following 3 teens; Miguel (Jaden Michael), Luis (Gregory Diaz IV),and Bobby (Gerald Jones III), that are trying to save their neighborhood from gentrifying vampires. Written and directed by Osmany Rodriguez, Vampires vs. the Bronx makes a family friendly commentary on rent spikes, why locals would be enticed to sell, and gentrification.
Overall? 10s ACROSS THE BOARD. Nobody asked but, personally I think Vampires Vs the Bronx deserves to be up there with the classics (Hocus Pocus, Addams Family etc). It was nice to see brown and black kids be the star of a film that wasn’t trauma porn and centering around police brutality. Rodriguez had the perfect mix of social commentary and your plain old feel good typical horror elements, well, as feel good as horror could get.
Miguel, nicknamed Lil Mayor, is set on saving his favorite bodega in town. He spends most of the movie putting up flyers for a fundraising block party and trying to impress his 16-year-old crush, Rita (Coco Jones) and her friends. When he witnesses Slim (Germar Terrell Gardner), a local gangbanger get the life sucked out of him—literally, all hell breaks lose. Him and the boys watch Blade to figure out how to defeat these monsters and when no one believes them, they try to win this battle on their own… Without getting dragged to church by their religious mothers of course.
Throughout the movie, you see the signs of gentrification slowly take over the Bronx. From new store flyers and products in Tony’s bodega changing. To OG stores closing and seeing, as Bobby put it, “white people with canvas bags”. Nothing good ever comes from white people with canvas bags. Though it is dubbed a comedy – horror, there’s not too much plot on the vampire horror aspect. They follow the tale old rules; wooden stake to the heart, sunlight, and the eucharist makes them go *poof*. Holy water, garlic, and the cross make them shiver. However, they did introduce a new concept of the birthing of vampires. My knowledge goes as far as Twilight but I’m pretty sure biting them used to be the classic technique. One I never understood because how do you bite to kill versus bite as a club member invitation? Is it pressure? Is it Russian roulette? Who knows! Through evil monologue, Vivian (Sarah Gadon); the leader of this vampire squad, reveals that her plan is to turn all of the Bronx residences into vampires by having them inhale the ashes of the original vampire and then finish it off with a bite. An idea I’d love to see developed because it raises problems such as: how many batches does his ashes make? What happens when they run out? Etc.
In all, there needs to be more movies like Vampire vs the Bronx. It’s charming and shows so much New York/Bronx culture. Though I’m not from there, I’m on twitter enough to understand and appreciate the little jokes thrown here and there. And with a cast composed of Method Man, Coco Jones, The Kid Mero, Zoe Saldana and Chris Redd, it makes me truly miss movie theaters. That *togetherness* feeling I got when I watched Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther and Jordan Peele’s Get Out with majority black & brown audiences was unmatched and I could definitely imagine scenes where there’d be unison laughter, gasps and shouting . So please, make it a point to watch this film with your family, friends or on an online stream! It’ll be worth it. And if you can’t, no fear! We’ll be hosting an Instagram live movie discussion on October 27th @ 7pm-8pm. Come with your observations and questions, it’ll be fun!
About This Author
Mya is the creative director and co-founder at NobodyAsked. A lover of all things creative, you can find her at the drawing board to behind the camera and in-front of it! Outside of NobodyAsked, Mya is a freelance graphic designer, photographer and social media manger.
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