Refreshing and charming, Boys from County Hell is the latest horror comedy about vampires. Yes, you read it right, this is a comedy about vampires. It turns out that there’s more to this sub-genre than What We Do In The Shadows. And while there the focus is on a bloodsucking coven, here we follow the more usual storyline of humans versus vampires. Irish humans, to be more precise. And I say that for a reason because the fact that the story is set in a small Irish town really made this otherwise average movie stand out. I just love all the accents, beer worship and that cozy town vibe. The whole thing reminded me of Calibre, featuring similar setting minus the vampires.
Although Boys from County Hell features a fully fleshed-out main story, I just don’t feel it penetrated all parts of the movie equally. Sometimes it feels like we’re following just a string of scenes with a similar theme. What I’m trying to say here is that it feels a bit disjointed. Probably because it’s based on a short movie of the same name from 2012. On the other hand, I loved the over-the-top violence and practical effects. And don’t worry there will be those scenes where you will go what the fuck did I just see. Probably looking around laughing to see if anyone else is seeing this. I mean, the movie opens with people bleeding profusely from their eyes and ears, what more to want? Considering just how creative and natural the main elements of the story are, it’s a shame this didn’t turn out to be a masterpiece.
Welcome to Six Mile Hill, a small Irish village where everybody knows everybody and nothing much happens. The village is best known by the legend of Abhartach, a local folk tale that famous Bram Stoker used as inspiration for his novel Dracula. At least according to the residents of Six Mile Hill. His supposed grave, a cairn located on a nearby farm provides a relatively steady supply of tourists coming to check it out and helping local economy. However, the local highway is planned to go right through the farm and cairn is scheduled for imminent destruction. A bad omen that will turn into something much worse.
This is Chris Baugh’s the second movie, after his excellent debut with Bad Day for the Cut. You just feel that he will be one of those great Irish directors that we’ll talk a lot in the future. Actually, there are rumors that he’s set to directed a new superhero heist movie with a twist for Legendary. The star of his first movie, Nigel O’Neill was also the star of this one as grumpy and tough-as-nails owner of the Moffat construction company. We also have the opportunity to see John Lynch, whom you might remember from another great Irish horror movie Isolation. The young lads and lassies were also good, especially when you consider their somewhat stereotypical albeit likable characters. The main story is firmly centered around them and their lives, with the whole vampire thing here to spice things up.
Finally, if you’re looking for more vampire comedies you can always check out the nineties classics. Movies like From Dusk Till Dawn, Dracula: Dead and Loving It and Vampire in Brooklyn. If this is too dated for you or you’re just craving some juicier effects check out Bloodsucking Bastards, 2011 remake of Fright Night and Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the eighties classic Vampire’s Kiss starring Nic Cage and insane hilarity Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.
On a related note, I recently revisited a movie that scared the shit out of me when I was a kid. Talk about fucking vampire traumas. I was really surprised finding out that this is a horror comedy from 1967. Directed by and starring none other than Roman Polanski! The movie is titled The Fearless Vampire Killers, and I still remember the horror I felt during its grand finale. Unfortunately, it’s actually not that good, so it won’t be finding its way to this site. However, if you’re up for some sixties oddity, there you go.
Director: Chris Baugh
Writers: Chris Baugh, Brendan Mullin
Cast: Jack Rowan, Nigel O’Neill, Louisa Harland, Michael Hough, John Lynch, Fra Fee, Morgan C. Jones