Director: Justin Timpane
Script: Justin Timpane
Cast: Jay Saunders, Daniel Ross, Devon Marie Burt
Running time: 88 minutes
Year: 2010
Certificate: 18

A young man named Aaron is in love with one of his best friends, Alex, and finds out the hard way that she doesn’t reciprocate his feelings when the two of them are chilling together one night out in the woods, playing with a camera. At about the same time as he gets blown off, (and not in a good way!) the couple are attacked by a gang of vampires…as you do! Just as things look hopeless for both of them the vampires are attacked by what appear to be ninjas and all hell breaks loose. Neither of their lives will ever be the same again.

The ninjas save the couple who they then try to ‘mind scramble’ so they can’t remember what happened. However, Aaron is left unaffected so the ninjas take him under their wing and train him to be one of their secret clan of ninjas who battle vampires while others sleep. Cue some dodgy training montage scenes. Alex is kidnapped by the bloodsucking creatures of the night, forcing Aaron and his new friends to try and rescue her and attempt to put a stop to the nasty fanged ones’ bloody activities once and for all.

Now, if this sounds cool and worth rushing out to buy on DVD, it’s not; however, it’s probably worth a rent if you enjoy really low budget vampire films, which also shoehorn in some martial arts and really bad acting!

Ninjas vs Vampires isn’t all that bad, but it does suffer from many low budget movie traits, namely, lacklustre photography, poor to very average acting, dodgy sound design (you can hear where they haven’t tried to equalise sound levels), cheap effects and continuity errors.

It appears as if Justin Timpane, who is obviously a talented individual, pulled together a group of like-minded mates, pooled a bit of money together and decided to shoot a movie, based primarily on two of their favourite genres – namely vampire and ninja movies – and using each other’s houses and the local park as their principal locations. Nothing wrong with that, and their enthusiasm shines through, making it at least entertaining, but it’s a shame they didn’t focus a little harder on getting the casting right and checking the sound quality was there all the way through their movie.

As a rule of thumb, the good guys aren’t too bad at acting, (although Devon, who plays Alex, is not so good) and the bad guys are really bad actors with the head vampire being really OTT and really not scary in the slightest. He was definitely chosen for his physique, not his acting chops! He has a dreadful habit of over enunciating everything!

Although the film does have a few pointless scenes that don’t really serve the plot, it does have a lot of intentional humour, much of which that works, some decent gore effects and some cool ideas such as the idea of vampires ‘moonbathing’! However, it did puzzle me that the vampires could avoid being burnt by the sun by standing in the shade of trees. I also quite liked all the ninja nonsense, even if some of the martial arts on show didn’t really live up to my initial expectations!

Reviewer: Justin Richards

Ninjas vs Vampires has just been released on DVD so expect to see it hitting the shelves of your local retailers soon. No extras were on the review disc, but apparently there will be over six hours worth of bonus features including deleted scenes, bloopers and audio commentaries.

About The Author

After a lengthy stint as a print journalist, Justin now works as a TV and film producer for Bazooka Bunny. He's always been interested in genre films and TV and has continued to work in that area in his new day-job. His written work has appeared in the darker recesses of the internet and in various niche publications, including ITNOW, The Darkside, Is it Uncut?, Impact and Deranged. When he’s not running around on set, or sat hunched over a sticky, crumb-laden keyboard, he’s paying good money to have people in pyjamas try and kick him repeatedly in the face.

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