Director: Mark Bessenger
Cast: Benjamin Lutz, Windham Beacham, David Alanson, Stephen Geoffreys
Disk Extras: Director and Cast Audio Commentaries / Interview With Actor Windham Beacham / Interview Wtih Actor David Alanson / Interview With Actor Benjamin Lutz / Production Photo Gallery / Behind The Scenes / Gag Reel
Mark Bessenger’s horror-comedy Bite Marks might be one of the funniest vampire films I’ve ever seen. It’s inexplicably rated a 3.7/10 on IMDB and I honestly can’t figure out why. I’ll admit there are a few actors with bit parts that deliver slightly sub par performances but that’s really the only thing I can think of that would make people dislike it. Is it the gay protagonists? Why does that even matter? I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around what could make viewers score this little treasure so lowly.
Admittedly, Benjamin Lutz (The Love Patient, The Man Next Door) gets the movie off to a shaky start as “Brewster,” a truck driver forced to take over the route of his missing brother, Walsh (an awesome cameo by Fright Night and 976-Evil’s Stephen Geoffreys). But he quickly fleshes out his role as soon as Windham Beachem (Back Soon, Long-Term Relationship) and David Alanson (making his feature debut in Bite Marks and going on to also star in 2012’s The Man Next Door) show up as two hitchhikers he picks up to help him stay awake. Brewster believes he’s just transporting a few coffins, but after his GPS mistakenly leads them all to a near-vacant junkyard, his vampire cargo’s unleashed and goes after them to hilarious ends.
Bessenger pulls double duty as both writer and director, and he shines in both roles. With clever asides, horror references that surprised even me by their level of “in the know-ness” and dialogue gold throughout (one character telling another that going to the bathroom in a junkyard is like “getting to piss in an art museum” had me cracking up and thinking this had to be something Bessenger thought of himself during some kind of drunken shenanigans), Bite Marks had me laughing the entire time, in large part due to the great performances by Alanson (a stand-out), Beachem and Lutz.
The three leads in Bite Marks take this film from well-done indie labor of love to fantastic vampire romp. Beachem and Alanson’s “Cary” and “Vogel,” respectively, shine as a couple on the rocks (plagued by the age-old dilemma of one partner being a bit of a slut—we’ve all been there) making a last-ditch effort to save their relationship by backpacking together across the country. The two of them have pitch perfect chemistry, masterfully bringing Brewster into the fold and taking Lutz’s performance to the next level it needed in order to keep up with the sharp, incredibly smart banter and fantastic comedic timing of his co-stars.
With a downright adorable (my possession of girl parts allows me the right to use words like that and still retain a semblance a horror-dignity) opening sequence by Jovani Olivar and a great original soundtrack by Rossano Galente, coupled with two outstanding performances delivered by Alanson and Beachem that shatters the stereotype of the “hapless couple” reduced to screaming through the movie desperately trying to save each other, Bite Marks is one of the funniest and best written horror movies I’ve seen in ages.