There is a time and a place for every form of genre that exists, and February seems to hit that sweet spot for any subgenre of romance in any degree because of the Hallmark holiday. Meredith Edwards’s second feature is a romcom about vampires and the IRS, and there is a lot to be enjoyed throughout this feature, but first we must drain a few thoughts on this effort. First and foremost, there is an overabundance of vampires, vampire subgenres, and the alike, and, quite frankly, it’s been enough. Ever since Twilight, we’ve been swarmed with vampire and werewolf love stories, tv series, comedies, and so forth and it’s hard to make something feel fresh, vibrant, and intriguing, and unfortunately Bite Me fails to feel fresh. However, what does work for this Hallmark-y-esque movie is that the sheer lack of any form of interest between the leads, chemistry, or even charisma results in it becoming something you must witness to honestly believe.
Sarah (Naomi McDougall Jones), the girl with the Mike Tyson tattoo, is a real-life vampire who’s getting audited by the IRS for her vampire church which is hilariously named “The House of Twilight,” even though they do not believe in sparkle spider-monkey magic. At the church, Sarah meets James (Christian Coulson) who’s very much a subdued version of Guillermo from What We Do in the Shadows, and who’s been drained by his associate Colin Robinson. When Sarah believes she’s getting the short end of the stick and is being treated unfairly by James because of her vampirism, something in her changes and she decides to agree to a date with James which ends up blossoming in a relationship.
Now, what truly baffles the audience throughout this film is that somehow both Jones and Coulson had a chemistry test together (something relatively standard of film productions) and somehow the producers, director, screenwriter all looked at each other and said SURE. Their sheer lack of chemistry, interest in one another, or even interest in the project itself is palatable and results in it feeling almost like a Funny or Die sketch that went on for far too long. Neither of them truly seem to be inspired or intrigued by their character’s decisions and this bleeds into their performance, and this is not a bad thing. This clear indifference and lack of depth in the characters themselves and the performances they deliver is honestly entertaining. Another reason why their lack of drive works is because the entire vampire/werewolf genre (exception of aforementioned What We Do in the Shadows) takes itself obscenely too seriously and this nonchalant delivery is sort of majestic in their sheer hilarity.
There is so much in Bite Me that leaves the audience to desire something more than presented with, but, at the same time, to be thankful it isn’t included in the final product. These questions range from, why are these vampires not subjected to the other rules of vampires we’ve come to know in the past? Why do they have a church that no one has ever bothered to investigate until now? Why are they all daywalkers? Truly though, none of this is mean-spirited. In fact, the movie is very enjoyable to watch if you turn your brain off and leave it at the door. It is silly, over the top, and baffling, but there is something just endearingly charming that cannot be explained. This movie defies all logical explanation and sound mind, but is a nice change from the usual Lovuary rotation of films, and has more substance than most of those usually unwatchable Hallmark Channel films, so who’s to not give Bite Me the recognition it deserves for completely shattering the cookie cutter mold it tried to fit into and giving us a blind man’s collection of chalk hearts instead? Usually phrases like “‘I Love You,” “Sweet Love,” “Soul Mate,” and so forth now read “I’ll drain you of your blood,” “Chemistry, more like cut and drain me,” and “‘Bite Me.”
Final Score: 2 out of 5.
Available on digital February 8th, 2022.
For more information, head to the official Bite Me website.