Vampiyaz (2004)

How can you tell if a horror film is “urban”? Misspelling! If they use “z” instead of “s” or “y” instead of “i” or “da” instead of “the,” your oddz R da bomb yo! The description of this shot-on-film Z-grade flick says that Jakeem (Richard Carroll, Jr.) is framed for something he didn’t do — but in fact, he did rob a guy (who, for some reason, is dressed in a baby’s bonnet and onesie) and run over a woman (even though it was an accident). He’s shot and abandoned by his partner in crime, Khalil (Malik Burke), then sent to jail.

When he gets out eight years later, he’s understandably pissed, but agrees to help his double-crossing partner with the requisite “one last score” so that he can get money to help out the now wheelchair-bound hit-and-run victim. Oh, did I mention that Khalil is now a vampire? Well, he’s not; he’s actually a “vampiya” — meaning that he’s black and is in a bad movie. Khalil wants to score an amulet that will turn him into some sort of super vampire.

When the director realizes he doesn’t have the budget to film any action sequences that live up to this larger-than-life plot, he just waves the camera around to disorient you. The writing is likewise shaky. One particularly irritating scene is an extended “Who’s on first?” riff revolving around Jakeem’s temporary deafness (don’t ask), which causes him to mishear everything. Comedy gold! Less intimidating vampires have rarely been seen on screen; they’re just dudes with fake teeth. Plus, the blood is just colored water, the props are Halloween store-bought and most of the action takes place in the same three rooms in some guy’s house. The “victims” in Vampiyaz can’t even seem to keep a straight face in a film that brings new meaning to the word “sucking.”

A scene from the horror movie Vampiyaz.
“I’m sorry, this safe is dead.”
A scene from the horror movie Vampiyaz
“You’ll see, Baby Geniuses 3 will rule!”
A scene from the horror movie Vampiyaz
Vampiyaz use hot sauce.
A scene from the horror movie Vampiyaz.
“…Please…no more…smoke machines…”
A scene from the horror movie Vampiyaz.
Theresa hated her parents for not getting her braces in high school.
A scene from the horror movie Vampiyaz.
The end of last “whazzup” guy.
A scene from the horror movie Vampiyaz.
Vampiyaz are vulnerable to winter sweaters.

What do you think?