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‘The Night Watchmen’ Named Best Horror Feature

Posted on April 11th, 2017 in Entertainment, Movies with 0 Comments

Vampire Clowns Menace Baltimore; John Waters Isn’t Involved

One of the slogans for The Night Watchmen is: "Some men were born to be heroes. … It wasn't these guys."

One of the slogans for The Night Watchmen is: “Some men were born to be heroes. … It wasn’t these guys.”

The Night Watchmen, named Best Horror Feature at the 2017 International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival, is the movie equivalent of tasty junk food – the cinematic counterpart to fried Twinkie or an Oreo churro. (The latter available at the theater concession stand.) It’s a ridiculous tale of vampire clowns terrorizing a Baltimore newspaper office. And, apparently, legendary Baltimore filmmaker John Waters had nothing to do with it.

The co-creators, Ken Arnold and Dan DeLuca, play two of the security guards. Arnold’s Ken is the nominal leader, while DeLuca’s Luca is the mysterious, scary one. The team of watchmen is rounded out by Kevin Jiggetts, playing Ken’s sidekick Jiggetts, a pot-loving African-American Jew, and Max Gray Wilbur as a washed-up rock musician in his first night on the job.

The Night Watchmen CoverFollowing their mysterious deaths while performing in Romania, Baltimore icon Blimpo the Clown and his troupe are shipped home for medical testing. After a delivery mixup leaves Blimpo’s coffin at the newspaper building instead of the medical facility down the block, pervy newspaper owner Randall (James Remar, the only cast member that a viewer is likely to recognize) forces it open, releasing Vampire Blimpo.

The four inept night watchmen and hot-chick newspaper editor Karen (Kara Luiz) must band together like sad-sack Guardians of the Galaxy to fight off the vampire clowns and the newly undead newspaper employees they have created.

During a Q&A after the screening, Arnold said he and DeLuca dreamed up the project to amuse themselves between jobs and that their overriding priority was to make people laugh. That they don’t take themselves or their movie too seriously is obvious from the look of the film, the cheesy dialogue and the silly subplots.

Along the way, however, The Night Watchmen lampoons the conventions of the horror, vampire and zombie genres. The movie gushes bodily fluids, but in a manner that is silly, not scary, goofy not gory. At one point, after encountering some really disgusting vampire clowns, Karen grumbles that she watched every season of HBO’s True Blood and it was nothing like this.

It’s worth noting that, for fans of horror, vampire and zombie movies, The Night Watchmen is full of Easter Eggs that pay homage to previous films in those genres. Besides amusing themselves, the writers clearly are offering middlebrow comedy for a highbrow audience. They hit their mark.

Arnold said a distribution deal for The Night Watchmen is in the works.

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Stu Robinson does writing, editing, media relations and social media through his business, Phoenix-based Lightbulb Communications.

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