December 3rd, 2012
03:04 PM ET
A new vampire movie reunites Alicia Silverstone and Wallace Shawn with director Amy Heckerling.
“Vamps” tells the story of Goody (Silverstone), who was “turned” in 1841 in Manhattan. Turned means she was bitten by a stem vampire (Sigourney Weaver). In Heckerling’s vampire universe, stems "awaken" victims they choose not to drain.
Goody spent roughly 150 years as a perpetual twentysomething in Manhattan racking up over 10,000 college credits (she couldn’t graduate because the ceremony was always held during the day) and essentially biding her time until her stem turns Stacey (Krysten Ritter from ABC’s “Don’t Trust the B-- in Apt 23”) in the early 1990s and she had a BFF for life.
Goody gives Stacey the Undead 411, e.g. How to find the jugular on a rodent (The girls refuse to feed on humans); and Stacey helps Goody change her outdated ways. In one scene she accuses Goody of wearing Mom Jeans, saying:
"Jeans mark your age more than your birth certificate.”
When Stacey falls in love with Joey Van Helsing, his father, Dr. Van Helsing (Wallace Shawn) immediately becomes suspicious of Stacey because she is “exceedingly white,” works nights and has cold hands. Dr. Van Helsing isworking to eradicate the city of the undead.
Heckerling, who also wrote the screenplay for “Vamps,” said her inspiration for the film came from her own early 20s when she was a film student at NYU.
“I just thought what if that time could go on forever and ever,” Heckerling told CNN. “Being up at night and horsing around with your friends. I just thought, wouldn't it be great if you could just do that as long as you want.”
A self-professed night owl, Heckerling started writing “Vamps” years before the “Twilight” saga emerged. Instead, Heckerling took her inspiration from various tales such as “Nosferatu,” “Shadow of the Vampire” and Bela Lugosi’s “Dracula.”
Heckerling, who also directed "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," said that "Clueless" remains her favorite work. She is currently working on a “Clueless” musical, which will take place in the 1990s, as did the 1995 film.
“’Clueless’ was very close to my heart,” she said. “It reflects who I am the most.”
Wallace Shawn (who co-starred as teacher Mr. Hall in "Clueless") also spoke to CNN and said he too adores "Clueless" and was delighted to reunite with Silverstone and Heckerling.
“We're grown ups now," he said. "Even I am older.”
Shawn turned serious when asked about America's current fascination with vampirism.
"The topic of vampirism has to do with decent people," Shawn said. "The characters in this film – who don't want to hurt other people and yet their instincts, their needs, drive them in that direction, just as we, as Americans, don't like the brutality of the rape of the earth and the exploitation of other countries and we'd like to find a way out of it."
The actor has written a number of books, plays, and essays and is currently working with director Jonathan Demme on a film version of the Ibsen play "The Master Builder" which Shawn and theater director Andre Gregory have been working on for 14 years. Shawn also plays the Dean of Admissions at Princeton in the upcoming film “Admissions” with Tina Fey. But he is most famous for playing Vizzini in “The Princess Bride” (1987).
“Like a vampire, I don't change that much,” Shawn joked, “but the movie is about the passage of time and aging and that's the reality of what we were doing and it was quite moving I would say.”
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