Movie of the Week: Vampires vs. the Bronx

In the Bronx, small businesses are being bought for big bucks in the name of gentrification.  The company doing all the buying is an international real estate conglomerate called Murnau and, for them, money is no object.  Where there were once salons and grocers, there are now boarded up windows, plastered with Murnau flyers.  The former owners of these businesses have left for the suburbs.  Supposedly.

There are lot of people going missing in teen Miguel Martinez’s neighborhood.  He notices the missing persons posters and the shops which have closed overnight.  Some of these shop owners who have fled the Bronx, they are incommunicado.  He sees what’s happening to his neighborhood, his home, and he’s doing his part to save it:  along with his friends Bobby and Luis, he’s organizing a block party to help Tony who owns the corner store.  With the influx of new residents and money, the rent has increased on the store and Tony may have no other choice but to close and sell to Murnau.

It is while posting adverts for the party that Miguel witnesses the death of a local tough at the hands of a tall, pale, rather Goth individual.  The killer chases Miguel to Tony’s store.  While hiding there, Miguel, Bobby, and Luis discover the ghoul casts no reflection in any of the mirrors.

Vampires have invaded the Bronx.  Of course, not only do their parents and other adults not believe them, but they can count out the police, too.  It’s up to the teenagers to rid the neighborhood of the undead.  To brush up on their vampire-killing skills, and knowledge, they watch the Wesley Snipes classic, Blade (you gotta start somewhere).

Thinking they have a handle on this, they infiltrate Murnau’s local office under the guise of soliciting a donation to save their friend’s store.  The boss at Murnau’s is a sketchy businessman who goes by the name of Frank Polidori.  Their meeting does not go well.  In fact, it nearly gets them killed.  The key they steal while there doesn’t help win them over with the fang heads who think of the locals as nothing but food anyway.  That key opens a box which holds the blood suckers most valued treasure and this puts the meddling kids in even more danger.

Miguel and his friends want the vampires out of the Bronx.  The vampires want luxury accommodations and a buffet of Bronx residents.  All of this adds up to war.  There’s nothing like the smell of incinerated vampire in the morning.

I watched Vampires vs. the Bronx on a whim– I was surfing streaming services and their thousands of offers.  This looked interesting and I gave it a whirl.  I’m glad I did.  Watching it was like discovering that Coup de Ville that Meat Loaf said was not hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box.  Method Man, as Father Jackson, is the chrome that seals the deal on this Coup.

This a witty movie, and its comedy is intelligent.  Beneath the chuckles and bloodletting, it has a some serious stuff to say, but it doesn’t feel preachy.  The sermon is delivered with healthy dollops of fun.  It also respects its vampiric roots .

Vampires vs. the Bronx is available to stream on Netflix.