Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires, 2018.
Directed by Michael Mort.
Featuring the voice talents of Paul Whitehouse, Samantha Coughlan, Lauren Harris, Michael Mort, and Sam Roe.
It’s not 1985 anymore… it’s 1986! And Chuck Steel is the maverick, lone wolf cop on the edge, who doesn’t play by the rules and must prevent the worst plague ever to hit Los Angeles – a scourge of deadly Trampires, mutant hybrids of vampires and bums.
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires blew me away. I was expecting a fun horror/comedy romp, but what I got was so much more.
The story follows the titular Chuck Steel (Mike Mort). He’s your stereotypical Hollywood badass detective: he drives a muscle car, wears a leather jacket, hates his partners, and has hair like Johnny Bravo. He’s also part of a dying breed. While he’s out on the street kicking ass and taking names, the rest of his unit are getting in touch with their sensitive side under the tutelage of the department’s on hand psychologist. But when the trampires attack (vampires crossed with hobos that can only be killed with holy coffee and stakes through the liver) only the machismo of Chuck can stand up to them.
Though there’s nothing new about this kind of characterisation, in the context of a stop motion animation, it stands out as being a wonderful parody of action movie stereotypes. And the parodies don’t end there. Along with the trampires come a whole host of action/horror references and quips. Not one single minute goes by without someone getting brutally murdered, making a hilarious comment, or simply making an ass out of themselves.
And this is exactly what I expected. Going off the trailer and the short film that came before it, I knew that Chuck Steel was going to be chock full of hilarity. I didn’t, however, expect it to be as goddamn polished and cinematic as it is.
From the opening scene onwards, Night of the Trampires has the production value of any major Hollywood blockbuster. The action set-pieces are epic, explosions are loud and full of bass, and some of the shots are downright epic, especially considering they’re shooting miniatures. There’s the occasional odd accent and dubious line, but what blockbuster doesn’t have those?
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires is an absolute pleasure to behold, there’s no two ways about it. It’s gory, it’s funny, it has absolutely no filter whatsoever, and it’s a far more professional endeavour than you would imagine.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
James Turner is a writer and musician based in Sheffield. You can follow him on Twitter @JTAuthor