We had our doubts when FX first announced it was adapting the New Zealand cult hit “mockumentary” for TV. But the positive buzz has been building since a surprise screening at NYCC last October, and now we have the first full trailer (and a release date). Verdict: the FX version looks to be just as clever and witty as the film.
Count us among those keen to see the full series.
Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement wrote, directed, and starred in the original 2014 horror-comedy, playing vampire roommates Vladislav (Clement) and Viago (Waititi) in Wellington, New Zealand. Given their nocturnal nature, they and their vampire friends haven’t adapted to modern life particularly well, and their mishaps as they struggle to navigate mundane trivialities in the 21st century are the source of much of the film’s deadpan humor. garnered a solid cult following after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, ultimately earning $6.9 million—a decent showing given its modest $1.6 million budget.
The FX adaptation is set in New York City, because where better for vampires to thrive than the city that never sleeps? The vampire roommates this time around are Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Laszlo (Matt Berry), his lover Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), and their human “familiar” Guillermo (Harvey Guillen). Plot-wise, the roommates must prepare for the arrival of an ancient vampire called The Baron while dealing with an “energy vampire” (Mark Proksch), who finds a natural target in office environments: “We either bore you with a long conversation or we enrage you.”
FX made the wise decision to bring Waititi and Clement aboard for the adaptation—with ten 30-minute episodes—pretty much ensuring that the same tone and energy that made the film such a cult hit would be preserved. We saw a bit of that in one of the brief teasers released last November. In it, Nandor and Guillermo are shopping for groceries, and Nandor struggles with the modern concept of credit and debit cards. (“Sir, you can’t be throwing ancient coins at me,” the weary clerk says.)
We get more of a taste of what’s to come. Nandor calls a house meeting to discuss the sad state of hygiene in the cell downstairs, where they maintain their human food sources. He keeps finding said humans half drunk—not as in consuming alcohol, but as in, Lazslo drinks their blood but doesn’t finish his meal. “It’s not hygienic!” Nandor insists. And then the vamp fight is on. As Nadja complains, “The problem with living with other vampires are the vampires I have chosen to stay with.”
debuts on FX March 27.