It’s a regular part of a Christian church service to drink the blood and eat the flesh of a man who in his life hung out with prostitutes and then died and came back from the dead. Sounds horrific, right? Of course in reality, consuming the blood and flesh is symbolic, but what if it weren’t? If you’ve never thought of Christianity as a blood cult, you’ll certainly consider it after watching VIDAR THE VAMPIRE. Director, writer, and titular star of the film Thomas Aske Berg screened his latest creation at Fantastic Fest, the Alamo Drafthouse’s genre film festival located in Austin, TX.
Vidar lives an extremely mundane and mostly monastic life with his mother on a farm in Norway. He dreams of a more exciting and debauched existence that he only glimpses in his scant collection of porn magazines. That is until one night when he’s visited by a Vampire Jesus who turns him into a depraved undead. Any movie that posits whether Jesus and the devil might be one in the same is risky. However, I think all of the risks and breaks from convention completely pay off. The movie is a nesting dolls of a story within a story that flashes back and forward in time with an occasional dream and fantasy sequence for good measure to add to the surreality. Somehow this back and forward in the timelines never took me out of the story. Berg, along with his cowriter and director Fredrik Waldeland, so deftly transition from one scene to the next that the film remains fluid.
There’s even a change in tone from the beginning to the end of the film that also feels really natural. At the start, the movie hits a lot of the traditional expectations of a horror film. However, some of the funniest scenes in the movie are found in these really dark and “scary” moments. Once Vidar finds Jesus and tries to follow his perverse example, the movie drops its horror troupes and just jumps head first into absolutely side splitting absurdity.
Berg and Waldeland just have a great and wonderfully dark sense of humor and push the lines of decency without completely disregarding them. Sometimes when art ventures into the profane, it’s just a crucifix in a jar of piss and you wonder what the point is. VIDAR THE VAMPIRE is for those who like a good dose of dark humor with their blasphemy. If you’re not easily offended by someone taking a few good shots at religion, you’ll totally enjoy this.