For a vampire film, "Subferatu" is actually quite lean on the actual vampire sequences - but more than makes up for it with some wonky, and I mean really wonky, moments of pure comic relief. Perhaps, your experience with this film will vary depending on what you consider funny. Comedy is such a fickle thing - but I can say this. If you're a fan of ridiculous, for the most part, dialog-based comedy, this is definitely for you. Oh, and it helps to be a fan of B movies because Patrick Penta's underwater adventure is definitely one of those. As luck would have it, I happen to be one such person - and for the most part, I smiled the whole way through. I may be an odd duck, but I know I'm not alone.
Captain Gavin McLeod, after embarking on what was supposed to be a three-hour tour, finds that he and his shipmates have been rescued by the inhabitants of a small, unknown island after a pop-up storm. Oh, wait, that's another show... what I meant to say - was that McLeod and his crew find themselves rescued and onboard a submarine. Not just any sub however, this one is a WW2 era war machine and its crew? They think it's the day after Hitler went and shot himself, and are on their way to America to surrender. At least, that's what they say. Quite quickly McLeod and company realize something is not quite right about this whole situation. The U-boat, U 666 definitely has a secret and its crew definitely think the year is 1945 or so. So have McLeod and his merry men went back in time, or has the U-boat moved forward? That question does get answered, as does the other important burning question. What's onboard? I'm pretty confident that revealing the vampire plot doesn't constitute a spoiler. Just by looking at the name of the film, most will surely guess that. To see how the rest plays out - you'll simply have to watch. Be warned, if you're not into stupid comedy this won't be for you. If it just so happens you loved the Naked Gun/Police Squad adventures of Frank Drebin - you may have found something to add to your watch list.
The comparison of lead character Gavin McLeod to the late Leslie Nielsen is at first unmistakable. As is the type of word driven, deadpan jokes within this film. Along the way however, I found myself more comparing Mike Dooly's character to the likes of Bruce Campbell. Obviously, not by way of looks, but onscreen actions and vocal inclinations. Both Campbell and Nielsen thrive in the B-movie, deadpan acting department, but as "Subferatu" continued, the Bruce comparison became more evident to me. Although Dooly's Captain McLeod was a huge factor when it came to making this film fun, most of the other characters delivered equal measures of comic relief. I'm still laughing right now at Lt. Bierficker's character, but the truth is I laughed at almost everybody in this movie - and loved the brief glances at the vampire, who also plays Ellen. But the cast is just so very numerous, that individual shoutouts would entail the creation of an actual novel.
Padding this B extravaganza is some perfectly framed B cinematography and a backing score that seems to emphasize the onscreen shenanigans. I also want to point out that I loved the main set. It actually helps slightly offset the crazy nature of the plot. "Subferatu" is one of those movies that you just know, the people involved worked hard to achieve. It's cheesy on purpose - and doesn't take itself overly seriously. This bubbly freedom translates well to the screen and overall vibe. So long as you know what you're getting into, you'll definitely enjoy the ride.
Patrick Penta's film doesn't claim to be anything more than it is. A diversion, a way to pass the time with a smile on your face. Hell, it even has a brilliantly executed musical number at the end - both a great way to cap off a B comedy, and also insanely good. The people that will end up watching this film, will no doubt know exactly what they're getting - translating to what should be generally favorable reviews. For anyone happening on this movie by chance... that's another story. My recommendation? Grab a drink, grab a comfy chair, and enjoy the show. Maybe when the real world has calmed down a little, you can enjoy "Subferatu" with some friends - I feel that's the way to truly appreciate the jokes. Three and a half stars.