Vidar the Vampire Blasphemes its Way Into Your Heart
Monster quiz! What kind of supernatural being has risen from the dead and thrives on seducing mortals into a cannibalistic blood ritual so that he can possess their soul and lives inside them for all eternity? Ding ding ding! You got it! Jesus Christ!
Undead, blood drinking culty vampire? Totally.
Sure there are no mirrors or garlic in the Bible, but all of the other signs are there: he got a bunch of blue-collar fishermen to quit their jobs on the spot in exchange for eternal life and all of the men they can fish for, he invited a bunch of his best buds over to drink his blood, he slept in a tomb for a whole long weekend, he rose from the dead, and he’s coming back for a big budget sequel. Don’t smite me over it! It was the Norwegian, dramedy, horror flick Vidar the Vampire that dared me to posit such a blasphemous hypothesis. I’m just the humble messenger who had the committed the sin of watching it.
(I am totally ok with these ideas as I am soulless - Ed.)
Let’s look to the parable of Vidar (Thomas Aske Berg), the young Norwegian child who got caught in the rut of being a “good boy” and grew up to suffer the terrible fate of being a good man. He always did what he thought was required of him. He got up early to take care of the farm chores while his ailing mother lay in bed, he attended church when he could, and always remembered his evening prayers. He lived selflessly. By the time he was thirty-three, he was frustrated, sexless, and ashamed. All he had to show for his life was a deep and practiced self-loathing and a cache of dirty mags. He got down and his knees and prayed to Jesus Christ. He prayed for salvation from the insufferable doldrums of his life, and Jesus (Brigt Skrettingland) answered his prayers by making him in his own image. A vampire.
Presuming you are not already utterly offended by the blasphemy, you should probably be warned of the violence and vulgarity. Let’s just say, when Christ asks of his disciple Vidar to “eat of his flesh” he is not referring to unleavened bread. Once Vidar transubstantiates from man to immortal monster, Jesus then leads Vidar through pathways of blood and debauchery… and when you see only one set of footprints, that’s when Jesus was carrying him to the prostitutes. Vidar the Vampire, as a film, trades in shock value – the grotesque violence and gratuitous sex are made all the more ironic by the presence of the son of God, complete with surfer hair and beard. I, being a tremendous prude, raised on the tamest of American cinema, found parts of Vidar a challenge to endure. The satirizing of a major religious figure – irreverent, but I can intellectualize it. The devouring of an unsuspecting gas station attendant – cruel, but I can contextualize it. A full clear shot of a stripper’s undercarriage – raunchy, and I am scandalized by it. The hypocrisy is not lost on me.
Beneath the profanity and obscenity - and I mean way, way beneath - there is the story of a relatively young man who got trapped in doing what was expected of him instead of seeking out something that fulfilled him and it sucked the soul right out of him. On the farm with his mother, Vidar believed he had no options but to maintain the farm and go on being rejected and ignored by the same women who had rejected and ignored him since he was ten years old. And, spoilers, but life as a vampire with Christ as his sleazy wingman doesn’t exactly fill him with confidence and self worth either. It’s not unusual for young person in their early thirties to take exhausted stock of their life and come to the conclusion that what they’ve done amounts to nothing and they are therefore worthless, but from that small death that adulthood resurrects. Hell, Jesus didn’t do much before his 33rd birthday either.
Vampires, as a literary horror staple, have always been anti-Christs who offer immortal kingdoms on earth and all of the virgins you can eat in exchange for your soul. The writers/directors Thomas Aske Berg and Fredrick Waldeland just take that idea one, 180° step more. Some satire is a precision instrument, cutting skillfully down to the heart of the matter. Vidar the Vampire is a blunt instrument that beats at the matter until the heart pops out of it like bloody, sacrilegious piñata. If you want to see a funny, fun movie about witless vamps, watch Taika Watiti’s What We Do in the Shadows. If you want to see an endearing, pre-middle aged farmer lose is soul to save his life, and you don’t mind seeing Christ’s man-bag, watch Vidar the Vampire – available on demand for eternity across many platforms, find out where at Epic-Pictures.com